Drug Crimes

Contact the Knoxville, TN Lawyers at Stephens & DiRado, LLP.

Knoxville Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers

Defending Against Drug Crime Charges in Knox and Anderson Counties 

The penalties for a drug crime conviction in Tennessee are often severe. Even a first-time, misdemeanor offense for drug possession can result in up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. If you have been arrested or charged for a drug crime in Knox or Anderson Counties, do not wait to contact S|D Law for the representation you deserve. We have advocated tirelessly for the rights and freedoms of thousands of individuals. Our Knoxville drug crimes defense lawyers are at the ready to do the same for you. To discuss the details of your case and find out what our firm can offer, schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation. 

Call (855) 442-2817 or send us a message online. We represent clients in Knox and Anderson Counties. 


Tennessee Drug Charges 

In Tennessee, drug charges are grouped into five categories based on the type of drug and the nature of the offense. 

These categories include:

  1. Simple Possession: This is when a person is found to have a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, but the amount of the drug is small enough that it is likely not intended for distribution. 
  2. Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver: This is when an individual is found to have a controlled substance and there is evidence they intended to sell or distribute it to others. Examples of evidence include large quantities of the drug, packaging materials, and drug paraphernalia. 
  3. Sale of a Controlled Substance: This is when a person sells any quantity of a controlled substance.
  4. Drug Trafficking: This is when an individual is involved in the transportation, distribution, or sale of a volume of drugs anywhere between 0.5 oz to hundreds of pounds.
  5. Manufacturing or Cultivation: This is when a person participates in the production or cultivation of controlled substances. Examples of this offense include growing marijuana or manufacturing methamphetamine.

Penalties for Tennessee Drug Offenses 

The penalties for drug crimes in Tennessee range from misdemeanors to felonies. Simple possession is a misdemeanor and can result in up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. On the other end of the spectrum, a sale of a controlled substance is a felony and can lead to years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines, depending on the amount sold. 

Penalties for the other three types of charges are as follows: 

  • Possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell is a felony offense that can result in as little as a year in jail or up to 30 years. The fines for a conviction can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for the most severe offenses.
  • Drug trafficking is a felony in Tennessee. The penalties for this offense depend on the type of drug and the amount. Individuals who have been convicted of this crime can face years in prison and thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
  • Manufacturing or cultivating a controlled substance in our state is a felony. Penalties for this crime include years to decades of imprisonment and fines that, much like trafficking, can range from thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.  

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Common Mistakes When Facing Tennessee Drug Charges

When facing drug charges in Tennessee, individuals often make critical mistakes that can severely impact the outcome of their cases. Understanding these errors is crucial for anyone navigating the complexities of Tennessee drug laws and penalties.

  • Failing to Seek Legal Counsel Immediately: One of the most common and detrimental mistakes is not obtaining legal representation as soon as possible. Experienced Knoxville drug crimes defense lawyers can provide invaluable guidance and defense strategies from the outset. Without a lawyer, individuals may inadvertently waive their rights or make statements that can be used against them.
  • Talking to Law Enforcement Without a Lawyer Present: Many people mistakenly believe that cooperating fully and providing information to law enforcement will help their case. However, anything you say can and will be used against you in court. It's essential to have an attorney present to ensure your rights are protected during any interactions with law enforcement.
  • Ignoring Court Summons or Deadlines: Missing a court date or failing to meet legal deadlines can result in additional charges, fines, or even a warrant for your arrest. It is vital to stay on top of all legal requirements and appearances to avoid compounding your legal issues.
  • Assuming First-Time Offenses Are Not Serious: Regardless of whether it is a first-time offense, drug charges in Tennessee can carry severe penalties, including jail time and substantial fines. Underestimating the seriousness of the charges can lead to complacency and inadequate preparation for your defense.
  • Not Understanding Tennessee Drug Laws and Penalties: A lack of understanding of the legal landscape can be a significant disadvantage. Tennessee drug laws and penalties are complex and varied, depending on the type of drug and the nature of the offense. Failing to grasp these nuances can result in ineffective defense strategies and harsher penalties.
  • Neglecting to Consider Alternative Sentencing Options: In some cases, individuals may be eligible for alternative sentencing options such as drug treatment programs or probation. Not exploring these options can lead to unnecessarily harsh sentences. An experienced lawyer can help identify and pursue these alternatives, potentially reducing the severity of the penalties.

Avoiding these common mistakes can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. If you are facing drug charges in Tennessee, it is imperative to seek qualified legal assistance immediately and take proactive steps to protect your rights and future.

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