Clarksville Criminal Defense Attorney

Successfully defending those accused of drug crimes

Drug crimes fall under the domain of criminal law, and include illegal drug possession, manufacture, use, trafficking and other related transactions. Drug crimes are regulated by federal and state laws, with the definitions of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and related penalties varying from state to state. Criminal defense attorney Ryan K. McFarland, of McFarland Law in Clarksville, has in-depth knowledge of Tennessee’s drug laws and skillfully breaks down the critical parts of a drug charge to successfully clear his clients.

Search and seizure: your rights under the Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against “unreasonable” searches and seizures by state or federal law enforcement. To perform a search, a police officer must have probable cause to believe that they can find evidence that a crime was committed and a judge issues a search warrant, or if the circumstances justify the search, they can do so without first obtaining a warrant.

The protection of the Fourth Amendment only applies to a search if a person has a "legitimate expectation of privacy" in the thing or location searched. Attorney McFarland skillfully scrutinizes every aspect of the stop, search, and seizure to probe these questions:

Was there probable cause for the stop?

Were there drugs in plain view or were they hidden from sight?

Did you have a reasonable expectation of some degree of privacy and, as such, have protection under the law?

Drug classification in Tennessee

Most drug crimes are classified as felonies. Punishment is determined by the type of drug involved, the amount of the drug involved, the intent, and other factors. In Tennessee, drugs are classified into seven different schedules, each with its own charges and related penalties. Drugs are classified into these categories based on their potential for abuse, the likelihood of dependence on the drug, and their level of accepted use. Drugs that pose the greatest risk of abuse and offer no accepted medical use are listed under Schedule I. Drugs that pose the least amount of risk for potential abuse and dependency are listed under Schedule VII.

What are the penalties for drug possession in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, it is illegal to possess a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) without a legitimate medical prescription. First and second convictions are considered Class A misdemeanors and the punishment includes up to one-year jail time, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. Third – and subsequent – convictions are considered Class E felonies and the punishment includes a minimum of one year and maximum six years prison time, a fine of up to $3,000, or both. Offenders are also required to perform community service at a drug or alcohol treatment or rehabilitation center, attend a drug offender school, or both.

Marijuana is illegal in Tennessee

While many states have legalized marijuana, Tennessee is not one of them. In fact, possession of even a small amount of a marijuana is considered a crime in Tennessee, with penalties including possible jail time and stiff monetary fines. Distribution of less than 0.5 oz. of marijuana is considered a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties of jail time of less than one year and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Penalties for marijuana manufacture, delivery, and possession with intent vary depending upon the amount of the substance.

Don’t let a drug charge ruin your life; contact our office immediately after arrest

Don’t make the mistake of pleading guilty to the drug charge against you. Criminal defense attorney Ryan K. McFarland of McFarland Law in Clarksville skillfully and aggressively breaks down each and every aspect of the arrest, scrutinizes the charges against you, and protects your rights. With a long list of drug cases that were successfully defended, Attorney McFarland is experienced and dedicated to advocating on your behalf. Contact Attorney McFarland to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation at (931) 919-4376 or online.