If you are accused of drug crimes and are convicted, there are some serious penalties that you could face. In Tennessee, drug crimes are sorted into categories. For some simple drug crimes, the crimes may be charged as misdemeanors. For more serious crimes, felony convictions are more likely.
Some of the drug charges that you could be convicted of in Tennessee include:
- Selling a controlled substance
- Possession of drugs
- Possession with the intent to sell
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking
All of these crimes could lead to significant penalties.
What are the potential penalties for drug crimes in the state?
Depending on the crime and the number of offenses a person commits, some of the penalties they could face include:
- Community service
- Prison time
- Forfeiture of property
- Suspensions of their driver’s license
Sentencing is done by schedule. For instance, purchasing or possessing a Schedule I or II substance could result in between two and 15 years in prison, while a second offense leads to between five and 30 years in prison.
With Schedule III, IV or V drugs, selling or intending to distribute the drugs leads to between one and 10 years in prison. On a first offense purchasing or possessing these controlled substances, a person could face up to five years in prison with a minimum of one year set by law.
The penalties for drug crimes are not all people have to worry about. On top of fines, imprisonment and other penalties, drug convictions could lead to job loss, problems in a family, difficulties at work or other impacts in the community. For this reason, it’s very important that anyone facing drug charges considers building a strong defense from the moment they know they’re under investigation.
How can defending yourself help?
If you defend yourself against the charges, there is the opportunity to reduce the penalties you could face. In some cases, altering the charges, such as getting possession with the intent to distribute dropped to simple possession, could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case and the penalties you may face upon conviction.