To combat Tennessee’s growing heroin epidemic, the state has responded with some of the most strict and aggressive narcotics laws in the nation. Prosecutors in areas throughout Tennessee, including Davidson and Williamson Counties, vigorously pursue convictions against defendants in heroin cases. If you have been arrested for a heroin crime, retaining a dedicated attorney to protect your rights has never been more important. Nashville heroin crime lawyer Bernie McEvoy has the experience to handle serious charges and the knowledge to guide you through the legal proceedings. He also represents people facing charges involving cocaine and other controlled substances.Types of Heroin Crimes
In Tennessee, heroin is listed as a Schedule I drug, a classification reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. As a result, it is illegal to knowingly possess or casually exchange heroin in Tennessee. A person may be arrested for simple possession if they have less than 15 grams of heroin with them or somewhere under their control, such as a locker or car. A casual exchange under Tennessee law means passing on to another person a small amount of heroin that is less than 15 grams, spontaneously and without design. Receiving money for the heroin does not preclude a transaction from being a casual exchange. Instead, the most significant factors defining a casual exchange are a small amount of heroin and circumstances that do not indicate any intent to sell heroin, which is a more serious crime.
Possession and casual exchange are generally Class A misdemeanor offenses, unless they are elevated or mitigated by certain factors. However, you still should retain a heroin crime attorney in the Nashville area to fight these charges and try to keep your record clean. If the current violation involves heroin, and the defendant has two prior convictions for possession or casual exchange, meanwhile, the defendant may be charged with a Class E felony. A casual exchange may also be increased to a felony offense if an adult passes on heroin to someone whom they know to be a minor, and the minor is at least two years younger than the adult.
Selling, manufacturing, or delivering heroin is a felony offense in Tennessee. Moreover, intending to conduct any of these activities is also a felony. Consequently, a person who is found with 15 or more grams of heroin may be charged for possession with intent to sell, which is a Class B felony. In a possession with intent to sell case, the prosecution has the burden to prove that the defendant intended to sell the heroin. The prosecution may present evidence recovered at the scene, like scales, large sums of cash, individual quantities of packaged heroin, and other items typically used to sell heroin. If the defendant is convicted, possession with intent to sell heroin can result in criminal penalties that are as severe as selling heroin.
Tennessee has enacted laws that impose tough penalties for heroin-related felonies. A Nashville heroin crime attorney can explain their nuances in more detail. In some cases, a defendant may be subject to federal charges as well, particularly when heroin crosses state or foreign boundaries or is found in an amount that may qualify as trafficking.
Heroin is a highly addictive street drug derived from morphine. Breaking the cycle of addiction may be possible, however, by using drug treatment services. In Tennessee, some non-violent defendants with heroin abuse issues may be eligible to enroll in a Recovery Court and undergo a treatment program in lieu of jail time. To learn more about this opportunity, you should discuss the facts of your situation with a knowledgeable criminal attorney.Hire a Heroin Crime Lawyer in Nashville to Fight Your Charge
Nashville attorney Bernie McEvoy has more than 25 years of criminal law experience as a defense lawyer and a former assistant district attorney. He can provide thorough and knowledgeable legal advice to people in Davidson and Williamson Counties. If you have been arrested for a crime involving heroin, cocaine, marijuana, or another drug, schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy. Call us at (615) 255-9595 or after hours at (615) 804-8779, or submit the contact form on our website.