The crime of Receiving Stolen Property is a serious offense in Alabama that can result in heavy fines and jail time. Having said that, you should always hire an attorney to represent you in these cases. The statute reads as follows:

(a) A person commits the crime of receiving stolen property if he intentionally receives, retains or disposes of stolen property knowing that it has been stolen or having reasonable grounds to believe it has been stolen, unless the property is received, retained or disposed of with intent to restore it to the owner.

As you can see, the question with these types of cases is the Defendant’s knowledge or belief that the property is stolen. Quite frankly, I’m surprised these cases are not taken to trial more often. Receiving Stolen Property charges can be the result of an innocent transaction, such as buying goods at a flea market, or even buying a stereo from your neighbor. Purchasing goods online from sites such as Craigslist or even your local newspaper or pawn shop can turn out to be perilous as innocent as the transaction may be. In my opinion, it is not enough to charge someone with Receiving Stolen Property just because they happen to be in possession of the property. There must be some knowledge or a reasonable belief by the person in possession that the property is stolen. That can be a very subjective standard and a high threshold for the prosecutor to make. If you find yourself in a transaction that you feel is suspect, walk away or use due diligence and ask questions of the seller. They will always be happy to take your money and leave you holding the proverbial bag. If you are accused of Receiving Stolen Property in Alabama, contact and experienced attorney at The Nelson Law Firm at 205-994-3183 for a free case evaluation.

Receiving Stolen Property

Don’t let this be you!

Marijuana Trafficking in Alabama is a Class A felony in Alabama. What differentiates “possession” from “trafficking” is quantity. As you can see from the statute below, trafficking in marijuana is a serious offense. If you are arrested for marijuana trafficking in Alabama, call an experienced marijuana trafficking attorney at The Nelson Law Firm for a free initial consultation at 205-994-3183.

(1) Any person who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of one kilo or 2.2 pounds of any part of the plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin including the completely defoliated mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil, or cake, or the completely sterilized samples of seeds of the plant which are incapable of germination is guilty of a felony, which felony shall be known as “trafficking in cannabis.”  Nothing in this subdivision shall apply to samples of tetrahydrocannabinols including, but not limited to, all synthetic or naturally produced samples of tetrahydrocannabinols which contain more than 15 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols and which do not contain plant material exhibiting the external morphological features of the plant cannabis.  If the quantity of cannabis involved:
a. Is in excess of one kilo or 2.2 pounds, but less than 100 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of three calendar years and to pay a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
b. Is 100 pounds or more, but less than 500 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five calendar years and to pay a fine of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
c. Is 500 pounds or more, but less than 1,000 pounds, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 calendar years and to pay a fine of two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).
d. Is 1,000 pounds or more, the person shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.

Hiring an experienced marijuana trafficking attorney is extremely important. Marijuana trafficking is a Class A felony. An experienced marijuana trafficking attorney can help prepare your defense, evaluate the facts and technicalities of your particular case. Hiring an experienced marijuana trafficking attorney can also help mitigate the consequences of a conviction. If you are in need of a marijuana trafficking attorney, call The Nelson Law Firm at 205-994-3183.

Robbery in Alabama is among the most serious of offenses. If you have been charged, you need to contact an experienced criminal attorney to provide you with an adequate defense. Contact an attorney at The Nelson Law Firm at (205) 410-3056 for a free initial consultation. In this type of case, your legal options may be limited due to the severity of the crime. For instance, Youthful Offender status is rarely granted in a  1st Degree case, however, may be granted in a 3rd Degree case. This is just once example of the many issues that come up in these types of cases.


(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of committing a theft he:

(1) Uses force against the person of the owner or any person present with intent to overcome his physical resistance or physical power of resistance; or

(2) Threatens the imminent use of force against the person of the owner or any person present with intent to compel acquiescence to the taking of or escaping with the property.

(b) Robbery in the third degree is a Class C felony


(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree if he violates Section 13A-8-43 and he is aided by another person actually present.

(b) second degree is a Class B felony.


(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the first degree if he violates Section 13A-8-43 and he:

(1) Is armed with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; or

(2) Causes serious physical injury to another.

(b) Possession then and there of an article used or fashioned in a manner to lead any person who is present reasonably to believe it to be a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or any verbal or other representation by the defendant that he is then and there so armed, is prima facie evidence under subsection (a) of this section that he was so armed.

(c)  first degree is a Class A felony.


