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What Drug Crimes Are Felonies?

Under Tennessee law, all drug crimes are classified as felonies except for simple possession, which is different from possession with the intent to sell. For a first-time simple possession offense, it is usually a class A misdemeanor, regardless of the drug involved, including marijuana, which is still illegal in the state. Penalties include up to a year of jail time, a fine not exceeding $2,500, and completing a drug education program or community service.

However, it is vital to note that simple possession may be charged as a felony if any of the following is true:

  • You possessed more than 14.175 grams or half an ounce of marijuana.
  • You have a prior conviction for simple possession, and your current offense involves heroin.
  • You exchanged the drug with a minor, knowing the person was a minor and you were two years older than them.

The penalties include one to six years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Regardless of the drug charge you are facing, it is in your best interest to discuss your case with an experienced Nashville, TN, drug crimes attorney to start building your defense right away.

You May Be Charged With a Felony for These Drug Crimes

As mentioned, the only non-felony drug crime is simple possession. The following are all felony drug crimes:

  • Selling controlled substances
  • Delivering controlled substances
  • Manufacturing controlled substances
  • Drug trafficking: where the offender has drugs with the intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture drugs.

You should also know that the specific drug crime you can be charged with and its penalties will be based on the amount and type of controlled substance involved and whether your case will be prosecuted by the state or federal court. Courts use drug schedules to determine how a drug crime should be prosecuted. For instance, for possession of Schedule III drugs, such as Valium, Xanax, or anabolic steroids, you face imprisonment of one up to five years if it’s your first offense or one up to 10 years if it’s your second offense.

However, for possession of Schedule II drugs, such as methamphetamines, cocaine, and opioids, and Schedule I drugs, including psychedelics and heroin, you face two up to 15 years in prison if it’s your first offense and five to 30 years if it’s your second offense. For intent to sell or distribute, you face five to 30 years in prison for a first offense or 10 to 40 years for a second offense. A life sentence is also possible, depending on the situation.

Depending on your specific charge, you may also have to pay a fine of $5,000 up to $500,000. In addition, you may have your driver’s license suspended or revoked, do community service or probation, attend a drug education, and have your properties and assets seized.

Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge for a drug crime, you will need a Nashville, TN, drug crimes attorney to represent you in court and secure the best possible results for your specific situation. At Andrew C. Beasley, PLLC, our Nashville, TN, drug crimes attorney will work relentlessly to craft a robust defense strategy and guide you throughout the entire legal process. To set up your free case review with our Nashville, TN, drug crimes attorney, please call 615-620-5803 or fill out our online contact form.

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