Memphis Drug Crime Defense Attorney
Firm handles cases of alleged possession and sale
The Memphis Metro area has a drug crime rate of about 1.54 out of every 1,000 residents, but the war against controlled substances sometimes leads to wrongful accusations. Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law in Memphis represents clients throughout the area who have been charged with all types of drug crimes. My firm is dedicated to confronting authorities who use illegal methods to seize purported evidence of drug possession, distribution, manufacture and trafficking. No matter what led to your arrest, I am prepared to pursue the best possible result for you.
What controlled substances trigger drug charges in TN?
Tennessee law divides controlled substances into seven categories, known as schedules. This system classifies drugs by the danger they pose and their potential medical benefits, if any. Schedules I and II include the most hazardous drugs, including heroin, LSD and cocaine. Offenses involving these drugs carry the toughest sentences. Prescription drugs, anabolic steroids and various types of stimulants are depressants and fall with Schedules III-V. Punishments in cases related to these drugs are not quite as severe, but still run several years in many cases. Marijuana and other cannabis products make up Schedule VI, and Schedule VII is reserved for butyl nitrate products, sometimes referred to as “poppers.” Regardless of the specific substance or charge, my respected criminal defense firm has the knowledge and experience to advise you of the penalties you could face and develop a comprehensive legal strategy on your behalf.
How illegal searches and seizures affect drug prosecutions
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to be free of warrantless searches and seizures perpetrated by overzealous government authorities. This fundamental right is given strength by the exclusionary rule, which means that improperly collected evidence cannot be used at trial against a defendant. This often leaves the prosecution without a case. Determining whether law enforcement crossed a line can be a very complex question and police officers won’t tell you when they’ve cut corners. I know the tactics that are used in these cases and can dig beyond the official story to spot cases where the collection of drugs or paraphernalia merits a challenge in court.
Types of drug crimes
My firm handles a full range of cases associated with the alleged use and delivery of controlled substances, including:
- Possession — Someone who is caught holding a small amount of a controlled substance is subject to a simple possession charge. This is a Class A misdemeanor, which means that someone who is found guilty faces up to one year in jail. Charges are much more serious when the amount of a particular substance found or other evidence supports a possession with intention to sell charge. For example, if you have more than one-half ounce of marijuana, you will be charged as if you were caught selling the drug.
- Distribution and transportation — Delivery, manufacture and trafficking of a controlled substance is a felony. Sentences depend on the substance and amount involved. Distribution of a Schedule I drug such as heroin or LSD is a Class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 years. For cocaine and other Schedule II substances, trafficking more than a half gram is a Class B felony, while counts involving lesser amounts are Class C felonies.
- Driving under the influence of drugs — If you are impaired by any illegal or prescription drug while in control of a vehicle, you can be prosecuted for driving under the influence just as if you had been drinking alcohol. However, these cases might be more difficult for the authorities to prove because testing might not exist or be as reliable. Accordingly, evidence might rely on the subjective impressions of the reporting officer.
In these types of cases and others, you can count on my firm for aggressive advocacy and sound advice.
Alternatives to standard drug crimes and sentencing
As authorities have grown to realize that punishment is not necessarily the most effective way to stop drug-related crime, accused individuals have more and better options than in the past. Recovery Courts in Shelby County and throughout Tennessee use a multi-faceted approach to prevent recidivism among controlled substance offenders. If your case is assigned to this calendar, the court will oversee a program that could involve drug abuse treatment, periodic testing and community service. Wherever possible, I strive to the help the people I represent avoid incarceration and obtain a result that gives them the best chance to move forward successfully.
Contact a Tennessee drug crime defense lawyer to schedule a free consultation
Jack P. Sherman, Attorney at Law protects the rights of Tennessee clients accused of drug offenses. For a free consultation regarding your case, please call 901-233-3474 or contact me online. My office is in Memphis.