Facing any criminal charges can be a distressing and seemingly hopeless experience, but with the right criminal defense counsel on your side you stand a much better chance of defeating the charges against you or minimizing your sentence. The team at McNally Law offers robust criminal defense representation to Nashville-area clients accused of committing drug crimes. Our team handles many different drug charges, from lesser offenses like simple possession to more severe charges such as possession with intent to sell, and drug trafficking.
If you or a loved one have been arrested on heroin trafficking charges, it is essential to secure legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid the severe penalties that typically follow conviction. Our team will help you understand your legal options for defense and guide you through the complex legal proceedings your case will entail.
Every American has the right to criminal defense counsel when they are charged with any criminal offense. If the accused does not wish to pay for a private defense attorney or cannot afford to pay for one, the court can provide a public defender to represent them free of charge. While this may seem like a good option for avoiding legal fees, it is important to know the differences between what you can expect from a public defender, and what an experienced private Nashville drug trafficking lawyer can provide.
Public defenders are mostly very capable and hardworking attorneys, but the nature of their work requires them to juggle multiple cases at a time. This means they have very little flexibility when it comes to providing their clients with individual attention. While a private Nashville heroin trafficking attorney will charge legal fees, they can offer a much more robust level of defense representation.
If you are arrested for heroin trafficking, you face some of the most serious penalties for drug charges in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States enforces a drug scheduling system that defines different types of illegal drugs and controlled substances. Schedule I drugs are those that the DEA deems to have no medical value and high potential for abuse. Heroin is a Schedule I drug, so drug offenses related to heroin tend to carry the most severe penalties a defendant can face when it comes to drug charges. Much more serious than say, a simple DUI charge.
“Trafficking” is a legal term used to define the intention to manufacture, sell, or distribute drugs across a wide area. If an individual intended to transport illegal drugs across state or national lines, the offense could be prosecuted as a federal offense. Heroin trafficking is a felony in Tennessee, and depending on the nature of the offense, the quantity of heroin involved, and the perceived intention for the drugs, the accused can face several significant penalties.
Tennessee state law recognizes the DEA’s federal drug scheduling system. If an individual is convicted for a first offense of heroin trafficking, they face five to 30 years in prison. In the event their actions caused the death or serious bodily injury of another person, their minimum sentence increases to 20 years in prison. If they are convicted a second time, the minimum sentence is ten years in prison up to a maximum life sentence.
Heroin trafficking conviction will also lead to very large fines. An individual convicted of a first offense could incur a fine up to $5 million. In the event an organization is convicted of heroin trafficking, the organization could face up to $25 million in fines.
When heroin trafficking is prosecuted at the federal level, the penalties increase dramatically. If a defendant was arrested and charged with drug trafficking across state or national lines, the federal penalty depends on the quantity of heroin involved. For 100 grams up to 999 grams, the penalty is no less than five years in prison and up to 40 years in prison. If the defendant’s actions caused death or serious injury, the minimum prison sentence increases to 20 years in prison with a maximum of life in prison. Fines for an individual can range up to $2 million and up to $5 million for an organization.
If an individual is charged in federal court with heroin trafficking of quantities more than one kilogram, the penalties increase substantially. The accused faces no less than ten years in prison and up to a maximum sentence of life in prison. If their actions cause death or serious injury they face no less than 20 years in prison and up to life in prison. Fines can reach up to $4 million for an individual and up to $10 million for an organization.
When you face the harsh penalties that heroin trafficking conviction incurs, whether your case is tried in Tennessee state court or federal court, it is vital to know your rights and to understand the value of reliable defense counsel. It is possible to obtain a federal court public defender if you do not have the ability to pay for private defense counsel, but if it is within your means to secure an experienced Nashville heroin trafficking defense attorney, it is well worth the investment when it comes to defending against federal drug trafficking charges.
In any criminal case, the due process laws of the United States require the burden of proof to rest on the prosecution. The defendant does not need to prove they are innocent per se; the prosecution must prove the defendant is guilty. It is possible for a heroin trafficking case to fall apart with minimal action from the defendant if the prosecution is simply unable to make their case with credible, admissible evidence and establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
When it comes to building your defense, there are several things your Nashville heroin trafficking attorney can potentially do to help you avoid conviction. First, they will likely aim to attack the foundation of the prosecution’s evidence. They should also scrutinize the conditions of your arrest and booking to ensure the arresting officers followed applicable due process laws. If the prosecution calls witnesses to testify, your attorney has the right to cross-examination. It is also possible for your attorney to call witnesses to support your defense, including expert witnesses who can provide professional insights into the more complex details of your case.
The team at McNally Law has years of experience helping our clients in the Nashville, TN area approach their criminal cases with greater confidence and understanding. We know how severely a heroin trafficking conviction can impact your life, and we know how prosecutors at the state and federal levels pursue convictions in these cases. We can guide you through your legal proceedings and help you defeat the charges against you.
Contact McNally Law today and schedule a consultation with an experienced Nashville heroin trafficking defense attorney who can help you build a solid defense and protect your future.