You do not have to plead guilty . . . There is almost always a defense in criminal drug crime cases.
Andrea Hayduk is an experienced Chattanooga drug crimes criminal defense lawyer dedicated to responding to each client’s individual needs and concerns.
Drug crimes are taken very seriously in East Tennessee and Chatanooga, and if you are charged with a drug related crime you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of profesional practice.
It is illegal for a person to knowingly manufacture, deliver, or sell a controlled substance, or to possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell it.
For the purposes of sentencing, substances fall under several different “schedules,” or categories. The schedules are arranged from most severe to least severe, so that Schedule I is more than Schedule II, Schedule II is more severe than Schedule III, and so on.
Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in the United States. Substances under Schedule I include heroin, mescaline, MDA, and several other substances.
Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse, currently have an accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, though this use may be highly restricted, and the abuse of these substances may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples of Schedule II substances include codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and amphetamines.
Schedule III drugs have less potential for abuse than those in Schedules I and II, are accepted in the medical field for use in treatment in the United States, and the abuse of these substances may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III substances include amobarbital, small doses of certain Schedule II drugs such as codeine, and anabolic steroids.
Each of the remaining schedules is less severe than the ones that precede it.
Schedule IV drugs include barbital, fenfluramine, and other substances.
Schedule V substances generally are narcotic drugs containing nonnarcotic medical substances, such as codeine preparations and opium preparations.
Schedule VI consists of marijuana and its synthetic equivalents.
Schedule VII contains controlled substances that do not fit into any of the other categories.
The punishments and fines are determined by the schedule of the substance.
An offense with respect to a Schedule I substance, as well as to cocaine or methamphetamine in an amount of .5 grams or more, is a Class B felony, punishable by not less than 8 and not more than 30 years in prison, and may be fined up to $100,000.
Schedule II substances, other than cocaine or methamphetamine, result in a Class C felony, punishable by not less than 3 and not more than 15 years in prison and a fine of no more than $100,000.
An offense with respect to Schedule III substances is a Class D felony, punishable by not less than 2 and not more than 12 years in prison, and a fine of not more than $50,000.
Clearly, these punishments given for Tennessee drug crimes are very serious. Many times with drug offenses, there is a question of whether the search and seizure was lawful under the Constitution. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate this and other aspects of the arrest to insure that it was legal. Such an investigation is necessary to ensure that you get the best result possible in court.
If you are faced with a drug crimes criminal charge in the greater Chattanooga, Tennessee area, contact Attorney Andrea Hayduk now at 423-805-3100 or click here for a free initial consultation.
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