According to the Department of Justice, 80% of all drug-related charges in the United States are because of drug possession. Drug possession is a criminal offense that involves the wilful possession of unlawful substances such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and marijuana.
Being charged for drug possession can drastically affect your life and future. It is essential to hire a qualified and skilled criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN, to assess your case and defend you to help receive reduced punishment or dismissed charges.
What are the penalties if you are charged with drug possession?
Several federal and state laws exist regarding the possession of illegal drugs. Possession can be simple possession with the intention to use it for personal use or possession with the intention to manufacture, sell, or distribute. Possession with intent is a more severe offense and can result in harsher punishments. Factors such as possessing more dangerous drugs also affect your charge. In Tennessee, the laws state that for a,
- First offense: You are often charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony and are required to serve up to one year in prison and pay $2,500 in fines.
- A second offense or possessing a quantity higher than half an ounce: You are charged with a felony. Penalties include imprisonment, probation, community service, fines, forfeiture of property, and suspension of your driver’s license.
In What Ways Can A Lawyer Benefit You?
Criminal defense lawyers are highly knowledgeable about the laws about drug charges and specifically in your state. They can help explain the possible penalties you may face with the charge and answer any questions you have regarding your case. A legal counsel’s presence can help you in several ways.
- Protect your rights.
The law states that when an individual is accused, they have certain rights such as the right to a speedy and just trial and the right to be informed of the proceedings of their case. Your lawyer makes you aware of your rights and ensures that you can freely exercise them.
A lawyer has helped several clients in situations similar to yours with the reduction and dismissal of their charges. They know the details of each stage of the legal procedure and can advise and guide you accordingly to have a favorable outcome. Their resources and skill sets enable them to defend you efficiently.
- Prepare for the worst.
In cases where jail time is unavoidable, your lawyer can help you prepare for it. Often, the property is seized after the conviction, and it affects your family’s financial stability. A lawyer can help ensure that the property is not taken after your arrest and the well-being of your loved ones does not suffer because of your charge.
Criminal defense lawyers understand the situation you are in and the negative consequences on your future. They defend you with every effort and help ease your mental stress during this procedure.