Drug trafficking is a serious charge and can carry severe penalties. It may also be referred to as “possession with intent.” In order to prove a drug trafficking charge, evidence must be provided that there was an intent to manufacture, distribute or sell the drug that was knowingly in your possession.
In order to prove this intent, the amount of drugs in your possession and other factors at the time you were in possession of the illegal substance are taken into account. This said, it can be difficult to prove intent or that you were knowingly in possession of the drugs, and this is when you need the best Nashville drug trafficking defense lawyer.
The lack of intent is one of the greatest defenses against a drug trafficking charge. If you have been charged with a drug trafficking offense, contact our Nashville drug crimes defense lawyers at 615-627-4529 immediately to start building a defense against the charges.
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What Is the Difference Between a Drug Trafficking and Drug Possession Charge?
The main difference lies in the amount of drugs that were in your possession at the time of your arrest. If you only had a small amount of drugs on your person, in your vehicle, or home/premises, it can be assumed that it was for personal use. However, if you had a large amount of drugs in your possession, it can be assumed that you manufactured the substance or that you had the intent to distribute or sell the drugs.
There are specified limits for different types of substances that define whether you will be charged with simple possession or possession with intent (drug trafficking). For example, possession of more than 1 1/2 ounces of marijuana will result in trafficking charges. Of course, if you were caught in the act of manufacturing, selling, or distributing the illegal substance, then you will automatically be charged with drug trafficking.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Tennessee?
There are 2 main factors that are taken into account when deciding the applicable penalty for a trafficking conviction – the schedule of the illegal substance and the amount in weight of the drug in your possession. Drugs that are scheduled higher on the controlled substances list will carry tougher penalties. Marijuana, for example, has lower penalties than heroin.
If you are convicted of a drug trafficking offense, then the following penalties according to the weight of marijuana in your possession may be applicable:
- A conviction of a trafficking offense involving 0.5 oz. to 10 lbs. of m carries a sentence between 1 and 6 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- A drug trafficking conviction involving 10 to 70 lbs. of marijuana carries a 2 to 12-year sentence and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- A trafficking conviction involving 70 to 300 lbs. of marijuana carries a sentence of 8 to 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $200,000.
- Trafficking convictions involving over 300 lbs. of marijuana carry a prison sentence of 15 to 60 years, and a maximum fine of $500,000.
Other factors may also be taken into account when handing down a sentence for drug trafficking. Second or recurring offenses will carry higher penalties. If the offense occurred near a school or other institution where children may be present, then the penalties will be greater.
If you have been convicted of drug trafficking then you need to contact a Nashville drug trafficking defense attorney to help reduce the penalties that you face.
What Are Some of the Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties?
If you are caught transporting an illegal substance across state lines, you may face federal drug trafficking charges. These charges carry penalties that are more severe than state penalties. Once again, the schedule of the drug as well as the amount in your possession will be taken into account when sentencing is decided if you are convicted of drug trafficking at a federal level.
Penalties are as follows:
- Schedule V substances in any amount carry a prison sentence of up to 1 year and $100,000 in fines for a first offense.
- Schedule IV substances in any amount carry a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and up to $250,000 in fines for a first offense.
- Most Schedule III substances in any amount carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and fines up to $500,000 for a first offense.
- The penalties for Schedule I and II substances vary according to the type of substance as well as the amount that is in possession at the time of arrest. Trafficking these substances can result in life imprisonment and fines up to $75,000.
- Second and recurring offenses will carry higher penalties. If the offense resulted in serious bodily harm or death, the sentencing will be harsher.
If you have been arrested for carrying a controlled substance across state lines and are facing federal drug trafficking charges, contact Nash Law and our Nashville drug trafficking defense lawyers immediately.
How Can a Nashville Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer Help Me?
The first goal of a Nashville drug trafficking defense attorney is to get the charges against you dismissed. If your rights were infringed upon or the correct procedures were not followed in the search or arrest, your case can be dismissed. If not, your Nash Law attorney will build a defense to improve your chances of being found not guilty of the charges.
Your lawyer will also attempt to get the charges against your reduced. If there is any doubt about the amount of drugs or your intent, then the charges can be reduced to possession rather than possession with intent. If you are convicted, then your drug trafficking defense lawyer will do their utmost to reduce the penalties or sentencing.
Without a lawyer, it can be very difficult to defend against a drug trafficking charge. Law enforcement and the justice system in Tennessee take drug possession and trafficking charges extremely seriously and want to ensure that offenders get the maximum penalty.
Contact Our Nashville Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyers Today for a Free Case Evaluation
There are a variety of different ways in which a Nashville drug trafficking defense attorney can defend against drug trafficking charges using their knowledge of the law and their expertise. If you have been arrested for possession, possession with intent, or drug trafficking, contact Nash Law today to find out what your options are and ensure that you get the best legal representation possible.