Knoxville Adulteration of Food Lawyer

In Tennessee, it is a crime to "adulterate" food for the purpose of causing harm to another. It is also a crime to give a gift of food while knowing that it is poisonous or deleterious. Courts frequently use the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to define "adulterated." For a food to be adulterated under the Act, it bears or contains:

If you have been charged with adulterating food or giving a gift of adulterated food, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates can defend your rights under the law. With years of criminal defense experience, we can help you understand the complex legal issues that arise when charged with this crime. Through diligent and thorough research and investigation, our skilled attorneys find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case. In fact, our dynamic criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended similar charges and will do everything in their power to defend your rights and work toward the best possible outcome.

What is Adulteration of Food?

To be convicted of the crime of adulteration of food, under T.C.A. § 39-17-107, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you

If the state proves that you intended a "bodily injury," the crime is graded as a Class C felony. A Class C felony carries a prison sentence between three and 15 years and a fine not to exceed $10,000. In Tennessee, "bodily injury" includes physical pain or temporary illness or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty. Consequently, slipping someone a "rufi" (rohypnol), mischievously putting marijuana in food, or dumping LSD into the water supply may all result in criminal charges because the ingestion of these substances produce a temporary impairment of mental faculties.

The penalty for adulteration of food is elevated upon proof that you adulterated the food with the intent to cause serious bodily injury or death. "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, protracted unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, protracted or obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or substantial impairment of a function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty. If the ingestion of the adulterating substance would cause such serious bodily injury, the crime is classified as a Class B felony. If convicted, you would be facing between eight and 30 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $25,000.

Gifts of Adulterated Candy or Food

The crime of giving a gift of adulterated food is basically the same as above except that the defendant isn't being accused of performing an act of adulteration; rather, the defendant is accused of simply giving a treat, candy, gift or food that is known by the defendant to be poisonous or harmful to the health or welfare of the person receiving the gift. While the crime requires a specific intent to harm, it is likely that this element would be deduced from facts demonstrating that the defendant had knowledge that the gift was in fact poisonous.

This crime carries lesser penalties than as described above; nevertheless, the crime is still classified as a felony, and you could be facing jail time greater than a year and fines of $1,000 or more. Moreover, these charges carry the risk of a felony going on your permanent record.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

The consequences for food adulteration crimes are serious. If convicted, you could be facing substantial jail time and fines. So don't entrust the quality of your defense - and the quality of the next several years - in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. Rather, call someone who has a long record of successfully defending such charges as adulteration of food. Call the criminal defense attorneys at Baker Associates today at (866) 853-2888 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

To schedule a complimentary evaluation with a criminal defense lawyer at one of our offices, complete the form below.






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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

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Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Sevierville Defense Attorney Disclaimer: The criminal defense or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of TN.


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