Tennessee is a perfect example of a state with stringent drug laws. It has tough regulations governing the possession of substances that the federal government has restricted. Because of these laws, anyone in possession of prohibited drugs can face severe legal charges.
Tennessee drug laws prohibit the possession of several illegal drugs like methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. In this state, several factors, such as the type of drug found in possession, determine the penalties.
In the event that you or a loved one is facing a drug-related crime in Tennessee, it is best to hire a criminal defense attorney from The Cassell Firm to help you defend your rights and fight the charges.
Types of Drug Charges in Tennessee
While other states have reduced policing and decriminalized marijuana cases, Tennessee still considers the drug illegal. You must prepare a great defense, regardless of what type of drug crime you are charged with.
Common drug charges you must be aware of in Tennessee include the following.
- Drug manufacturing
- Simple possession
- Sale of a controlled substance
- Possession of a controlled substance w/Intent
- Drug trafficking
A drug conviction in Tennessee has relatively harsh penalties that can impact your life for years, so let’s consider the consequences.
Consequences of Drug Crime Conviction in Tennessee
Individuals indicted for drug-related offenses in Tennessee need to be familiar with the legal consequences and other ramifications that can result from a conviction, including the following:
Punishment of Drug Possession
A first-time charge of simple possession or casual exchange of a controlled substance under Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-418 is a Class A misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
A violation under Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-418 is a felony if a person has two or more prior convictions under this section.
Note that these charges are typically only used in cases involving the so-called possession of small amounts of controlled substances. Possession of massive quantities can lead to more severe charges, like possession with intent to sell.
The Sanctions for Other Offenses
In Tennessee, the manufacture, sale, intent to sell, and delivery of controlled substances are felony offenses. The sanctions vary depending on the amount of drug, statutory factors, and type of drug. Felony drug offenses range from Class A felonies to Class E felonies. The sentences vary depending on a person’s criminal history and class of felony.
- In the case of a Range I offender, a Class A felony carries a range of 15 to 25 years.
- A Class B felony carries a range of 8 to 12 years.
- A Class C felony carries a range of 3 to 6 years.
- Class D felonies have a range of 2 to 4 years.
- And, Class E felonies carry a range of 1 to 2 years.
It is essential to know that Tennessee does not operate on similar schedules as the federal government. In Tennessee, marijuana and synthetic marijuana products are considered Schedule 6. Depending on the amount of drug present, marijuana possession can be charged as anything from a Class E to a Class A felony.
Other Potential Consequences
There are other long-term effects of a drug offense conviction. This may include limiting a person’s ability to own a firearm, their ability to find employment, immigration consequences, and their eligibility for federal student aid.
In addition, individuals convicted of particular offenses that involve amphetamine, methamphetamine, and other stimulants are added to the Tennessee Drug Offender Registry, which the public can search.
Hire a Nashville Defense Attorney for Drug Crimes
There is no doubt that a drug conviction can significantly impact your life. Apart from suffering from stigma, felony convictions can limit your career choices. You might lose privileges, incur fines, and face possible prison time.
With so much to lose, it is wise to work with an attorney to get the representation you deserve. Call us today at The Cassell Firm and schedule a consultation to discuss your case with one of our professional criminal defense attorneys.