A 2018 report reveals that Knoxville witnessed a 20% increase in cocaine deaths.
Whereas, a few years ago, the Knoxville police claimed that 90% of the city’s crimes were attributed to illegal drugs.
Getting arrested on drug charges can be devastating, wreaking havoc on your personal and professional life. The skilled criminal lawyers in Knoxville, TN, are known to fight for clients accused of drug-related crimes. Here are a few aspects to know before you approach a drug crime lawyer.
Charges in a Drug Crime
Knoxville adheres to the Tennessee Drug Control Act, and according to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-417, it is an offense if you knowingly:
- Possess a controlled substance
- Manufacture drugs
- Traffic or distribute drugs
- Possess a drug with an intent to sell
A Knoxville criminal lawyer will defend you, irrespective of the drug-related offense, and work on your legal options.
Penalties for Possession of Various Drugs
The penalties for possession in Knoxville vary with the drug. For instance, if arrested for possessing half an ounce of marijuana, you could face up to a one-year jail term or $250 in fines.
In the case of heroin, selling is a felony offense. You may have to pay $100,000 in fines and lose your car license.
Criminal Lawyers in Knoxville, TN, ensure that you get the least possible penalty in the case of your conviction. They are excellent at putting forth reasonable arguments that work well in reducing your punishment.
Enhanced Penalties for Drug-free School Zone
In 1995, the state enacted a drug-free school zone statute, and Knoxville adheres to it. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-432, there will be harsh penalties for committing a drug crime within 1,000 feet from a school, parks, or library.
To understand this law’s severity, let’s say you get caught with half a gram of cocaine, 1,002 feet away from the Fountain City Lake and Park. You could end up behind bars for more than two years. Whereas, if you fall within a 1,000 feet radius, you can get a minimum of 15 years of imprisonment.
Last year, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill reforming its harsh drug-free school zone laws, shrinking 1,000 feet to 500 feet.
However, a criminal lawyer’s legal representation is a good option to avoid or reduce the draconian penalties applicable to such drug crimes.
Protecting Your Constitutional Rights
Knoxville follows the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, ensuring your right to be free from unreasonable searches. The city police need a court warrant to search your property.
The criminal lawyers in Knoxville, TN, review the police actions to find any potential violations of your rights. If they find the Fourth Amendment violated, they skillfully prove the drugs seized as inadmissible in the court.
Consequences of a Drug Conviction in Knoxville
Possession of a small quantity of most illegal drugs is a criminal offense in Knoxville. However, a drug conviction will be a permanent criminal record, affecting your eligibility for student loans, future employment, and professional licensing.
Furthermore, Knoxville abides by the Tennessee Drug-Free Youth Act, which allows the driver’s licenses revocation for drug convictions of juveniles, aged between 13 and 17.
Hiring an Attorney
A Knoxville criminal lawyer is well-versed with the latest state law associated with every drug crime lawsuit scenario. For instance, if your case involves counterfeit controlled substances, they know that Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-423 outlines the rules and charges for such cases.
Accordingly, they guide you in collecting the required supporting documents, investigating your case, and reducing your penalties.
Recent reports reveal an increase in Knoxville’s drug overdose cases, with over 800 OD calls last year. Besides, as a first-time drug offender in Knoxville, you could face a minimum of one-year imprisonment and fines up to $2,500. If ever charged with a drug crime, hire a criminal lawyer to avoid severe penalties advocated by Tennessee law.