Drug convictions in Tennessee can result in various consequences, and the severity of these consequences often depends on factors such as the type and amount of the controlled substance involved, the defendant's criminal history, and whether the offense is classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
Drug crimes carry varying penalties depending on the seriousness of the controlled substance involved. These severity levels are broken down into different tiers, known as “drug schedules.” Tennessee recognizes several schedules, with the first comprising of the most dangerous substances and carrying the strictest penalties.
Schedule I Drugs
Schedule I drugs are deemed the most serious because of their risk for causing addiction and dependency, as well as the general lack of any legitimate medical purpose for the substance. Common examples include:
Any manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession with intent of a Schedule I drug is a Class B felony. As such, it carries a sentence of 8 to 12 years and a fine of up to $100,000. When the amount of the controlled substance exceeds a certain threshold – with the exact quantity depending on the type of drug – the fine is raised to a maximum of $200,000.
Schedule II Drugs
Schedule II drugs are abused frequently, and, when misused, can result in a severe psychological or physiological dependency. However, there are instances, albeit very few, in which the substances can be used for medical purposes. Drugs in this category include:
Manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent of cocaine or methamphetamine is a Class C or Class B felony depending on the quantity. If someone is found with:
Any manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent of other Schedule II drugs, or Schedule I drugs exceeding certain amounts depending on the exact substance, is a Class A felony punishable by 15 to 25 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000.
Schedule III Drugs
Schedule III drugs are less dangerous than Schedule II drugs, though they are still frequently abused. Drugs in this tier include:
Drug offenses involving Schedule III drugs are Class D felonies punishable by a prison sentence of two to four years and a fine of up to $50,000.
Schedule IV Drugs
Drugs under Schedule IV are often prescribed to help patients, but have a slight risk of dependency. This includes:
Drug crimes involving flunitrazepam are considered a Class C felony punishable by a prison sentence of three to six years and a fine of up to $100,000. Other Schedule IV drug offenses are Class D felonies punishable by a prison sentence of two to four years and a fine of up to $50,000.
Schedule V Drugs
Schedule V drugs are not typically addictive, but they too have a potential for abuse. They include medicines with limited amounts of codeine and opium. Any abuse of these drugs is a Class E felony punishable by one to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Schedule VI Drugs
Schedule VI drugs include marijuana, THC, and their synthetic equivalents. In Tennessee, marijuana is illegal for all medicinal and recreational use. The only exception is for high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oils for those who suffer from seizures.
The penalties for the manufacture, delivery, and possession with intent depend on the amount of drug involved. It could be punished as:
A defense lawyer will thoroughly evaluate the details of your case to identify potential legal defenses, weaknesses in the prosecution's case, or violations of your constitutional rights.
Providing legal advice tailored to your specific situation, explaining the charges against you, and guiding you through the legal process.
Negotiating with prosecutors to seek reduced charges, lesser penalties, or alternative resolutions such as diversion programs.
Crafting a robust defense strategy based on the circumstances of your case, which may include challenging evidence, questioning the legality of searches, or disputing the validity of witness testimony.
Working to minimize the potential consequences, such as reducing jail time, fines, or other penalties associated with the theft conviction.
Vigilantly protecting your constitutional rights throughout the legal process, ensuring that law enforcement and the prosecution adhere to proper procedures.
If you have a pending drug charge in Nashville, or the Middle Tennessee area, and want a strong criminal defense attorney who will fight for you and your rights, then contact Provenzano Law today for a free consultation.
Contact Provenzano Law today, and let's start building your defense.