Franklin Drug Crimes

The state of Tennessee imposes harsh penalties for drug crime convictions, including large prison sentences and steep fines. You could end up in jail for a seemingly simple drug possession charge. However, no matter how serious you feel your drug case is, working with an experienced Franklin drug crimes lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure a favorable outcome.

The drug crimes attorneys at Byron Pugh Legal will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether. Our team is often successful at persuading the criminal justice system to recommend counseling or treatment instead of incarceration. Call us today at 615-255-9595 to schedule a free consultation with us.

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Tennessee Drug Possession Laws

The illegal possession of any amount of a controlled substance may constitute a crime in Tennessee. The law defines controlled substances to include illegal drugs such as LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and other street drugs. Some pharmaceuticals used in medical treatment, such as steroids, sedatives, depressants, painkillers, etc. are also regulated as controlled substances.

The law categorizes controlled substances into drug schedules, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule VII. The scheduling of a controlled substance has an effect on the penalties a conviction may be subject to. A drug possession attorney in Franklin, TN can advise you on how the classification of the substance may affect your potential penalties.

Drug possession charges in Tennessee are classified as simple possession, possession with the intent to sell, or drug trafficking or manufacturing.

Simple possession

This refers to the unlawful possession of a controlled substance for personal use. The controlled substance should have been ideally under your control, such as on you in person, in your car, or your home. In most cases, simple possession is a misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Subsequent offenders or those found with more than half an ounce of a controlled substance, could have their charges elevated to a felony.

Possession with the intent to sell

Based on the amount of the controlled substance you’re found with, you might be charged with possession with the intent to sell, even if it wasn’t your intention to sell drugs. The prosecution typically uses the presence of items such as scales or bags to prove their case. Under Tennessee law, possession with intent to sell is a felony.

Drug manufacturing or trafficking

You could face manufacturing charges whether or not you intend to sell and distribute the drugs or keep them for personal use. Drug trafficking and manufacturing charges are handled based on both federal and state laws, along with the resulting penalties.

Several factors will be considered to establish whether the drugs were intended for personal use, sale, or distribution:

  • Amount of the drug – the higher the amount the more difficult it is to argue they were intended for personal use.
  • Huge sums of cash were found near the drugs.
  • The packaging of the drugs.

The presence of any other materials close to the drugs that would suggest distribution, selling, or manufacturing.

Of course, every case is different, and you want to discuss your case with a drug crimes attorney in Franklin, TN to learn more about your legal options.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

The laws governing drug crimes are complex. The specific charges along with the potential penalties are largely based on the schedule of the drug and the amount involved. Moreover, there are federal penalties that are assessed on a separate set of factors from state penalties.

Still, penalties may include incarceration, probation, and fines. Even first-time offenders could face penalties that include years of imprisonment and substantial fines as outlined below:

Simple possession and casual exchange: This is a misdemeanor charge that carries up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

Possession with intent to sell: This is a more serious charge, which is elevated to a felony. It carries penalties of 1 to 6 years imprisonment and fines.

Selling a controlled substance: This is a serious felony charge that applies to those found in possession with intent to sell more than one-half ounce of marijuana. Potential penalties include 15 to 60 years imprisonment if found with more than 300 pounds of marijuana.

Drug trafficking and conspiracy to traffic: The penalties here are quite substantial. Plus, if you’re found near state lines or a school, the penalties become even harsher.

Drug manufacturing or cultivation: Producing a controlled substance, whether by cultivation or manufacturing, is a felony, which carries mandatory minimum sentencing and hefty fines.

Keep in mind that some offenses will carry federal penalties based on the type of drug and the amount. If the defendant is found to be transporting drugs across state lines, or distributing drugs while in possession of a firearm, this is in violation of certain federal laws, and it could lead to multiple serious charges.

Federal penalties for drug crimes may be a lot harsher in terms of longer sentencing, heftier fines, and no parole. The experienced drug crimes lawyers at Byron Pugh Legal can thoroughly investigate your case, identify weak points in the prosecution’s case, and work to have your charges reduced or eliminated.

Nashville Drug Crimes

Knowing Your Legal Options For Drug Crime Defense

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Tennessee, the first thing you want to do is seek legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the nature of the charges brought against you, and develop a strategy to defend you.

There are several ways to defend a drug charge depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Here are some of the most common defenses used to fight drug charges:

Illegal search and seizure: Evidence is considered inadmissible if it was obtained through an unconstitutional search, such as without probable cause or a legal warrant.

Invalid traffic stop: any evidence obtained following an invalid traffic stop can be thrown out. There must have been a lawful cause for the initial stop.

No proof: For charges such as possession with the intent to distribute, the prosecution has to prove that you intended to sell the drugs. Lack of paraphernalia such as scales, baggies, ledgers, and cash could defeat this.

Entrapment: It’s illegal for law enforcement officers to coerce you into committing a drug crime that you would not have committed otherwise.

No knowledge of the drugs: You can’t be held legally in possession of drugs if you weren’t aware of their presence. For instance, if they were hidden in a borrowed car.

Mistaken identity: The police sometimes arrest the wrong person. An attorney could help you argue that you were misidentified as the perpetrator.

Illegal lab testing: Your attorney will examine the methods used by the drug lab to check for errors in the handling and testing of evidence that could potentially compromise the results.

Our drug crime defense team has decades of experience defending the rights of clients just like you, and helping them maintain their freedoms. We will discuss the charges against you in detail and give you realistic legal options for your defense.

How Can We Help?

From the moment you contact us, our team will go to work to build the strongest possible defenses against the charges brought against you. The following are some of the ways we can help:

Assessing the evidence: We will thoroughly go over the evidence collected by the prosecution, including any drugs, photos, videos, paraphernalia, statements, records, etc. to look for irregularities that could work for your case.

Challenging the search: If the police didn’t have probable cause for the search that led to your arrest, we could have the evidence thrown out.

Negotiating with the prosecution: Prosecutors are well aware that most drug cases have vulnerabilities. A lawyer might be able to negotiate with them to reduce or drop the charges in exchange for a plea.

Representing you in court: In case a plea deal doesn’t work, our team will fight for an acquittal during trial. We will present the strongest case possible and work to undermine the prosecution’s evidence.

Pursuing alternative penalties: if you’re found guilty, we can advocate for alternatives to imprisonment, such as community service, probation, rehabilitation programs, and more.

Our drug crimes attorneys have extensive experience dealing with Tennessee’s complex drug laws and sentencing guidelines. We can easily spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and build a strong defense to avoid you getting convicted or at least lower the penalties you could face.

Talk to a Franklin, TN Drug Crimes Lawyer Today

Being convicted of a drug crime could affect many areas of your life, besides the harsh penalties imposed by the court as punishment. It could limit your ability to access certain housing, employment opportunities, and even government aid. It could also affect your right to own firearms.

An experienced Franklin drug crimes lawyer can help you avoid a conviction and jail time, and set you up to have the record cleared in the future. Talk to the criminal defense lawyers at Byron Pugh Legal to set up a free consultation today.

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