The authority for this section is found in Title 32 of the Code of Alabama (1975).  Under section 13A-5-1, Code of Alabama (1975), the applicability of Offenses is stated as “Every person convicted of any offense, as defined in this title, or defined outside this title, shall be sentenced by the court in accordance with this article, unless otherwise specifically provided by law.  Penal laws enacted after January 1, 1980, shall be classified for punishment purposes in accordance with this article.”

Section 13A-5-2: Penalties Permitted or Required:

“(a) Every person convicted of a felony shall be sentenced by the court to imprisonment for a term authorized by Sections 13A-5-6, 13A-5-9 and 13A-5-10.

(b) In addition to imprisonment, every person convicted of a felony may be sentenced by the court to pay a fine authorized by Section 13A-5-11.

(c) Every person convicted of a misdemeanor or violation shall be sentenced by the court to:

  1. Imprisonment for a term authorized by Section 13A-5-7; or
  2. Pay a fine authorized by Section 13A-5-12; or
  3. Both such imprisonment and fine.

(d) Every person convicted of a felony, misdemeanor or violation, except for the commission of a criminal sex offense involving a child as defined in Section 15-20-21(5), may be placed on probation as authorized by law.

(e) This article does not deprive a court of authority conferred by law to forfeit property, dissolve a corporation, suspend or cancel a license or permit, remove a person from office, cite for contempt, or impose any other lawful civil penalty.  Such a judgment, order or decree may be included as part of the sentence.

(f) Every person convicted of murder shall be sentenced by the court to imprisonment for a term, or to death or life imprisonment without parole as authorized by subsection (c) of Section 13A-6-2.”

 

“Section 13A-5-3: Classification of Offenses Generally

(a)    Offenses are designated as felonies, misdemeanors or violations.

(b)   Felonies are classified according to the relative seriousness of the offense into three categories:

(1)   Class A Felonies;

(2)   Class B Felonies; and

(3)   Class C Felonies.

(c)    Misdemeanors are classified according to the relative seriousness of the offense into three categories:

(1)   Class A Misdemeanors;

(2)   Class B Misdemeanors; and

(3)   Class C Misdemeanors.

(d)   Violations are not classified.”

 

“13A-5-6:        Prison Term for Felonies

(a)    Sentences for Felonies shall be for a definite term of imprisonment, which imprisonment includes hard labor, within the following limitations:

(1)   For a Class A Felony, for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years.

(2)   For a Class B Felony, not more than 20 years or less than 2 years.

(3)   For a Class C Felony, not more than 10 years or less than 1 year and 1 day.

(4)   For a Class A Felony in which a firearm or deadly weapon was used or attempted to be used in the commission of the felony, or a Class A felony in the commission of the felony, or a Class A felony criminal sex offense involving a child as defined in Section 15-20-21(5), not less than 20 years.

(5)   For a Class B and C Felony in which a firearm or deadly weapon was used or attempted to be used in the commission of the felony, or a Class B felony criminal sex offense involving a child as defined in Section 12-20-21(5), not less than 10 years.”

 

13A-5-7: Prison Terms for Misdemeanors and Violations

“(a) Sentences for misdemeanors shall be a definite term of imprisonment in the county jail or to hard labor for the county, within the following limitations:

(1)   For a Class A Misdemeanor, not more than one year.

(2)   For a Class B Misdemeanor, not more than six months (180 days).

(3)   For a Class C Misdemeanor, not more than three months (90 days).

(b)Sentences for violations shall be for a definite term of imprisonment in the county jail, not to exceed 30 days.”

 

Some Examples of each of the levels of the different crimes listed above are listed below.  However, if you do not see the crime you are charged with on this list, please do not hesitate to contact us to find out the exact the classification and penalty range for your crime.  There are several other factors and enhancements that effect your sentencing range like the new Alabama Sentencing Guidelines and your prior record and sometimes, as in DUI Law, your specific number of prior offenses for that one crime.

  1. Class A Felonies:Murder, Trafficking, Rape 1, Sodomy 1, Burglary 1
  2. Class B Felonies:Manslaughter, Distribution, Rape 2, Burglary 2
  3. Class C Felonies:Theft 1, Possession of Marijuana (if already have one prior for this charge or if
    the State can show you that you did not just have possession for personal use),
    Theft 2, a 4th time DUI
  4. Class A Misdemeanor:Criminally Negligent Homicide, Indecent Exposure, Theft 3, a 3rd time DUI,
    Sexual Misconduct, Theft of Services, Reckless Endangerment, Trespassing 2
  5. Class B Misdemeanor:         Unlawful Assembly, Open House Party, Cruelty to Animals (unless the animal is
    a police dog then it becomes a Class C Felony)
  6. Class C Misdemeanor:         Harassment, Disorderly Conduct, Trespassing 2
  7. Violations:                            Loitering, Public Intoxication, Trespassing 3rd