Drug Charges

Many people have speculated that the “War on Drugs” is ending or is even over. Well, if you have recently been arrested and charged with a drug crime in Tennessee, you probably have a different view. The drug laws in Tennessee are extremely strict. Marijuana is not even legal for medicinal purposes in Tennessee.  The penalties are severe for having even a gram of it. With that in mind, you have to know that the penalties for other drugs are even more severe. Tennessee takes a strong stance on drug crimes. It has developed harsh penalties for those who are convicted of violating the state’s drug laws. Moreover, if you are charged with a federal drug crime, your freedom may be taken from you for a very long time.

If you have been caught by Tennessee law enforcement in possession of a controlled substance, the odds likely are that you are going to face a strenuous legal battle. It is extremely important for you to understand that you have the right to a legal advocate in your corner. This is not a situation that you will want to face alone. If you searching for an experienced and knowledgeable drug crime attorney in Middle to Eastern Tennessee, the lawyers at Griffin & Davis, PLLC are here to help you with your drug charges.

We have eight attorneys that are employed with our firm who have more than forty years of legal experience. Having an attorney who understands Tennessee law can help you receive a reduced sentence, so if you face a drug-related crime, we recommend you contact a skilled criminal attorney from Griffin & Davis, PLLC as soon as possible. Over the years, our reputable lawyers have helped countless clients avoid incarceration. We can help you, too.

Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDSs)

Every state regulates the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDSs), has a different definition what constitutes a CDS, and has different penalties for illegally possessing CDSs. Most states have drug possession laws where the type of drug in your possession, the amount of the drug in your possession, and the concentration of the drug in your possession are relevant in determining the penalties that you will be facing.  In Tennessee, however, drug possession laws do not work that way. What that means in Tennessee is that you can face the same identical charges for possessing marijuana as you would for possessing crack cocaine, even if it is your first drug offense.

In Tennessee, if you are facing your first offense for a drug possession charge, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, no matter what type of drug is in your possession. This is considered simple possession, which is punishable by up to one year in county jail and fines that can total up to $2,500. If you are in possession of a half-ounce or more of a CDS, or if you this is not your first offense, you may be charged with a felony in the state of Tennessee.

Schedules of CDSs in Tennessee

Drug laws drugs are divided into different classifications, or “schedules.” These mark how serious these drugs are considered in court and the severity for which they are prosecuted in court. Keep in mind that federal drug scheduling may be different than Tennessee’s drug scheduling.

Schedule I

  • High potential for abuse
  • Not accepted as a valid medical treatment in the U.S.
  • Not safe for use even in medical environments
  • Making and/or selling Schedule I drugs, or possessing 0.5 grams or more of cocaine/methamphetamine, is considered a Class B Felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $100,000, 8-12 years in prison
  • Examples: Opiates, Heroin, LSD, PCP, MDMA, Methamphetamine

Schedule II

  • High potential for abuse
  • Accepted for medical use with supervision by a medical professional
  • Abuse of the drug may cause physical/psychological dependence
  • Making and/or selling Schedule II drugs, or possessing less than 0.5 grams of cocaine/methamphetamine, is considered a Class C felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $100,000, 3-6 years in prison
  • Examples: Codeine, Morphine, Oxycodone, Cocaine

Schedule III

  • Less potential for abuse than Schedule I and II drugs
  • Can be used for medical treatment with the supervision of a medical professional
  • Abuse of the drug may cause low physical addiction or high psychological dependence
  • Making and/or selling Schedule III drugs is considered a Class D felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $50,000, 2-4 years in prison
  • Examples: GHB, Ketamine, Testosterone, Estrogen, delta-9-THC

Schedule IV

  • Less potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs
  • Can be used for medical treatment in the U.S.
  • Abuse of the drug may lead to dependence
  • Making and/or selling Schedule IV drugs is considered a Class D felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $50,000, 2-4 years in prison
  • Examples: Diazepam, Tramadol, Lorazepam

Schedule V

  • Low potential for abuse
  • Accepted for medical use in the U.S.
  • Abuse of this drug may lead to limited addiction/dependence
  • Making and/or selling Schedule V drugs is considered a Class E felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $5,000, 1-2 years in prison
  • Examples: Pyrovalerone, Lacosamide

Schedule VI

  • Despite being legal in several states, marijuana and most cannabinoid derivatives are still considered Schedule VI drugs by the DEA in the state of Tennessee
  • Making and/or selling Schedule VI drugs can be considered a Class E felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $5,000, 1-2 years in prison
  • Examples: Marijuana, THC, Hashish

Schedule VII

  • Making and/or selling Schedule V drugs is considered a Class E felony
  • Penalties: Fines up to $1,000, 1-2 years in prison
  • Examples: Butyl nitrate, any isomers of Butyl nitrate

 

Depending on the amounts present during arrest, offenders in possession of certain CDSs can be charged with Class B felonies, which comes with a sentence of eight to 12 years in prison fines up to $200,000, or even Class A felonies, which bring with them sentences of 15 to 25 years in prison and fines up to $500,000.

