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Drug Possession

Drug Possession2022-01-06T18:08:14-05:00

Drug Possession Defense Lawyers in Chattanooga

Drug Possession Criminal Lawyers in Chattanooga

Defending against a state or federal prosecution for drug possession requires hiring lawyers with a combination of experience, fearlessness, and an acute understanding of the law and its nuances.

The criminal drug defense attorneys at Houston & Alexander possess this unique combination of skills to serve the interests of our clients with dignity, savvy, and compassion.

How Tennessee Classifies Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)

Tennessee classifies controlled dangerous substances (CDS) into seven categories that encompass both the dangerous drugs themselves and their component chemicals.

Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous and have a high risk of addiction or dependency and no legitimate medical use:

  • LSD (blotter acid), heroin, ecstasy (MDMA, “Molly”) mescaline, and psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin)

Schedule II substances still have a high risk of abuse, but may have some legitimate medical uses:

  • opium, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines, and amphetamines

Schedule III drugs are slightly less dangerous than Schedule II substances, but still have a moderate risk of abuse:

  • anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, and some depressants

Schedule IV drugs have a lesser risk of dependency and have legitimate medical uses:

  • clonazepam, tranquilizers, and sedatives.

Schedule V substances have a very low risk of dependency:

  • Tylenol with Codeine.

Schedule VI includes marijuana which is thought to have a very low risk of physical dependency

Schedule VII includes only Butyl Nitrate also called “poppers”.

Penalties for Possessing Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS)

Conviction for possession of CDS can result in layers of punishment: possible jail or prison time, probation or parole, fines and penalties, forfeiture, and mandatory drug education programs.

The actual penalties depend on the quantity and the category of drugs seized.

Possessing enough quantity to show an intent to sell increases the charges and penalties in Tennessee.  The harshest penalties are imposed for possessing large quantities of CDS, Schedule I drugs, but even possessing large quantities of lower schedule drugs like marijuana, can result in maximum penalties:15-60 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.

Repeat offenders are more severely treated during the penalty phase of criminal prosecution than first time offenders.

Any criminal prosecution clearly disrupts your liberty, ability to make a living, and negatively impacts your family.

Even probation and mandatory drug education enrollment for lesser possession charges have consequences that will affect your livelihood and family cohesion.

That’s why you need to retain experienced and effective criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible once you are alerted to being the target of an investigation or charged with criminal possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Drug Free Zones

To maintain the safety of the state’s children, Tennessee has established drug free zones, areas on or without 1,000 feet of a school, library, park, or recreational area.

Conviction for possession or sale of CDS in a drug free zone carries with it an additional $10,000 fine.

Simple Possession or Casual Exchange

Tennessee law makes possession of even small amounts of CDS a crime. A casual exchange of a prescription drug is also a crime in Tennessee.  A small quantity of illegal drugs, without any indication of intent to sell, might result in a misdemeanor.

However, even a misdemeanor charge has lasting consequences.

First, it means a permanent criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life.

Second, there are fines and penalties, and perhaps even jail time to endure.

And finally, there is the cost of defense unless you qualify for free legal representation. Even a charge of simple possession or casual exchange requires effective assistance of counsel to ensure that your rights are fully observed and the prosecution acts according to constitutional restraints.

Possession of drug paraphernalia

Even ordinary household objects can be evidence of drug paraphernalia if contaminated by illegal controlled substances.

An ordinary pipe used to smoke marijuana or crack cocaine, a kitchen spoon used to cook heroin or opioids, or even a credit card used to cut coke into lines can be evidence of illegal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor with a possible jail sentence of just under a year and fines up to $2,500.

With penalties like this, you need to hire the best and most effective criminal defense attorneys in Tennessee.

Drug Possession Criminal Lawyers in Chattanooga

Looking for a drug possession defense lawyer in Chattanooga, TN?

If you’ve been charged with a drug possession charge, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney immediately.
Call (423) 267-6715 or request a free case evaluation today.

Felony Drug Charges, Including Intent to Sell, in Tennessee

Felony drug charges bring with them the threat of prison, parole supervision for years after release, fines, and a permanent record that will follow you forever.

