Many people may think of drugs as a problem that only affects large cities, but authorities in West Tennessee have put paid to that perception with a sweeping, year-long, multi-agency operation across several counties to disrupt what they report to be a large, rural-based drug trafficking organization. As of last week, the operation has resulted in 19 indictments as well as 14 additional arrests.
An accusation involving drugs in Tennessee could carry with it some serious consequences. There are many different types of offenses, and the penalties for nearly all of them are among the strictest available to the courts.
In Tennessee, drug charges can come in many forms and it is important for people to understand the difference among these charges. One charge someone might face is the intent to distribute.
You understand the severity of being pulled over with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, so you are careful never to get behind the wheel after drinking too much. However, you and other Tennessee residents may be unclear as to whether there may be criminal repercussions for driving after taking a legal prescription or over-the-counter drug.
Tennessee takes drug crimes seriously. Should prosecutors convict you any type of drug crime, you could face very serious consequences, including a substantial jail or prison sentence and/or a large fine.
In Tennessee, possession of drug paraphernalia is a separate criminal charge usually associated with a charge of drug possession, production, intent to sell, etc. Per Section 39-17-425 of the Tennessee Code, personal possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty for conviction of which is a jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, the conviction is for possession with the intent to sell or deliver illegal drugs, this is a Class E felony, the penalty for which is a prison sentence of up to two years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
At the Law Office of Rob McKinney, we understand that there are serious drug charges that can make others seem minor in comparison. However, we know that any charge is serious, especially if you didn’t realize you might be committing a crime. Like many Tennessee residents, you might not give a second thought to handing a prescription pill to a friend or family member if you think it could help, but this might get you in legal trouble.
When a doctor identifies the medication that finally makes a difference for a person diagnosed with ADHD in Tennessee, it can lead to a huge improvement in the quality of life for the patient. People who rely on their medications to function well are often careful to take them at the right times and in the right doses. This could mean having the prescriptions with them when they are away from home.
Being charged with drug possession in Tennessee is no laughing matter. Depending on the quantity of drugs the prosecutor alleges you possessed, you could face stiff penalties if convicted. To convict you, however, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the drugs were yours. If officers found them in your pocket, that is pretty straightforward. But what if they found them in the unlocked console of your car and the car was occupied not only by you, but also by three passengers? Now it is not so straightforward. Whose drugs were they?