Do you need a lawyer to represent you in a DUI case? Hiring an experienced DUI Attorney always has its benefits —  familiarity with the court system, knowledge of plea bargain details, and the ability to navigate complex administration procedures. It’s especially important if you are a repeat offender.

Should You Plead Guilty?

If this is your first DUI, you may choose to simply plead guilty. That might be a wise choice if there were some certainty that you would be convicted — for example if your BAC is higher than .11 and the arresting officer testifies that you were driving erratically. But before you plead guilty, you should learn about DUI fines, penalties and/or other options available in order to make an informed decision. Even if you are convinced you should plead guilty, it is always possible that a DUI attorney may offer advice or counsel that could affect the severity of your sentence. Also keep in mind that if your BAC was between .08 and .11 (and there may be some question as to whether the reading was accurate) conviction is less of a certainty and a DUI attorney may be able to better plea bargain your case. There are also various other administrative remedies that may help your case.

Sentence Bargaining

In addition to plea bargaining (where the charge is reduced to a lesser one, like from DUI to reckless driving), most states have sentence bargaining. Sentence bargaining is extremely useful where a guilty plea might result in a long period of incarceration. For example, you may be willing to plead guilty to a second DUI but only if you know what your sentence will be. The same is true with an aggravated DUI cases where your BAC is over .15, or injury or death has resulted. In these types of cases you probably wouldn’t want to plead guilty unless you knew what sentence you’re going to get, and you would be well advised to have an attorney (as is generally true with all non-routine DUI cases).

Second Offenders Should Seek an Attorney

If this is not your first DUI / DWI, you will most likely need the assistance of a DUI attorney. If you’re concerned about the costs, some DUI attorneys will work with you and may offer credit payment plans or discounts.

If you need have been arrested for DUI, call an experienced attorney at The Nelson Law Firm for a free initial consultation at 205-994-3183.

I was recently asked, by email, should a person with no record get a lawyer to represent them in a shoplifting case.

There are two parts to most shoplifting cases. The shoplifting charge which is criminal in nature where your liberty and your wallet are at stake, and the civil penalty the law allows for where again your wallet is at stake. The Civil penalty is something lawmakers have given to shopkeepers to permit them to spread the cost of maintaining security across the group of people it catches. Paying, in my experience has had no affect whatsoever on how a prosecutor will deal out the case, nor, even though their demand letters may imply differently, will it keep a victim shopkeeper from showing up to testify against the defendant.

Even if a person has no record, generally prosecutors in Alabama will not deal with you. If you don’t mind having a shoplifting charge on your record, which you will have to explain every time any potential employer runs a background check on you, you definitely will want to hire a lawyer to investigate the facts of your case or to work out some sort of plea agreement. For first offenders these generally involve the kind of probation that results in no record when the probation is complete and some sort of shoplifting program. Qualifying for this option is not always a certainty. An attorney will have a much better opportunity when dealing with the prosecutor to make sure this option is available. Since most people do not want a charge that brands them a thief on their record I would strongly recommend getting a lawyer to examine the evidence against you and use whatever is there to get you the best result possible.

As for dealing with a shoplifting case where the defendant has prior shoplifting offenses, you should absolutely hire an attorney. I have seen instances where a defendant with a prior charge can spend from 5 days to 120 days in jail.

I am frequently asked by potential clients whether or not they need a Criminal Attorney. Unless you are paying a parking ticket, the answer is always YES. Whether it be  a simple Misdemeanor Shoplifting, DUI or Marijuana Possession or Felony Robbery or Burglary, you should never walk into a courtroom without a Criminal Attorney. Your Criminal Attorney is the ONLY one in the courtroom there to defend your rights and look out for your best interest. The Judge and Prosecutor are not obligated to you in any way to provide advice and/or options.

Consider this. If you have a water leak, you call a plumber. If you have an electrical problem, you call an electrician. If you have a legal problem, you call an attorney. And why is that? Because Criminal Attorney’s are in the courtroom everyday. They have the experience and expertise to guide you through the legal system.

During the Pretrial phase of your case, your attorney will investigate the facts of your case. Quite often times this will lead to a dismissal of your case or at a minimum a reduction in the charges against you. During the trial phase, it is imperative that you have an attorney. Simply getting testimony on the record can be a challenge due to the multitude of evidence rules and procedures. Questioning witnesses can be a challenge even for an experienced attorney. A good Criminal Attorney will also develop a good trial strategy and present the facts in a light most favorable to you. Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges you should always go to court with an attorney. If convicted, these charges will become a part of your permanent criminal record. If you are in need of a Criminal Attorney, call The Nelson Law Firm at 205-994-3183.