The impact of a conviction on you and your family can be overwhelming with lasting effects.

Retaining criminal defense lawyers immediately upon investigation or indictment is necessary to preserve your rights and ensure fairness.

The prosecutor determines whether a case will be charged as a misdemeanor or felony based on several factors:

  • the type of CDS, whether a Schedule I or lesser Schedule;
  • the quantity of controlled substances seized;
  • intent to sell; and
  • to whom the drugs were sold. Sales to minors and sales in drug free zones carry enhanced penalties in the form of increased fines.

Defending felony drug charges, especially ones that include intent to sell, requires experienced counsel who know the police, the prosecutors, the local investigators, and the judges in order to assess the severity of the charges and the likelihood of conviction.

Successful defenses to felony drug charges are based on raising “reasonable doubt” to the elements of the crime by undermining the credibility of witness testimony, questioning how evidence was gathered and secured, exposing unconstitutional and unlawful police conduct, and by creating a counter narrative to the story told by the prosecution.

How a defense is put together, and especially whether a defendant will take the stand, are judgment calls that require seasoned lawyers with extensive experience in the Tennessee state and federal courts.

Charged with a misdemeanor or drug possession: Call Houston & Alexander, PLLC

A charge of drug possession can lead to a federal investigation and even a state-investigated crime can have serious repercussions.

Book a free consultation with an experienced drug possession attorney at Houston & Alexander, PLLC. We will protect your rights and freedoms and reduce the impact on your future. Contact us today at (423) 267-6715 for a free consultation.

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OUR PRACTICE AREAS

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DWI / DUI

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OUR PRACTICE AREAS

Criminal Defense

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Federal Charges

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DWI / DUI

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Drug Charges

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Personal Injury

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Nursing Home Abuse

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Motorcycle Accidents

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Car Accidents

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TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUI and other charges. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence. I kept my house and my family intact! I have turned my life around and things are great! Johnny did not forget about me once the case was over, either. I needed some additional help with my license and Johnny jumped right on it. - Colleen
Johnny and Bret took my case and treated me like a person, not a number. I was looking at a long prison sentence (10+ years). These guys stepped in, calmed me down, and told me that they were going to be there for me. When you first walk in their office, you have that at home feeling. With Mrs. Wanda, a very welcoming atmosphere. They really treat you like family here. I would recommend Mr. Houston and Mr. Alexander to anyone who needs their service. You will not go wrong with these guys. THEY KNOW THE LAW!!!! - WARDELL
We were from out of town and had no friends or family in the area. Things got out of control and the next morning we were arrested and charged with Felonies. In my opinion, we were over charged. We called Johny and he agreed to meet with us right away. Johnny was attentive and listened. Facing possible jail time and the loss of my husband,s job we were terrified. Johnny literally rescued us! He took the lead, met with the DA and the alleged victim, and really smoothed things over. Johnny was confident and appeared to get along well with the Prosecutors and Judges. We were very fortunate to find Johnny. - Tana

