It is no secret that our country is in the grip of an opioid abuse epidemic. Stories about opioid-related overdoses are in the news. In Tennessee, however, we are facing another battle against the use, manufacturing, distribution, and sale of methamphetamines. The Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force reports that while the number of meth labs seized in the state decreased in 2016, the number of meth-related incidents has risen 80%, thanks to the lower prices of meth coming from Mexico.
While law enforcement continues to bust meth manufacturers and dealers and spread their seizures, by press accounts, it is uncertain whether these efforts are truly successful in stemming meth abuse. On March 28, 2017, Nashville police seized three pounds of crystal meth and arrested eight people who were allegedly running a distribution ring. On April 1, 2017, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the Waynesboro Police Department arrested 17 people; 16 cases involved the sale or possession of crystal meth. On April 8, 2017, a couple was arrested for possessing meth in a school zone. Investigators in Hamblin County told local media their primary drug problem is still meth.
Schedule II drug fines and penalties
Crystal meth is a Schedule II controlled substance.
The more serious drug charges involve manufacturing, delivery (distribution), sale or possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver meth. The penalty is determined by how much the person has:
- Possession of 0.5 grams or more is a Class B felony, and the fine can be up to $100,000. Class B felonies carry a potential prison sentence of 8 to 30 years.
- Possession of fewer than 0.5 grams is a Class C felony, and the fine can be up to $100,000. Class C felonies carry a 3 to 15-year potential prison sentence.
- Possession of any amount by a person who “carried or employed a deadly weapon… during commission of the offense or the offense resulted in death or bodily injury to another person” is automatically a Class B Felony.
- Possession of 26 grams up to 300 grams is a Class B felony, and the fine can be up to $200,000.
- Possession of 300 grams or more is a Class A felony, and the fine can be up to $500,000. You may be sentenced to prison for anywhere between 15 and 60 years.
Tennessee law also states that if you are convicted of manufacturing meth, there is a very long mandatory prison sentence, and that you must fulfill 100% of that sentence.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Tennessee, your future is on the line. Nashville criminal defense attorney Perry Craft can help. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment, please call the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC, at 615.239.1899 or fill out our contact form.