Heroin is a highly addictive drug and one that carries a very negative stigma for those with addition problems. When you are accused of heroin possession, you don’t only have to face the possibility of prison time, but also potential embarrassment and the disdain from friends and family. Though things may look bleak, a local defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid the worst potential consequences of your case.
Not all cases of heroin possession before the courts are simple guilty verdicts. Many are eventually dismissed because of unlawfully obtained evidence or an illegal arrest. Just because you were arrested and charged doesn’t necessarily mean you will be convicted and sentenced. Discussing your case with an attorney will provide you with insight into your available options and what can be done to prevent a conviction.
Tennessee Heroin Possession Penalties
The heroin possession laws of Tennessee can be quite strict. If you have any prior drug convictions on your record, they will be even more difficult to face.
A first-time heroin possession conviction is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and $2,500 in fines.
But, if you have priors on your record, this charge can be elevated to a Class E felony and carry up to 6 years in prison with fines reaching $3,000.
These penalties apply to simple possession and casual exchange of heroin. Simple possession refers to possessing small amounts of cocaine, while casual exchange refers to exchanging cocaine with someone where money is not traded hands.
Tennessee Drug Courts for Heroin Possession
In some Tennessee jurisdictions, you could have your heroin possession case heard in a drug court. These courts are designed to focus specifically on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Rather than jail time, you are ordered to a period of strict supervision under the court. This supervision period is similar to probation in that it can include things like:
- Frequent check-ins with the court
- Random drug tests
- Mandatory employment
- Drug treatment
- Mental health treatment
Drug court programs are not easy. However, for most, they are far preferable to prison time.
Plea Agreements in Heroin Cases
When drug courts are not available or not an option, the majority of drug cases result in plea agreements. A plea agreement is when you agree to plead guilty to the charges against you in exchange for a lenient sentence. Most often this includes probation, although the specific terms of your plea depend on the facts of your case and the prosecutor working on it.
No two cases are the same. The best way to know for certain what you’re up against is to consult with a defense attorney about your charges. Call us today!