What are the penalties for drug trafficking in Tennessee?
If you are charged with drug trafficking, the potential consequences you face will depend on the following factors:
- The type of drugs involved (Schedules I-V)
- The quantity of drugs
- The geographical area in which the alleged offense took place
- Whether children were involved or targeted
Penalties for state drug trafficking offenses
It is difficult to speak generally about the penalties but, at a minimum, if you are convicted you can expect 3-5 years in prison unless your defense lawyer can reduce it. For very large quantities, up to life imprisonment can result.
Tennessee state law penalties specify several levels of drug trafficking based on volumes of illicit drugs trafficked.
As a guideline for marijuana, these penalties are as follows:
Trafficking of 0.5 oz. to 10 lbs.: 1-6 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Trafficking of 10 to 70 lbs.: 2-12-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Trafficking of 70 to 300 lbs.: 8- 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $200,000.
Trafficking over 300 lbs.: a prison term of 15-60 years and a maximum fine of $500,000
Penalties are even more severe if you are convicted for a second or subsequent offense.
Penalties for federal drug trafficking offenses
For federally charged crimes, the quantity of controlled substance trafficked is again the key to sentencing for a conviction.
The federal statutes contain guidelines and the following are a few typical examples of the type of sentence you can expect:
1 kg of heroin, 5 kg of cocaine, or 1000 kg of marijuana: 10 years to life in prison.
100g of heroin or 500g of cocaine: 5 to 40 years in prison.
50 kg of marijuana: up to 5 years in prison.
In addition to penalty enhancements for trafficking of larger quantities of controlled substances, enhancements exist for crimes that result in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, as well as for prior convictions.
Prison term enhancements may also be applied if the person convicted is considered the leader of an organized trafficking unit or if a firearm is involved. For the use of a firearm, the term served would be on top of the term served for drug trafficking. The jail time would not be served concurrently.
Regardless of whether you are charged at the federal or state level for a drug trafficking crime, the penalties are potentially very severe. If you are arrested and charged, it is no time to take a gamble with your future.
You need representation from a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the local justice system and with defending drug trafficking charges.
Protect Your Rights: Call Houston & Alexander, PLLC
A charge of drug trafficking can lead to a federal investigation and even a state-investigated crime can have serious repercussions.
Book a free consultation with an experienced drug trafficking attorney at Houston & Alexander, PLLC. We will protect your rights and freedoms and reduce the impact on your future.