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Nashville Marijuana Criminal Lawyer

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Laws concerning marijuana have shifted dramatically in recent years across the United States. Many states have legalized or decriminalized medical cannabis while a few states now allow for legal recreational marijuana for adults that are at least 21. Tennessee is not one of these states. Currently, Tennessee marijuana laws continue to view the drug through the lens of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) of the United States as a Schedule I illegal drug with no medical value and high potential for abuse. Marijuana crimes in Tennessee can include simple possession, possession with intent to sell, or even drug trafficking in some cases.

The team at McNally Law has extensive experience representing Nashville-area clients charged with marijuana crimes. We know how state prosecutors tend to handle these cases, and we are also experienced in representing clients with cases filed in federal court. Depending on the nature of your marijuana offense, you could be tried in Tennessee criminal court or at the federal level. You need criminal defense counsel from a Nashville marijuana criminal defense attorney you can trust in this situation.

Understand the Importance of Criminal Defense Representation in Marijuana Cases

Tennessee state prosecutors tend to pursue convictions in marijuana-related criminal cases quite aggressively, despite the shifts in public opinion regarding cannabis in recent years. If a defendant is arrested and faces criminal charges at the federal level, their situation is even more desperate, and the potential penalties are far more severe. If you or a loved one are charged with marijuana possession or other marijuana crimes in the Nashville, TN area, it is crucial to have a reliable criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Every American citizen is guaranteed the right to legal counsel when accused of any crime under the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution. In the event a defendant is unable or unwilling to pay for a private defense attorney, the court can provide a public defender to handle their defense. This rule applies in both state and federal courts. While this may seem like an easy option for avoiding legal fees in a criminal case, it is essential to know the differences between what a public defender can offer in your case compared to the service you get from a private Nashville marijuana defense attorney.

Public defenders must handle multiple cases at once and are generally quite busy managing all of their clients. This means they may potentially only have an hour or two at most each day to work on your case. While the majority of public defenders are skilled and dedicated attorneys, there is only so much they can provide to any given client given the demanding nature of their work. A private defense attorney will cost more to retain, but they can offer a more robust level of legal counsel than even the most skilled public defenders.

Tennessee Penalties for a Marijuana Drug Crime

The laws pertaining to marijuana offenses in Tennessee are quite severe:

  • Simple possession of less than half an ounce of THC cannabis is a misdemeanor. The defendant faces up to one year in prison and fines up to $2,500. The minimum fine for a first offense is $250, increased to $500 for a second offense, and $1,000 for a third offense.
  • Possession of more than half an ounce of cannabis is a felony in Tennessee. The defendant faces up to six years in prison and fines between $2,000 and $5,000.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, or smoking devices can incur a penalty of up to 11 months in jail. This rule also applies to paraphernalia used to cultivate cannabis plants.

Beyond marijuana possession charges, Tennessee law also enforces strict penalties for illegal cultivation, possession with intent to sell, and drug trafficking offenses. For example, possession of between 10 and 70 pounds of marijuana, two to four pounds of cannabis-based hashish, or up to 19 marijuana plants is a Class D felony punishable by fines up to $50,000 and imprisonment for two to 12 years. If a defendant is arrested in possession of 300 pounds or more of cannabis, more than 15 pounds of hashish, or 500 or more marijuana plants, this is a Class A felony. The defendant faces fines between $2,000 and $500,000 and imprisonment for 15 to 60 years.

In light of these harsh penalties, it is vital for anyone accused of marijuana crimes in the Nashville, TN area to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. The team at McNally Law can provide the comprehensive and aggressive defense representation you need when faced with these severe penalties for conviction.

What You Can Expect From Your Nashville Marijuana Defense Attorney

Every state of the US must uphold due process when an individual is charged with a crime. This means preserving the legal concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” and so the prosecution must be able to prove the defendant is guilty. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means the prosecution must offer clear and convincing evidence, legally obtained, that proves the defendant is guilty of the charges against them beyond any reasonable doubt. It is the defense attorney’s job to highlight inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and legal failures within the prosecution’s case.

Both sides of a criminal case have the right to present evidence and call witnesses to testify. If the prosecution calls a witness to the stand to testify against you, your cannabis lawyer has the right to cross-examine them and call their credibility into question through interpretation of relevant facts of the case. If you were wrongfully accused, your attorney should help you present any and all exculpatory evidence that can prove your innocence. In some criminal cases, it is possible for the prosecution to fail simply because they fail to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt with minimal input from the defense. However, it is always best to be as proactive as possible in forming a defense against criminal charges.

Criminal conviction for drug crimes in Tennessee can lead to severe penalties that will negatively impact your life for years to come. In this situation it is crucial to secure legal counsel you can trust to help you navigate the difficult legal proceedings ahead of you. If you are ready to discuss your options for defense with an experienced Nashville marijuana defense attorney, contact McNally Law today and schedule a consultation with our team.

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McNALLY LAW
ATTORNEY PATRICK MCNALLY
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