As the opioid crisis continues, states have started to enact tougher laws in order to deter people from using and distributing dangerous drugs and punishing people who choose to ignore the law. Much of this legislation focuses on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is responsible for thousands of unintentional overdoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and it is often sold through illegal drug markets because of its heroin-like effects.
In 2019, the Tennessee legislature passed House Bill 942, which significantly increased the penalties associated with the possession of fentanyl and related drugs. Specifically, it increased the penalty for 150 grams or more of fentanyl, carfentanil, remifentanil, alfentanil, thiafentanil, or any fentanyl derivative or analogue to a Class A felony. In addition, possession of any of more than 15 grams of these drugs was increased to a Class B felony.
A Drug Conviction Can Have an Impact on Every Aspect of Your Life
As this new law illustrates, Tennessee law takes a hard stance towards illegal drugs. If you are facing allegations of a drug offense, it's vital to understand that a conviction can have a negative effect on your life for years or even decades to come. If you are convicted, you can face serious legal consequences like substantial fines and jail time. In addition, you can face collateral consequences that can arise long after you have served your sentence and paid your debt to society. Some of the more common collateral consequences associated with a drug conviction include:
- Exclusion from the federal student loan program
- Denial of admission to colleges or universities
- Difficulty finding a job
- Problems renting an apartment
- Issues obtaining a professional license
Fortunately, not every drug arrest results in a conviction, and there are often a number of things that an experienced attorney can do to protect your rights and your future. In many cases, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain agreement that avoids the most serious consequences you are facing. In addition, a lawyer may even be able to get you into a diversionary program that can allow you to avoid a conviction entirely. Finally, in some instances, an attorney may even be able to have the charges against you dropped completely.
Speak with a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Lawyer
The experienced Murfreesboro criminal defense team at Taylor Law Group is ready to help. We help our clients defend against all types of criminal charges, so please do not wait to contact us online or call 615-890-1982 for a consultation.