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Drug Charges

Drug crimes are taken very seriously in Tennessee , 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 professional 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.


Drug Types & Schedules

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 drugs generally are narcotic drugs containing nonnarcotic medical substances, such as codeine preparations and opium preparations.


Schedule VI drugs consist of marijuana and its synthetic equivalents.


Schedule VII drugs contain controlled substances that do not fit into any of the other categories.

Punishments & Fines


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.


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.

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