Tennessee, like many states in the area, has particularly stringent drug crime laws and penalties. Contingent on the nature of the charges, an accused person may be charged with a felony crime that can result in decades of prison time. Even medicinal drugs such as marijuana, which has become legal in many states, carry harsh penalties for possession in the state.
Even once someone completes their sentence, they may have trouble finding employment, obtaining custody of their children, and acquiring affordable housing. Sometimes, a convicted person may not be allowed to obtain a lease or purchase property at all.
Due to the conservative outlook on illegal substances in the state, courts offer little leniency for related allegations. Because of this, it is often crucial to work with an aggressive criminal defense attorney. Obtaining legal representation from an experienced Columbia drug lawyer may be your best chance at overcoming or mitigating charges.
Types of Illegal Substance Crimes in Columbia
Drug laws in the state can be challenging to interpret, which is why it could be necessary to enlist the skills of a well-trained Columbia drug attorney. Without experience and knowledge of the law, accused parties may be surprised to face multiple charges for what may seem like one act of possession.
Based on the substances involved, the same act can yield widely different results. For example, a person may have marijuana and drug paraphernalia in their possession. In this instance, that person would be charged with possession of an illicit drug, and a paraphernalia charge. Any items that are used in conjunction with the use or production of substances are considered paraphernalia and carry a separate charge.
Trafficking and Manufacturing Charges
The amount of a drug a person has in their possession may result in a trafficking charge due to perception of the intent to distribute. Charges involving the manufacturing of drugs carry the most severe penalties.
Penalties for Drug Offenses
Penalties are based on the amount and type of substance. For example, simple possession, which is less than half an ounce, is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum of $2,500 in fines.
Once a person is charged with possession of more than half an ounce of any illicit drug, simple possession rises to a felony-level crime. This is based on an automatically attached “intent to sell” classification. Depending on the classification of the substances involved, an accused party may face jail sentences of up to 30 years.
In any case, the penalties for illegal substance crimes are generally severe enough to enlist the help of a Columbia attorney familiar with these types of cases.
Call a Columbia Drug Attorney Today
These crimes are serious allegations, and therefore, require an unshakeable defense team to protect your rights and innocence. Schedule a consultation with a Columbia drug lawyer today to get a comprehensive review of your case. Do not surrender your freedom and finances without a fight, call our office today.