International General Counsel Awards
Modern Law Awards 204
TACDL ...wherever justice demands
Tennessee Bar Association

Synthetic Drug Offenses

Nashville Defense Lawyer Helping Individuals Fight Criminal Prosecution

Synthetic drugs are more accessible than ever, typically marketed as available alternatives to illegal drugs. They are widely known as bath salts, spice, K2, flakka, plant food, and many other names. Criminal charges related to synthetic drug offenses can be complicated, and the knowledge of an experienced Nashville drug crime attorney may help you understand your options, whether the alleged offense involved possession, production, trafficking, or other acts. If you have been arrested on synthetic drug charges in Davidson or Williamson County, Attorney Bernie McEvoy has the skill to help you protect your rights and defend against a conviction.

Synthetic Drug Information

Synthetic drugs are man-made, chemical compounds of enhanced drugs. First developed in the early 2000s, they are made to mimic the hallucinogenic and simulative properties of illegal drugs such as marijuana, methamphetamines, and ecstasy. Synthetic drugs, however, are generally more potent and less predictable than their original counterparts. The side effects of these compounds can create severe paranoia, causing the users to harm themselves or others. They may also be fatal.

Synthetic drugs are usually sold in deceptive packaging with phony instructions and misleading names, in order to evade laws that would otherwise make their sale illegal. They are often labeled as “not for human consumption” and marketed as plant food, herbal incense, potpourri, or jewelry cleaner. With this packaging, synthetic drugs can be sold over-the-counter at retail and convenience stores and head shops to people who believe they are legal. More commonly, synthetic drugs are purchased online.

Tennessee Synthetic Drug Offenses

Public health concerns regarding the danger of synthetic drugs and their availability have prompted lawmakers to address the problem. However, because synthetic drugs can be made from literally hundreds of otherwise legal chemical compounds, they are difficult to regulate. Despite federal and state laws explicitly banning many of the specific compounds that have been used to make synthetic drugs, the manufacturers of these drugs are continually adapting their ingredients to escape regulation. This has led Tennessee to enact broad legislation covering any number of unnamed substances in an attempt to stay ahead of synthetic drug manufacturers. Now, rather than defining prohibited substances by their chemical compositions, recent Tennessee laws attempt to define them by their effects on users.

Synthetic marijuana, salvia, and other synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as marijuana alternatives and sold under names such as Spice, K2, JH/Kush, Diablo, Black Mamba, and SenorLoko. In Tennessee, it is a criminal offense to knowingly produce, manufacture, distribute, possess, or possess with intent to produce, manufacture, or distribute the active chemical ingredient in salvia, as well as almost twenty other synthetic cannabinoids identified in the statute. A first-time violation is a Class D felony with a possible jail sentence of 2 to 4 years and up to a $50,000 fine. Subsequent violations are Class C felony offenses punishable by 3 to 6 years in jail and a maximum $100,000 fine. These penalties may be increased if the violation involved a minor.

Certain chemical compounds used in synthetic drugs have been prohibited by name under Tennessee law. Other synthetic drugs are regulated as imitation controlled substances or controlled substance analogues. In Tennessee, the manufacture, distribution, or possession with intent of imitation controlled substances is a Class E felony that carries a possible jail sentence of 1 to 2 years and fine between $2,000 and $5,000. Manufacturing or selling controlled substance analogues is a more serious Class D felony. Ingesting or consuming an imitation controlled substance, and the possession or casual exchange of a controlled substance analogue are Class A misdemeanors, punishable by 11 months 29 days in jail and fine of $250 to $2,500.

Retain a Nashville Attorney for Synthetic Drug Crime Charges

If you are facing criminal charges for a synthetic drug offense, Nashville defense lawyer Bernie McEvoy has the dedication and legal knowledge to assist you. In addition to Nashville and Franklin, Attorney McEvoy can represent people throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. Request a consultation today by calling the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 after business hours, or contacting us online.

Client Reviews
“Bernie McEvoy was very focused on learning all the facts of the case I brought to him. He represented me with the highest of professionalism. He is a great listener who knows how to formulate a plan of action and seek the best possible solution.” Larry M.
“From the moment I met Mr. McEvoy, he welcomed me as a client and provided excellent representation. He has compassion for each person and works diligently to provided the best possible results.” Lawrence E.
“We hired Bernie for a criminal defense case. Overall we were pleased with the outcome. I would recommend Mr. McEvoy. He is very pleasant to work with and works “for” you, not the system. Thanks Bernie!” Taffney H.