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Marijuana Charges for Alabama Football Players Hansberry and Jones

Marijuana Charge

Alabama Football Marijuana Charge

Brandon Lee Hansberry and Tyren Jones Arrested for Marijuana Charge

Alabama running back Tyren Jones has been arrested and charged with a second degree marijuana charge after the car in which he was a passenger was stopped on 10th Avenue smelling of marijuana.  Scales used for possible weighing drugs were also found in the car.  The car’s driver, Brandon Lee Hansberry was also arrested and charged with felony marijuana possession in the first degree for the additional possession of drug paraphernalia. He was is being held in Tuscaloosa County Jail. In all, four young men including three University of Alabama football players have been arrested in the span of a little under one week and charged with various offenses. College athletes Tyren Jones, Geno Smith, and Jonathan Taylor as well as Brandon Lee Hansberry were all arrested and charged with marijuana charges, DUI, domestic violence and a felony marijuana charge respectively.

On February 10, Jones was suspended indefinitely from the team. Geno Smith was earlier arrested and charged with DUI, his second such charge in two years. He had been suspended for one game after his firs DUI arrest in 2013. Jonathan Taylor was dismissed from the team after being charged with domestic violence.

Marijuana Charge Penalties

In Tyren Jones case, the penalties for second degree marijuana charge in Alabama are lenient at best. Possession of marijuana in the second degree in Alabama is a misdemeanor and the maximum sentence is one year in jail and a $2000 fine, however, marijuana conviction or guilty plea in Alabama comes with a mandatory six month driver’s license suspension and restrictions to your ability to possess firearms. The maximum sentence is usually reserved for repeat offenders. The court will take many things into consideration – a first time offender with excellent character references will normally get a sentence of a few months probation, a small fine, and substance abuse counseling as a condition of probation. A judge can also suspend any jail time and any fines if the convicted person completes a counseling program. 

Marijuana Charge Felony

The most serious charge of the four, felony marijuana charge in which Hansberry is accused, is punishable by one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. (Ala. Code §§ 13A-5-6, 13A-5-11.)

At The Malbrough Firm LLC, we are experienced marijuana charge and DUI attorneys who will take your case seriously.  We have a unparalleled understanding of Alabama marijuana charge and DUI laws.  Call us now and speak with an experienced marijuana charge and DUI lawyer.

Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Charges – Illegal in Alabama?

Adrian Peterson Child Abuse – or Discipline?

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s recent arrest and indictment brought the issues of child abuse and corporal punishment squarely into the public arena.  The terms draw vastly different reactions.Adrian Peterson Child Abuse

Adrian Peterson is accused of repeatedly striking his 4-year-old son with a switch – or a short, thin tree branch – causing cuts, bruises, and blisters on the child’s body.

In Alabama, parents and stepparents are allowed to use reasonable physical force to discipline children in their family. The corporal punishment must be reasonably warranted by the misconduct of the child.  The parent must act conscientiously and the corporal punishment must come from a place of duty.

This means that you cannot spank a child for asking for candy in line at Wal-Mart, and you cannot hit them with a switch every time they misbehave.  Whatever punishment is given must be restrained and given sparingly, and must be appropriate under the circumstances.  The possible different facts in each situation are infinite; ultimately, if a parent or guardian is charged with child abuse, a jury will decide whether that person’s behavior was appropriate.

If Adrian Peterson’s case was tried in Alabama, a jury would decide whether Mr. Peterson was reasonable in his belief that the discipline and physical force he used was appropriate under the circumstances. Malaysia  If the jury considered the injuries inflicted on his son to be excessive or substantially traumatic, it would not matter whether Adrian Peterson believed his actions were reasonable.  He would be very likely be found liable and, more importantly, guilty of child abuse.

What is the difference between corporal punishment and child abuse in Alabama?

Alabama Code Section 13A-3-24 states the following:

“Use of force by persons with parental, custodial or special responsibilities.

The use of force upon another person is justified under any of the following circumstances:

(1) A parent, guardian or other person responsible for the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person, and a teacher or other person responsible for the care and supervision of a minor for a special purpose, may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon the minor or incompetent person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of the minor or incompetent person.”

The above code section on parents and discipline is a defense to physical punishment of a child.  It is not a ticket to do whatever one wants to a child.  In fact, it is a defense that – especially in today’s world – may quickly get thrown by the wayside and have your children taken from your custody.

In Alabama, the Department of Human Resources (DHR) is very good at what they do and will immediately get involved in a family situation if there is an allegation of abuse.  Additionally, Alabama is a mandatory reporting state with a wide range of people from doctors, nurses, teachers, counselors, daycare workers and others who are required by law to report the possibility of child abuse.

The Alabama Criminal Code does not differentiate between child abuse, domestic violence, assault and corporal punishment.  It states that willfully harming someone, including a child, is assault; harming a child that is their child is domestic violence; repeatedly harming a child is aggravated child abuse.

The Alabama Code Section on child abuse may be found at the following link:  Alabama Criminal Code.

Unless Adrian Peterson negotiates a plea bargain through his criminal defense attorney, a jury will ultimately decide if Adrian Peterson’s actions toward his son were child abuse.  The Adrian Peterson case and a study of Alabama case law each show how discipline of children is a difficult topic.

 

 

What Amount is Required for Arrest?

Is there a Minimum Amount of Drugs Required for Arrest?

Many people are arrested when police find a very small amount of substances alleged to be drugs.  Sometimes marijuana arrests are made for a tiny leaf or one seed.  Arrests for possession of controlled substances are made only for residue in a pipe.

Alabama case law has addressed this issue many times:

“Quantity of drugs possessed is immaterial in sustaining a possession conviction.”  Coslett v. State, 641 So. 2d 302 (Ala. Crim. App. 1993).

 

In Walters v. State, 585 So.2d 206 (Ala.Crim.App.1991), the Court held there was sufficient evidence to sustain the appellant’s conviction for possession of cocaine where evidence before the jury consisted of a razor blade with cocaine residue and a plastic sandwich bag containing an amount of white residue so minuscule that the residue could not be tested.

 

Dooley v. State, 575 So.2d 1191 (Ala.Crim.App.1990):  (detective heard toilet flushing and water running in the bathroom. The ‘ “J tubing” from underneath the sink was removed and the water that was in the “trap” was collected in a mason jar; it was later determined that this water contained 9.6 milligrams of cocaine per milliliter of water’).

 

HOWEVER, see the following:

“Regarding warrantless arrests for possession of a controlled substance we have stated:  “ ‘the detection of the odor of marijuana in a certain place will not inevitably provide probable cause to arrest a person who is at that place,’ ” State v. Betterton, 527 So.2d 743 (Ala.Cr.App.1986), aff’d, 527 So.2d 747 (Ala.1988) (quoting W. LaFave, 1 Search and Seizure at 650). We do not believe that odor of marijuana in a place or on a defendant’s person is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for possession of marijuana.”  Boyington v. State.

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