Sevierville Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Against Tennessee Drug Trafficking Charges
Handling drug crime cases for clients in the Tri-Cities, Seymour, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
All drug-related charges are serious, but trafficking charges have particularly severe consequences. While there is no specific trafficking statute under Tennessee law, there are serious sales and distribution laws that apply to trafficking situations. In addition, federal law often applies to incidents of drug trafficking. When faced with drug trafficking charges in Pigeon Forge, Seymour, Gatlinburg, Greeneville, or in the Tri-Cities, secure an experienced Sevierville criminal defense attorney at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC for a vigorous criminal defense.
Understanding federal drug trafficking charges
Trafficking encompasses the selling, transportation, and import of unlawful controlled substances. It applies to the distribution of illegal drugs, as well as unlawfully possessed prescription medications. These charges often center on the amount of drugs in possession at the time of arrest, along with the sum of money involved and the geographic area of the distribution.
The federal government gets involved in drug distribution charges for a number of reasons, including:
- Distribution between the states
- International importation of drugs
- Use of the postal service for distribution purposes
- Distribution on federal property
Penalties for a federal drug trafficking conviction vary, based on the amount of drugs involved. For example:
- A conviction for trafficking 500 to 4,999 grams of cocaine can result in a sentence of five to 40 years in prison, along with a fine up to $5 million.
- A conviction for trafficking five kilograms or more of cocaine carries a sentence of 10 years to life, along with a fine up to $5 million. If death or bodily injury occurred, the minimum sentence increases to 20 years imprisonment.
- For marijuana, a first conviction penalty is not more than five years’ jail time for trafficking less than 50 kilograms, along with a fine up to $250,000.
- A first conviction is not more than 20 years in prison for trafficking an amount between 50 and 99 kilograms, along with a fine up to $1 million.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is the agency that enforces federal drug trafficking laws. They work hard to secure convictions, so you need an experienced Sevierville criminal defense lawyer who works hard to protect your innocence and your freedom.
Fighting distribution charges for Tri-Cities clients
Along with federal trafficking charges, you may also face state drug charges for distribution. Within the state of Tennessee, it is illegal to manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. Charges are filed based on the type and weight of the substance, as well as the circumstances surrounding the arrest. As with the federal government, penalties also vary significantly. For example:
- Distribution of a Schedule I drug is classified as a Class B felony, with a potential sentence of eight to 30 years in prison, along with up to $100,000 in fines.
- Distribution of a Schedule II drug may be classified as a Class C felony, with a potential sentence of three to 15 years, along with a fine up to $10,000.
These penalties are significant, and defending your case requires the assistance of an experienced Sevierville criminal defense lawyer.
Defending a drug trafficking charge in the Tennessee courts
Defending a state or federal trafficking charge is challenging. A knowledgeable attorney may employ a variety of strategies to disprove the state’s case. A common tactic is to attack the validity of the search leading to discovery of the drugs. If the court determines that the search was unlawful, any evidence that results from the search is inadmissible by the prosecution. Our attorneys are familiar with the possible defense arguments and are prepared to work with you to develop a solid legal strategy.
Get help from knowledgeable Sevierville drug trafficking defense attorneys
The Sevierville criminal defense attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC have spent more than 20 years defending drug-related charges. As serious as a state conviction is, the implications of a federal conviction can prove even more devastating. Let us put our experience to work in your case. Call us today at 865-428-8780 or fill out our contact form to make an appointment. We are proud to serve clients in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Seymour, Greeneville, Bristol, Johnson City, Kingsport, and throughout Tennessee.