Drug Crimes

Seasoned Knoxville Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Fight 2 Win

Trusted criminal law counsel for clients in Maryville, Sevierville, Clinton, Lenoir City & Loudon

A drug crime conviction can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life. At Banks and Jones, we fight to defend clients accused of possessing, selling, trafficking and manufacturing narcotics in the Knoxville area. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, you may feel anxious, frustrated and worried. Our firm comprises an experienced team of defense attorneys who can provide you with fearless representation. Regardless of how tough your case appears to be, we are up for the challenge — our lawyers have a reputation for successfully handling cases that other firms turn down.

Why should I hire an attorney when the public defender is free?

Common drug crime charges in Tennessee

Whether the police arrest you for possessing a small amount of marijuana or for selling a large quantity of cocaine, you need experienced and competent legal help. Our criminal defense attorneys regularly represent clients facing drug crime charges. When it comes to protecting your rights, we are ruthless. The moment you retain our services — whether it’s immediately after your arrest or right before your trial — our legal team moves swiftly to defend you. At Banks and Jones, we frequently represent clients arrested for drug crimes in Knoxville, including:

  • Marijuana. If you’re convicted of possessing half an ounce of marijuana, you face up to one year in jail and $250 in fines. The cultivation of 10 plants or less or the sale of one-half of an ounce of marijuana is a felony punishable by between one and six years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
  • Cocaine. Possession of less than 0.5 grams of cocaine is a Class C felony punishable by between 8 and 30 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Keep in mind that if you’re convicted of selling cocaine, you also face between 8 and 30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
  • Methamphetamines. For your first arrest for possession of methamphetamines, you could face one year in jail and $2,500 in fines. If the police arrest you for manufacturing, delivering or selling meth, you may be charged with a Class B felony and face a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Also, you must pay up to $100,000 in fines.
  • Heroin. Selling heroin = felony offense. Period. You’re looking at time in prison, thousands in fines – potentially up to $100,000 per count ­– potential loss of license and/or forfeiture of your car: the list goes on and on. Possessing a small amount of heroin is still a misdemeanor in Tennessee, but the minute it changes hands, it’s a felony crime.
  • Prescription drugs. We are in the grips of an opioid crisis. While most of the problems stem from heroin and illegal fentanyl, selling or distributing prescription pills – whether they’re opioids or not – is still illegal. In some cases, you could face federal felony charges for fraud, with serious time spent in federal prisons, and tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines.

Drug-free school zone enhancement

Tennessee enacted a drug-free school zone statute in 1995. This law allows the state to add harsh additional penalties to anyone arrested for committing a drug crime on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of a public or private elementary school, middle school, secondary school, preschool, childcare agency, public library or recreational center, such as a public park.

To show just how draconian the problem is, consider this: if you get caught selling half a gram of cocaine 1,001 feet away from a school, the minimum punishment is 2.5 years in prison. If you get caught doing the same thing within 1,000 feet of a school, the mandatory minimum is fifteen years.

For the sake of comparison, criminally negligent homicide carries a maximum penalty of six years. You could literally kill someone, and spend less time in prison than if you slip some coke to a friend near a local school.

But there is hope, looming on the horizon. There is currently an “Eighth Amendment challenge filed against Tennessee’s ‘Drug Free School Zone’ law,” per SCOTUSblog, arguing that the penalties assigned because of this enhancement are unfair and unjust. We may see the law scaled back, as other states have done; only time will tell.

Choose defense attorneys who fight tenaciously for you on drug charges

A drug crime arrest is intimidating. At Banks and Jones, we rush to your side and protect your rights without delay. To speak with a competent criminal defense lawyer at our firm, call 865.407.2122 or fill out our contact form. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with other appointments available upon request.

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