TESTIMONIALS

The moment finally came when I saw Jay walk down the stairs in the court room, he flashed me a thumbs up and I knew... I knew I won. If you need a lawyer do not hesitate to call Houston & Alexander. There is no one that will represent you better anywhere in Chattanooga. I wholeheartedly give them five stars. - Antonio
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUIs and other charges. I was not sure where to turn and called Houston and Alexander. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence net result was I was able to keep my family together. -Colleen
We've been clients of Houston & Alexander for three years, with Bret Alexander representing us during that time. I can't speak highly enough of his integrity, professionalism, and his dedication to our legal needs. We are so grateful for his guidance and effectiveness through such a difficult time. He's an attorney you can trust and depend on to do the right thing. We are sincerely so grateful. Thank You! - Trish
I am a Desert Storm veteran and found myself in need of legal counsel. Everyone from the receptionist to the attorney himself treated me with the utmost respect and dignity. I found them to be knowledgeable and most helpful. I would recommend Houston and Alexander for all your legal needs. Thank you for all of your help. - C Pugh
I won't go into specifics because they are very embarrassing for my family. But if you have a daughter who has been criminally charged with a serious charge, Johnny Houston should be your go-to gentleman. Because of his hard work, and diligence in our case, we can once again hold our heads High and consider this a lesson learned. Thank you Johnny Houston from the bottom of our hearts! -Karen A.
My son made a couple of mistakes and was faced with having a criminal record. Mr. Houston stepped in and provided us with excellent representation. My son will NOT have a record now and is looking forward to the future. I also can't say enough about the staff at Houston & Alexander. Always responsive and informative and really went the extra mile. I cannot recommend them enough! - Alice
Due the stress of this pandemic and the loss of employment, my wife and I got into an argument and I ended up getting arrested and charged with domestic violence. I could not go home, could not have any contact with my wife and had no place to live. An elected official/friend referred me to Johnny Houston and his law firm. Due to Johnny's efforts, not only did we get into court quickly, but all charges were dismissed. We are back together now and I am getting this expunged. Thank you, Johnny! - Client
I had too much to drink one night and backed into another car. I was charged with second offense DUI and felony reckless endangerment. I was at a real low point in my life and my husband had recently passed away. Johnny was able to get the felonies dismissed and I pled guilty to a first offense. Instead of facing significant jail time and a felony, I did a few days in jail and wore an alcohol monitor. Johnny was able to humanize me with the DA and I was able to get my life back on track again. Great law firm! You would be crazy to go anywhere else. - Karen M.
I am a college student. I was involved in a wreck and was charged with DUI and leaving the scene. I thought I was ok to drive but my blood result said otherwise. A DUI conviction would have really hurt my chances of getting a good job. Johnny and Bret told me I had a difficult case and the only guarantee they gave was that they would work hard for me. They NEVER gave up on my case and ultimately persuaded the arresting officer and the DA to reduce the charge. If YOU need help on a DUI or any other case, call them! These men are not only hard working but kind. - Kate
I had hired another law firm and they were getting nowhere with my case. I was charged with multiple offense DUI and other charges. Johnny Houston went the EXTRA MILE for me! The other law firm had negotiated a sentence that may have made me lose my house, my kids...everything. Johnny was not only able to get my charges reduced but also the sentence. I kept my house and my family intact! I have turned my life around and things are great! Johnny did not forget about me once the case was over, either. I needed some additional help with my license and Johnny jumped right on it. - Colleen
Johnny and Bret took my case and treated me like a person, not a number. I was looking at a long prison sentence (10+ years). These guys stepped in, calmed me down, and told me that they were going to be there for me. When you first walk in their office, you have that at home feeling. With Mrs. Wanda, a very welcoming atmosphere. They really treat you like family here. I would recommend Mr. Houston and Mr. Alexander to anyone who needs their service. You will not go wrong with these guys. THEY KNOW THE LAW!!!! - WARDELL
We were from out of town and had no friends or family in the area. Things got out of control and the next morning we were arrested and charged with Felonies. In my opinion, we were over charged. We called Johny and he agreed to meet with us right away. Johnny was attentive and listened. Facing possible jail time and the loss of my husband,s job we were terrified. Johnny literally rescued us! He took the lead, met with the DA and the alleged victim, and really smoothed things over. Johnny was confident and appeared to get along well with the Prosecutors and Judges. We were very fortunate to find Johnny. - Tana

View our reviews online.

google reviews stars for Houston & Alexander
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View our reviews online.

google reviews stars for Houston & Alexander
avvo stars reviews johnny d houston jr
facebook reviews for Houston & Alexander

ATTORNEY PROFILES

ATTORNEY PROFILES

Johnny Houston Criminal & Personal Injury Attorney at Houston & Alexander in Chattanooga TN

JOHNNY D. HOUSTON

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BRET ALEXANDER

Amanda Branum Dunn Criminal & Personal Injury Attorney at Houston & Alexander in Chattanooga TN

AMANDA BRANAM DUNN

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JAY UNDERWOOD

CONSULT WITH OUR LEGAL TEAM

Please contact us online for a free consultation.

CONSULT OUR LEGAL TEAM

Please contact us online for a free consultation.
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