Understanding Tennessee Drug Laws As They Relate To Cocaine Possession

Tennessee laws classify cocaine as a schedule II drug because it has a high potential for abuse and could lead to physical dependence.  This means if convicted a person will face Cocaineserious penalties, heavy fines, and a mandatory prison term.

Tennessee Cocaine Simple Possession Laws require a mandatory fine of $750.00 to $2,500.00.  The maximum jail term is 11 months and 29 days.  As a condition of probation the Court could order mandatory random drug screens and a drug treatment if necessary.

Tennessee Felony Cocaine Laws require a jail term of 3-15 years if the amount if less than .5 grams and a jail term of 8-30 if the amount is over .5 grams.  The fine shall not exceed $100,000.00.

There are two forms of cocaine found by those arrested for its possession:

  • The powder form that dissolves in water and can either be snorted up the nose, ingested by mouth, or injected into the veins of the user.
  • The “freebase” that is usually smoked.  Crack cocaine was developed as a poor man’s version of the pure freebase form.  Crack is a mixture of cocaine and a cheaper additive (usually baking powder) that when processed, creates form of rock crystal.  This rock crystal is heated up by the user and releases a vapor that gets the user high.  Freebase cocaine increases the intensity of the high and is extremely addictive.

Cocaine is used by a variety of people from all aspects of life.  Among young professionals who have money to spare, powder cocaine is a luxury party drug commonly found at the club scene.  The cheaper crack cocaine version is usually consumed by people who live in the inner city.

Despite information to the contrary, cocaine is considered a stimulant and not a narcotic.  Many assume that cocaine is a narcotic because it was originally banned under the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.  Cocaine is a stimulant because it stimulates the nervous system.  Its users experience alertness, elation, increased motor skills, and a longer lasting attention span.  However, cocaine also has negative side effects.  Anxiety, restlessness, and convulsions are common.  Depending upon the strength and form of cocaine used, the sensation can last from 15 minutes to an hour.  Cocaine is very addictive and cocaine users require larger doses and frequency over time as their addiction grows.  The most popular forms of cocaine testing are blood and urine tests.  A cocaine conviction and resulting probation will require mandatory random drug screens.  If the drug test reveals the presence of cocaine in the probationer’s sample, Tennessee courts will often file a probation violation warrant and impose jail time.

Defense of cocaine cases requires a special knowledge of Tennessee drug laws.  You need a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney advocating on your behalf making certain no violations of your constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure were employed in your arrest.  If you are charged with a cocaine crime in Tennessee, contact attorney Donna Wagner and schedule a consultation.

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