Prescription Drug

Lebanon Prescription Drug Crime Defense Attorneys

Aggressive representation for those facing prescription drug charges in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Cookeville, and throughout Tennessee

Opioids are a class of synthetic opiates, which are prescribed by medical professionals for pain relief. They are also very powerful drugs, to which patients can become easily addicted and use more than their doctor has prescribed. When they are no longer able to get opioids from their doctor, many individuals look to illegal sources to find the drugs. There has been an epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose throughout the United States, with Tennessee having a high rate of emergency room visits and deaths from overdoses.

It is illegal to possess prescription narcotics without a prescription from your doctor. If you are facing charges for possession or distribution of opioids in Lebanon, TN, you need a drug crime defense attorney who will protect your rights and fight to minimize the penalties you may be facing. At Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC, we have more than 70 years of combined legal experience guiding countless clients through the judicial system. We are here to help you.

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What are opioids?

Most opiates are Schedule II drugs, according to Tennessee’s classification of controlled substances, though some are classified as Schedule I. Schedule II drugs meet the following criteria:

  • High potential for abuse;
  • Accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, or currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions; and
  • May lead to severe psychic or physical dependence.

Schedule I opioid drugs, like, heroin, serve no medical purpose. Many Schedule II drugs, however, are available by prescription only. These include:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet, Roxicodone)
  • Dilaudid
  • Hydrocodone
  • Vicodin

Tough penalties for heroin

The use and abuse of heroin has exploded in recent years because of the opioid epidemic that has gripped the U.S. medical professionals who over-prescribe opioid pain killers and then patients quickly become dependent and addicted to them. Those who have become dependent on opioids look for a replacement; they often turn to heroin because it is plentiful and easier to get their hands on than prescription pain pills.

However, the possession, distribution, and sale of heroin is a crime – just as buying it and possessing it is a crime. Heroin is a dangerous drug, it is extremely addictive, and thousands of people overdose on it every year. One of the dangers of heroin is that it is often cut with an even more dangerous substance, fentanyl.

What if I’m charged for opioid possession in Tennessee?

If an individual is found with a controlled substance on their person or in their possession, that individual can be charged with possession, which may be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether or not it’s a first offense. Further, anything beyond half an ounce can be charged as a felony.

Possession with intent to distribute

The penalties for drug crimes are based on the quantity of the drug, which schedule the substance belongs to, and where the arrest took place. When a person is apprehended with a quantity of a controlled substance too large for personal use, law enforcement will assume that you plan to sell or distribute it. State level charges carry mandatory minimum sentences, which can range from one year in jail to as much as 30 or 60 years. Under the federal system, depending on the nature of the offense, a person could get a life sentence and fines in the millions of dollars.

When are drug and opioid crime penalties enhanced?

As you can see, the penalties for drug crimes are already steep, but if an individual is arrested in certain places, like "Drug Free School Zones,” penalties and fines are increased. So, jail sentences will be longer, the option of probation may be rescinded, and fines increased. A school zone includes any area within 1,000 feet of the following facilities:

Any kind of school for children, public or private, from preschool through high school

  • Public parks
  • Libraries
  • Recreational centers
  • Childcare agencies

Drug charges carry significant punishments that have a major impact in your life. If you are facing drug charges, you may benefit from consulting with a competent Lebanon drug crimes defense attorney.

Are there options for first-time drug offenders in Tennessee?

Yes. Tennessee has programs for first-time offenders such as pre-trial diversion and judicial diversion. Pre-trial diversion is not available in all counties in Tennessee, but judicial diversion is available in all counties for those who qualify. Your skilled criminal defense attorney will help you determine if you qualify for a diversion program, which can help to keep a first-time offense off your permanent record, or even have it removed if you comply with all of the conditions set by the court.

Consequences of prescription and opioid drug convictions

A felony conviction of a drug crime can bring many painful consequences to your life, regardless of the prison sentence, the fines, and court fees. After prison and probation or supervised release, you will have difficulty finding solid employment, you will not be able to get student loans or professional licensing, and you will lose your right to own a firearm. Therefore, it is vital that you contact an experienced Lebanon criminal defense attorney right away. We are here to fight for your freedom and your future.

 Consult with an experienced Lebanon prescription and opioid drug crime defense lawyer today

The Lebanon criminal defense attorneys of Lowery, Lowery & Cherry PLLC have more than 70 years of combined legal experience, which they leverage to help clients. We are here to fight for your rights and protect your future. If you or someone you love are facing prescription drug charges, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with us today. We serve clients in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Cookeville, or elsewhere in Tennessee. To set up a consultation, call 615-454-9404 or fill out our contact form.