In Tennessee, it is illegal to possess, sell, or possess with intent to sell any CDS. If you have been arrested over drug charges it is important that you contact a legal representative who can help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact the reputable lawyers at Griffin & Davis, PLLC to find out how we can help you get the very best outcome in your drug crime case.

Possession of CDSs

Even if an individual is possessing substance for their own personal use, if you possess a CDS without a medical prescription, it is considered illegal in the eyes of the law. First and second convictions for possessing CDSs are a Class A misdemeanor and may result in a fine of $2,500 and up to one year in jail. Getting three or more CDS possession convictions is considered a Class E felony, which may result in a fine of up to $6,000 and one to five years in prison.

If you are facing a drug possession charge in Tennessee and want more information about how we may be able to help you avoid jail or prison time, contact the highly skilled and knowledgeable lawyers at Griffin & Davis, PLLC to discuss the charges against you and the options that are available to you. We will evaluate your case to ensure that we build the strongest defense possible to the charges you are facing.

Drug Manufacturing

Drug manufacturing is when an individual utilizes chemicals to create drugs. Certain drugs, such as methamphetamine, can only be created synthetically. Tennessee police officials thus often go after illegal drug manufacturing facilities in the hopes of getting certain drugs off the streets. If you are caught by police officials manufacturing drugs, you will be charged with a Class B Felony, which may increase if you have manufactured drugs near children.

Drug Trafficking/Possession of Drugs With Intention to Sell

Even if you possess drugs for personal use with no intention to sell them, if the drugs weigh more than a half-ounce, you will be charged with drug trafficking. Even if you have never sold drugs or been charged with a drug-related crime you may face a drug trafficking charge, which results in harsher penalties and longer jail times. An experienced lawyer from Griffin & Davis, PLLC can take several different approaches to build a strong defense to protect you against these charges. These are just a few of the defenses that may be used when fighting drug trafficking charges:

  • Lack of evidence that proves you intended to sell drugs;
  • Show that the drugs in your possession were for your own personal use; or
  • Show that the seizure of drugs was done illegally.

If you facing a potential drug trafficking charge, contact Griffin & Davis, PLLC to discuss your charges and find out what your options are.

Marijuana Laws in Tennessee

It is a crime to possess marijuana in Tennessee.  This is true even for medical purposes because Tennessee does not have laws legalizing medical marijuana use. This is classified as a Schedule IV drug and results in harsh penalties if you possess, sell, or use the drug. It is also illegal to exchange marijuana with others, even without selling or receiving payment. Even if it is your first conviction, you may a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year of prison time for possessing more than 0.5 ounces of marijuana.

If an individual has received three or more convictions for possession, the offense is treated as a felony and will result in fines of up to $5,000 and/or one to six years in prison.

Federal Drug Crime Attorney in Middle and Eastern District of Tennessee and Beyond

At Griffin & Davis, PLLC, we also handle federal criminal defense.  Our attorneys are admitted in the Middle and Eastern District of Tennessee.  However, we can also practice pro hace vice in other districts and states.  We especially have experience handling cases under the FIRST STEP Act.  This recent federal legislation stands for Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.  The Act retroactively applies the Fair Sentencing Act to qualified federal inmates.  Call us today and let us help you or loved one get the relief they deserve!

Drug Crime Attorney in Middle and Eastern Tennessee

Griffin & Davis, PLLC has a team of seven attorneys on-staff, with more than 40 years of combined criminal law experience. We have worked hard to build a reputable and hard-working law firm.  We pride ourselves on getting the very best outcome for every one of our clients. Our attorneys have helped countless Tennessee residents beat or at least reduce the serious drug charges they were facing. Contact us today to speak with one of our qualified and aggressive criminal defense lawyers at (931) 837-2050 or (865) 354-3333 today. We have offices located in Cumberland, Putnam, Roane, and White Counties to better serve your needs. Call us anytime!