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Harsh Penalties for Drug Convictions in Tennessee

 Posted on August 26,2021 in Drug Crimes

Knoxville criminal defense for drug crimesAccording to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), approximately 80 percent of crimes in Tennessee are in some way connected to drugs. Tennessee has some of the harshest penalties for drug crimes in the country. Even a charge like simple possession can result in jail time if you are convicted. Anyone who has been charged with a drug offense should contact a Knoxville defense attorney for help in defending against the charges.

Serious Drug Issues

The TBI also estimates that at any given time, there are 800 or more methamphetamine labs in operation in the state. Although the use of methamphetamine has decreased, the use of heroin has spiked again. Even more alarming is that the heroin being sold in Tennessee is often laced with fentanyl, a dangerous and powerful synthetic opioid that is supposed to only be prescribed to patients dealing with severe pain. Pure fentanyl is so powerful and so dangerous that it can kill a person if even just a small amount is absorbed through the skin.

Prescription drug use is also a criminal issue in the state. Tennessee ranks third in the U.S. for prescription drug abuse. In recent studies, more than 70 percent of participants admitted to using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons that they obtained from a family member or friend. People who become addicted to these drugs often find themselves facing some kind of criminal charges for drug-related crimes, often convicted and sentenced to jail.

Penalties for Drug Crimes in Tennessee

There are several types of drug charges a person can be arrested for in the state:

  • Simple possession

  • Sale or possession with intent to sell

  • Drug manufacturing

  • Drug trafficking

Although simple possession may seem like a minor offense, the penalties if convicted are anything but. It is a misdemeanor offense, which means a conviction could result in up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.

Sale or possession with intent to sell are charged as felonies. The more drugs in the person’s possession, the harsher the penalties for conviction:

  • Up to 10 pounds is a Class E felony and a conviction means one to six years in prison.

  • Ten pounds up to 70 pounds is a Class D felony and a conviction means two to 12 years in prison.

  • Seventy pounds up to 300 pounds is a Class C felony and a conviction means three to 15 years in prison.

  • More than three hundred pounds is a Class B felony and a conviction means eight to 30 years in prison.

Penalties for drug manufacturing and drug trafficking are also severe and are determined by the type of drug the person is accused of manufacturing or trafficking. There may also be federal charges involved, depending on the circumstances.

Let a Knox County Defense Attorney Help

If you have been charged with any kind of drug-related crime, you could be facing serious penalties, as well as a significant negative impact on your future if convicted. Call Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with Attorney Jeffrey Coller, a dedicated Knoxville, TX drug crimes attorney who will work diligently to make sure your legal rights are protected.





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