In Tennessee, selling drugs or a controlled substance is a felony crime. If you have been accused of a drug sales crime, you may be facing serious penalties. Defending against the charges with assistance from a Nashville drug crime attorney may help you to avoid a felony conviction or unnecessarily harsh sentence. Bernie McEvoy provides representation and legal advice to people facing criminal drug sales charges. He has advocated on behalf of defendants located throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, and understands the issues that may arise in drug sales cases.Overview of Tennessee Drug Sales Offenses
Controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and many prescribed medications are subject to regulation by Tennessee and federal laws. It is illegal to sell any controlled substance in Tennessee without proper legal authorization. A conviction for drug sales requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant sold a controlled substance, and that the defendant acted knowingly. The term “sale” as defined under Tennessee law means an offer and acceptance with actual or constructive delivery or transfer of drugs.
In some situations, the prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant sold drugs to get a felony conviction. If there is sufficient evidence, the prosecution may argue that the defendant intended to sell drugs in their possession. Tennessee law allows a jury to infer that the defendant intended to sell drugs based on the amount of drugs in the defendant’s possession, along with other relevant facts surrounding the arrest. However, the jury may likewise infer that the defendant did not intend to sell drugs found in their possession if the circumstances indicate a casual exchange of a small amount of drugs among individuals.Penalties for a Drug Sales Conviction
In Tennessee, crimes for illegal drug sales are typically felony offenses. The class of felony and the range of potential penalties for a conviction will depend on the schedule of the controlled substance, the quantity of drugs involved, whether the defendant has any prior drug convictions, and other factors. Generally, a felony drug conviction may be punishable by a sentence of imprisonment, probation, fine, restitution, and/or other penalties, along with the loss of some civil rights.
The defendant may be subject to enhanced penalties or mandatory minimum sentences in some drug sales cases. For example, if the drug sale allegedly occurred within 1,000 feet of certain places, such as a school, child care center, library, rec center, or park, a conviction is punishable one classification higher. In addition, drug sales that involve underage recipients may also be grounds for enhanced sentencing if convicted.Defenses to Drug Sales Charges
There may be defenses available that can avoid or mitigate the consequences of a drug sales conviction. A defense attorney can examine the facts surrounding an arrest, undercover police operation, or use of K-9 dogs to determine whether there are grounds for objection. If the police lacked probable cause for the arrest, or conducted an illegal search for drugs, the defense may argue that the evidence should be suppressed. Insufficient evidence may lead to the dismissal of a drug sales charge or provide leverage for the defense to negotiate a favorable plea deal.Contact a Drug Crime Defense Attorney Serving the Nashville Area
An experienced defense lawyer can protect your rights after an arrest and argue for a fair outcome in a drug sales case. Nashville lawyer Bernie McEvoy is committed to zealously advocating for his clients. Mr. McEvoy represents individuals who have been accused of drug sales and possession offenses in Davidson and Williamson Counties, particularly Nashville and Franklin. We also help people defend against DUIs and domestic violence charges. Set up your free consultation by contacting the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy. We are accessible by phone at (615) 255-9595 during business hours and (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or you can submit our website contact form online.