Drug Crimes Attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2019, an estimated 1,558,862 arrests were made for drug law violations in the United States. Of these, 86.7% (1,351,533) were for possession of a controlled substance. In Tennessee, drug crimes may include simple possession, possession with intent to sell, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and sale of a controlled substance. If convicted of any of these drug crimes, the defendant could be facing lengthy prison time, substantial fines, a criminal record, and other potential social consequences.

If you are under investigation for a drug crime or if you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, it is paramount that you retain a highly-skilled and aggressive Tennessee criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and help strategize a strong defense. The Law Offices of Fisher Wise is committed to providing experienced legal guidance and comprehensive representation in drug law violation cases. As your legal counsel, I will fight vigorously to defend your rights and ensure that you receive fair treatment.

The Law Offices of Fisher Wise proudly represent clients throughout Chattanooga, Hamilton County, East Ridge, Red Bank, Soddy-Daisy, Bradley County, Bledsoe County, Marion County, Sequatchie County, and Rhea County Tennessee.

Federal Drug Crimes

Both federal and state drug laws prohibit the possession, sale, and manufacture of controlled substances. However, a drug crime may become a federal offense when:

  • The defendant was apprehended while committing the drug crime on federal property
  • The arrest was made by an undercover federal officer
  • The drug crime crossed from one state to another (for instance, drug trafficking)
  • The drug offense is considered more severe. Drug crimes such as drug manufacturing, trafficking, or intent to distribute are more likely to become federal charges.

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Drug Charges in Tennessee

In Tennessee, a person may be charged with any of the following drug-related offenses:

Simple Possession

Simple Possession or casual exchange is the lowest drug offense in Tennessee. According to Tennessee Code Section 39-17-418:

It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of professional practice.”

Simple possession is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Possession With Intent to Sell

In Tennessee, if the quantity of controlled substance found in your possession is considerably more than a reasonable amount meant for personal consumption or recreational use, you may be facing “possession with intent to sell” charges.

Sale of a Controlled Substance

A person may be charged for the sale of a controlled substance when a police officer has directly observed a drug sale or the drug sale involved an undercover law enforcement officer.

Drug Trafficking

An individual may be facing drug trafficking charges for transporting large amounts of controlled substances, especially across state lines. Transporting substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl in large quantities can easily lead to drug trafficking charges.

Drug Manufacturing

Drug manufacturing occurs when a person is involved in any process involved in producing or creating an illicit drug or controlled substance. Under Tennessee state laws, cultivating or manufacturing illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, is considered illegal.

Possession with intent to sell, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, and sale of a controlled substance are felony charges with serious penalties, including prison time, hefty fines, and a criminal record.

Drug Schedules

In Tennessee, controlled substances are classified into seven “schedules.” The schedule classifications are based on the level of dangerousness of the drug. They determine the level of charges and the potential consequences of a drug conviction. These schedule classifications are as follows:

Schedule I: These are substances with a high potential for abuse and no medical value. They include heroin, psychedelics, psilocybin mushrooms, and peyote.

Schedule II: These substances have a high potential for abuse and are severely restricted for medical purposes. They include opiates, cocaine, narcotics, methamphetamines, methadone, and amphetamines.

Schedule III: These drugs have a high potential for abuse but less dangerous than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs. They are severely restricted for medical use and treatment. They include some depressants, testosterone, anabolic steroids, and ketamine.

Schedule IV: These are substances with a slight risk of dependency but have numerous medical purposes. They include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, benzodiazepines, and other sedatives.

Schedule V: These include substances such as Tylenol and Codeine. They have a lower risk of dependency but may be abused from time to time.

Schedule VI: In Tennessee, marijuana is labeled as a Schedule VI drug. The substance has a low risk of physical dependency.

Schedule VII: This includes only butyl nitrate. The substance is known by several names, including locker room rush and poppers.

Possible Penalties: Sentencing by Schedules

According to Tennessee Code Section 39-17-417, the criminal penalties for selling, delivering, manufacturing, or possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture will depend on the schedule classifications and number of previous offenses.

Schedule I & Schedule II Substances

  • Purchase or possession, first offense: Imprisonment for between two and fifteen years.
  • Purchase or possession, second offense: Imprisonment for between five and thirty years.
  • Sale or intent to distribute, first offense: Imprisonment for between five and thirty years.
  • Sale or intent to distribute, second offense: Imprisonment for between ten and forty years OR life imprisonment.

Schedule III, Schedule IV, & Schedule V Substances

  • Purchase or possession, first offense: Imprisonment for between one and five years.
  • Purchase or possession, second offense: Imprisonment for between one and ten years.
  • Sale or intent to distribute, first offense: Imprisonment for between one and ten years.

Drug Charges Defense Attorney in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Drug crimes are serious offenses that are often punished severely in Tennessee. Defending your drug crimes charges without an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can increase your risk of suffering the maximum penalties if convicted. Therefore, when facing drug crime charges, it is important to retain a skilled Tennessee criminal defense attorney to help defend your rights and outline a strong legal defense strategy.

At the Law Offices of Fisher Wise, I have devoted my career to offering comprehensive legal representation in drug law violation matters. As a knowledgeable Tennessee drug crimes defense attorney, I will investigate every detail of your case, strategize an effective defense to establish a strong case, and do everything in my capacity to keep you out of jail. Using my extensive experience, I will help you navigate the Tennessee criminal justice system, fight vigorously to defend your rights, and improve your prospects of a favorable outcome.

Experienced Drug Charges Defense Attorney Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

Are you facing drug crime charges? Contact the Law Offices of Fisher Wise today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation. As your legal counsel, I will offer you the experienced legal guidance and aggressive representation you need and fight vigorously to refute the charges against you using substantial evidence. I’m proud to serve clients throughout Chattanooga, Hamilton County, East Ridge, Red Bank, Soddy-Daisy, Bradley County, Bledsoe County, Marion County, Sequatchie County, and Rhea County TN.