Drug possession is one of the most commonly charged offenses in Tennessee. Although the penalties are typically not as severe as for other drug crimes, having a conviction on your criminal record should be avoided if possible. Nashville drug possession lawyer Bernie McEvoy has represented many people in Davidson and Williamson Counties in these cases. He understands how the prosecution evaluates and presents its evidence before the court, and he can shape a defense strategy that suits the needs of his client. If you have been arrested for drug possession or another drug offense, such as drug trafficking, Attorney McEvoy can explain the options and work to obtain a satisfactory outcome.Tennessee Drug Possession Offenses
Illegally possessing any amount of a controlled substance may constitute a crime in Tennessee. Controlled substances are defined by law to include illicit drugs, such as heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and other street drugs. Currently, marijuana is a controlled substance that is not legal in any form in Tennessee. Pharmaceuticals used for medical treatment, such as sedatives, tranquilizers, depressants, steroids, painkillers, prescription pills, and other medications, are also regulated as controlled substances under state and federal laws.
Controlled substances are organized according to drug schedules ranging from Schedule I to Schedule VII. The schedule of a controlled substance may have an effect on the penalties that are involved. A drug possession attorney can advise Nashville residents on how the classification of the substance in their case may affect their potential penalties.
In Tennessee, it is illegal to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance, unless it was obtained directly through a valid prescription. Distribution of under one-half ounce of marijuana also falls under the offense of simple possession. For most first-time offenders, simple possession is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. In addition, a person convicted of simple possession may be required to attend a drug offender school or perform community service work in addition to the sentence.
Penalties for simple possession may be increased in some situations. If the defendant already has two prior convictions for simple possession, a third violation is a Class E felony. Additionally, if the casual exchange was to a minor from an adult more than two years older than the minor, and the adult knew that the person was a minor, the offense is punished as a felony. If a large enough amount of the drug is found, the defendant may be charged with possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell, which is a very serious felony offense. Depending on the circumstances of the case, there may be other charges that accompany a drug possession offense, such as a drug paraphernalia or DUI charge.Defend Against Drug Possession Charges
An experienced Nashville drug possession attorney understands that analyzing the facts of a case and scrutinizing the prosecution’s evidence can lead to a strong defense. The circumstances of the initial arrest are often taken into consideration. If drugs were obtained through police misconduct, such as an illegal search, seizure, or traffic stop, the evidence could be excluded from court. Additional evidence may also reveal that the drugs did not belong to the defendant but were simply found in a nearby area. In that situation, there may be a good argument that the defendant did not knowingly possess them. A skilled defense lawyer can expose flaws in the prosecution’s case and work to have the charges thrown out or reduced.Discuss Your Case with a Drug Possession Lawyer in Nashville
Fighting a drug possession charge with assistance from a criminal defense attorney may help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Defense lawyer Bernie McEvoy approaches each case with the goal to obtain the best possible outcome for his client. With 25 years of criminal law experience, he can provide skilled defense representation to residents of Nashville, Franklin, and other communities in Davidson and Williamson Counties. To request a free consultation, call the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after hours, or you can also submit the contact form on our website. We also assist people facing charges of sex crimes or other offenses.