A simple drug possession charge can turn out to be anything but simple. To keep a drug arrest from having potentially devastating complications, you should contact an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible.
At Breeding Olinzock Carter Crippen, we provide a strong defense for people who are charged with possession or sales of marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and crack cocaine, and heroin, as well as prescription drugs such as Xanax, hydrocodone, oxycodone and OxyContin.
Consequences Of A Drug Conviction
Possession of a small quantity of most drugs is a misdemeanor in Tennessee. However, even a misdemeanor drug conviction or guilty plea will result in a permanent criminal record that can affect eligibility for student loans, future employment, professional licensing and other areas of your life. A third offense for simple possession of drugs is a felony.
Depending on the quantity of drugs and how the drugs are packaged, charges can be increased to felony drug trafficking. If you are arrested within 1,000 feet of a school, church or day care facility, you could face the requirement to serve 100 percent of the jail time for the offense with no opportunity for probation or early parole. Cash and assets such as your home and car can be seized if police believe it was derived from or instrumental in drug sales.
The Tennessee Drug Free Youth Act provides for the revocation of driver’s licenses for alcohol and drug convictions of persons of ages 13 to 17. For a first offense, your driver’s license can be revoked for one year or until you reach age 17, whichever is longer. For a second offense, your driver’s license can be revoked for two years or until you reach 18, whichever is longer.
Defenses For Drug Charges
Defenses in drug cases often revolve around how police came in contact with you. Did police have probable cause to stop and search you? If the police did not have a reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime, the search and seizure can be challenged and the drug evidence may be suppressed. Did the police have a search warrant? If a search warrant is not properly supported or endorsed, it could result in evidence being suppressed and excluded and the charges eventually being dismissed.
For many drug charges, Tennessee offers first-offender programs, judicial diversion programs and expungement of arrest records.