Concerns have been raised about whether the drug laws in Tennessee, including those governing heroin-related crimes, are too strict. However, the laws are still on the books, and the reality is that if you face a drug crime accusation in the state, you can expect stiff penalties if a conviction happens in your case.
Fortunately, just because you face a heroin-related charge does not mean you are immediately guilty. Instead, the government has to prove your charge beyond a reasonable doubt before you can face a conviction, which leads to time behind bars and fines for both misdemeanors and felonies. The penalties might range from as few as six months in prison to 60 years behind bars, with fines potentially reaching half a million dollars.
What does the law say about possessing heroin in Tennessee?
TV and movies have glamorized the use and trade of drugs over the years. However, the sale, use and possession of heroin remains illicit according to both state and federal laws. Regarding the possession of this drug, Tennessee law stipulates that having or casually exchanging under half an ounce of the drug is generally a Class A misdemeanor. However, if an adult gives the drug to a minor and the adult is two years older, then the charge is a felony.
Those arrested on heroin charges while having at least two previous convictions for a Class A misdemeanor face a Class E felony charge. Meanwhile, a Class C felony charge — and a potential fine of a whopping $100,000 — is possible for a subsequent offense involving less than half a gram of heroin. A Class B felony charge is possible for a repeat offense involving half a gram or less if death or injury occurred in connection with the crime.
What does the law say about the sale of heroin?
Selling heroin can lead to a Class B felony charge and a possible fine of $100,000. However, if you sell more than 15 grams of the drug, you will still face a Class B felony charge, but your fine may jump to as high as $200,000. Meanwhile, selling more than 150 grams of heroin is a Class A felony and may lead to a much larger $500,000 fine.
If you face a heroin-related charge, you have the right to fight this charge at trial. A qualified attorney will scrutinize the prosecution's evidence with the goal of finding weaknesses in it. The attorney's ultimate goal is to help you to achieve the most personally favorable outcome considering the circumstances surrounding your criminal case.