Many people are unaware that otherwise legal and everyday items may be considered drug paraphernalia under the right circumstances. A drug paraphernalia charge may carry harsh penalties for a conviction. If you are seeking assistance after an arrest for drug paraphernalia, Nashville drug crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy can review every possible option to help you beat the charges. Mr. McEvoy has successfully defended people in drug cases throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. He has the dedication and experience to develop strong arguments against the prosecution and protect your rights in a drug paraphernalia case.Drug Paraphernalia Crimes in Tennessee
Tennessee drug laws cover the use, possession, delivery, and manufacture of drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia is broadly defined by Tennessee law as any equipment, products, and materials that are used, intended to be used, or designed for use in certain activities involving controlled substances. These activities include planting, propagating, cultivating, manufacturing, producing, processing, preparing, testing, packaging, storing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, or inhaling a controlled substance, among other acts. Some objects commonly recognized as drug paraphernalia are pipes, bongs, syringes, plastic bags, and balloons.
Tennessee law provides a list of relevant factors that must be considered in determining whether a certain object is drug paraphernalia. These factors include statements by the defendant concerning the use of the object, any prior drug convictions of the defendant, and the presence of drug residue on the object.
It is a crime to use drug paraphernalia for any of the illicit purposes specified in the statute, or to possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it for these purposes. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee. If a defendant is convicted, the penalties may include a jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days, probation, a maximum fine of $2,500, and other costs. Tennessee imposes a mandatory minimum $150 fine for a first-time drug paraphernalia conviction, which is increased to $250 for any subsequent convictions of this offense.
Delivery of drug paraphernalia is a more serious criminal offense. In Tennessee, it is illegal to deliver, possess with the intent to deliver, or manufacture with the intent to deliver drug paraphernalia while knowing, or under circumstances in which it should be known, that it will be used in carrying out any of the drug-related activities provided in the statute. Delivery of drug paraphernalia is a Class E felony offense, carrying increased penalties for a conviction.Defense Strategies in a Drug Paraphernalia Case
Preparing an effective defense to a drug paraphernalia charge requires a defense attorney to gain a thorough understanding of the facts and allegations involved. If the item was seized in an unlawful police search, for example, the defense may argue in a motion to suppress that the prosecution cannot use it at trial. Other defense strategies in a drug paraphernalia case may include arguing that the defendant did not have the intent necessary to commit the crime, or that the prosecution lacks sufficient proof showing that the crime was committed beyond a reasonable doubt.
In many cases, drug paraphernalia is charged together with other drug offenses, such as drug possession or drug trafficking. If you are facing multiple charges, your defense lawyer may attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to resolve the overall case in your favor. Depending on the situation, one or more of the charges may be reduced or even dismissed. You can learn more about the defenses that may be available in your drug paraphernalia case by contacting a qualified drug crime attorney.Consult a Knowledgeable Drug Crime Lawyer in the Nashville Area
For many people, defending against a drug paraphernalia charge is necessary to avoid criminal penalties. Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy can assist people facing drug charges throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including in Nashville and Franklin. Arrange a consultation to discuss a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge by calling the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 during the day or (615) 804-8779 after hours, or submit our contact form online.