Responsive drug crimes lawyers fight for your rights
Drug crimes include the possession, sale, distribution, and manufacturing of illegal drugs or controlled substances. There is a strong intention to curb the drug trade in this country, so the penalties for drug crimes continue to grow increasingly harsh. Even something seemingly minor, such as simple possession, can have serious repercussions in your life, your job and your future. The Murfreesboro drug crime defense attorneys at the law firm of Pate & Knott have more than 45 years of combined experience. When your future hangs in the balance due to a drug possession charge, trust us to carefully review the charges against you and develop a strong defense.
Felony and misdemeanor drug crimes in Tennessee
Tennessee drug charges include the following:
- Simple possession or casual exchange — The charge of simple possession or casual exchange often results from not having enough of the substance to be charged with felony possession. While it is considered to be a minor offense, if charged, you could receive up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500, along with other penalties for a first offense.
- Possession with intent of resale— A class D felony carrying 1 to 6 years in jail and significant mandatory fines.
- Sale of a controlled substance — The penalties for the sale of controlled substances, which is a felony, increase with the amount of the substance. Penalties can range from 1-6 years and a $5,000 fine for one half ounce to 10 lbs. to 15-60 years and a $500,000 fine for more than 300 lbs.
- Drug trafficking and conspiracy — Drug trafficking charges in Tennessee carry mandatory minimum penalties which include substantial fines and jail times. If arrested within close proximity to a school or playground, the penalties increase yet again, as they will if the controlled substance is transported across state lines.
- Drug manufacturing — Growing marijuana or producing a controlled substance such as methamphetamine, carries mandatory minimum sentences, significant fines and other severe penalties.
Examples of illegal drugs and controlled substances include:
- MDMA (ecstasy)
- Unauthorized prescription drugs such as oxycontin, hydrocodone and others.
Tennessee marijuana laws
The possession or casual exchange of less than 1/2 oz. of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee and requires attendance at a drug offender education program and fines for a first time offender. The exchange of marijuana from an adult to a minor, if the adult is aware the minor is in fact underage, is a felony with mandatory minimum fines and jail time. The penalties increase with the amount of marijuana and the number of prior convictions. The sale of marijuana from 1/2 oz. to 10 lbs. is a Class E felony. The penalties increase with the amount of the drug, and whether it was sold to minors under 18 or in a drug-free zone. (TN Code Section 39-17-401, et seq.)
Controlled substance law in Tennessee
The state of Tennessee classifies controlled substances into a series of schedules modeled after the federal government's classifications with a few minor alterations:
- Schedule I — Contains the most dangerous drugs that are most likely to be abused and cause addiction.
- Schedule II, III, IV, V and VI — Includes drugs with less risk of dependency. Also includes substances such as clonazepam, tranquilizers and sedatives, codeine and marijuana, which is considered a Schedule VI substance.
- Schedule VII – Includes butyl nitrate
Manufacturing or selling controlled substances is illegal in Tennessee and is classified as a felony with steep fines, jail time and other significant penalties. Selling CDS to a minor or in a drug-free zone, such as a school or playground, brings stiffer fines and enhanced penalties.
Drug possession, whether it is just simple possession, or manufacturing, carry steep penalties that can devastate your life. If you have been charged with a drug crime, or if you are under investigation, our Murfreesboro drug possession defense attorneys are on your side. We keep you informed every step of the way and fight aggressively to protect your rights and your best interests. When your freedom and your future are in jeopardy due to drug charges, we protect your future.