In Tennessee, lawmakers have enacted broad and aggressive legislation to combat opiate drug abuse within the state. Rigorous enforcement of opiate crime laws has led to many arrests in Davidson and Williamson Counties, with potentially harsh consequences. If you face prosecution for heroin or opiate-related offenses, you can defend against the charges with a Nashville opiate crime lawyer. Attorney Bernie McEvoy has the experience to protect your interests and work towards a favorable outcome in an opiate crime case.Tennessee Opiate Crimes
Opiates and opioids are a group of drugs that include heroin and other illegal street drugs, synthetic substances such as fentanyl, and pharmaceutical painkillers like hydrocodone, oxycodone, and morphine. Opiates are controlled substances, closely regulated by state and federal laws due to their addictive nature and potential for abuse. A few of the most commonly charged Tennessee opiate crimes are described below.Opiate Possession
Possessing an opiate drug is illegal in Tennessee, unless it was obtained lawfully with a valid prescription or from a health care practitioner. Simple possession and the causal exchange of an opiate drug between adults are generally Class A misdemeanor offenses. However, a violation may be elevated to a Class E felony in certain situations, such as a third heroin possession offense or a casual exchange to a minor from an adult two years older. The penalties for an opiate possession conviction may include incarceration, a fine, community service work at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center, mandatory participation in a drug offender school, and other penalties. An opiate crime attorney can help Nashville residents seek to avoid these consequences.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a related offense. If the defendant allegedly used or possessed drug paraphernalia with the intent to use it to inject an opiate drug into their body, store or conceal opiates, or for other illegal purposes under the statute, they may face a drug paraphernalia charge. Possession of drug paraphernalia for personal use is a Class A misdemeanor.Prescription Drug Fraud
Many opiate drugs are regularly prescribed by physicians or administered directly by healthcare professionals to treat and manage pain in patients. Obtaining or attempting to obtain an opiate drug by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or deception is a crime in Tennessee. Prescription drug fraud covers a broad range of illegal acts. A few examples of opiate prescription fraud may include forging a prescription for any opiate drug, changing the dosage or altering an otherwise valid prescription, and lying to a doctor in order to obtain opiates. Depending on the circumstances, prescription drug fraud may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Regardless of the classification, you should contact a Nashville opiate crime attorney if you have been charged with this type of crime.Charges for Opiate Dealing
Manufacturing, delivering, or selling opiates, or possessing them with the intent to do so, is a Tennessee felony crime. For most Schedule II opiate drugs, dealing is a Class C felony. A conviction may be publishable by a prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $100,000 for a first-time offense. Dealing heroin is a Class B felony with more severe penalties. The penalties for opiate dealing may be enhanced if the defendant carried a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense, the offense resulted the injury or death of another person, or the offense occurred in a Drug Free Zone.
When large amounts of opiates are involved in a drug dealing crime, the defendant may be prosecuted for trafficking. Trafficking is a Class B felony for Schedule II opiate drugs. The penalties imposed for an opiate dealing conviction depend on the quantity of drugs, and may include incarceration and a fine.Contact an Attorney in Nashville to Fight the Charges Against You
Defending against an opiate charge with help from a lawyer can make a positive difference. Attorney Bernie McEvoy represents people in opiate and drug possession cases throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties, including Franklin and Nashville. Contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy to schedule a free consultation with an opiate crime lawyer in Nashville. We are available online and by phone at (615) 255-9595 during the day and (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends.