Knoxville Cocaine Crime Defense Lawyers

Cocaine is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant and is a stimulant of the central nervous system. The possession, cultivation, or distribution of cocaine is illegal in all fifty states. In Tennessee, cocaine is listed as a Schedule II controlled substance because the substance has a high potential for abuse and addiction. Punishments for cocaine possession, cultivation or distribution vary depending on the amount found in the possession of the defendant. Consequences can include several years in prison, steep fines, supervised release and restitution.

If you have been charged with possession, cultivation or distribution of cocaine, you will want an experienced trial attorney who has the knowledge and skill to mount a strong defense to the prosecution's case against you. We are knowledgeable in both federal and state drug laws and have a proven track record of success in defending clients against drug-related charges.

Simple Possession or Casual Exchange of Cocaine

Under T.C.A. § 39-17-418, it is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange cocaine, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or physician's order.

Possession can be either actual or constructive. A person who knowingly has direct physical control over a drug at a given time is in actual possession of it. On the other hand, a person who does not have actual possession but knowingly has both the power and intention at any given time to exercise dominion and control over the controlled substance is in constructive possession of it. For example, a jury could infer that a homeowner is in constructive possession of crack-cocaine when, upon investigation, there is found to be crack-cocaine stored in a shoe box in the homeowner's closet.

With regard to casual exchange, courts allow an inference for possession without intent to sell, distribute or cultivate when there is only a relatively small amount of the controlled substance in the defendant's possession. To qualify as a casual exchange, the exchange can either be a gift or a transfer of possession in consideration for something else in return. The "casual" aspect of casual exchange means that the exchange did not involve the transfer of money.

Simple possession or casual exchange of cocaine is a Class A misdemeanor for the first two attempts. After the second conviction, the crime is classified as a felony. Moreover, if there was an exchange of cocaine and the exchange was between a minor and an adult, the crime may be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony.

In addition to jail time and/or fines, a person charged with possession or casual exchange of cocaine may be required to attend a drug offender school or may be required to perform community service work at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment center.

Sale, Delivery or Cultivation of Cocaine

Under T.C.A. § 39-17-417, it is an offense for a person to knowingly sell, deliver or cultivate cocaine. The code also provides that it is a crime to possess cocaine with intent to sell, deliver or cultivate the substance. Under the law, jurors are permitted to infer intent to sell, deliver, or cultivate cocaine from the facts and circumstances of the case along with the amount of controlled substance found in the defendant's possession.

Since cocaine is listed as a Schedule II drug, a conviction under subsection 417 is classified as a Class C felony, which carries a potential jail sentence between 3 and 15 years and a fine of no more than $100,000. However, if the amount of cocaine in the defendant's possession was greater than .5 grams, then the crime is elevated to a Class B felony, which carries a longer prison sentence. Moreover, the law also provides that possession of 26 grams of cocaine or more results in a $200,000 fine and a Class B felony conviction, while possessing over 300 grams or more of cocaine results in a $500,000 fine and a Class A felony conviction.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

If you have been charged with a the drug crime involving cocaine or any other controlled substance in the state of Tennessee, defense attorneys at Baker Associates will diligently protect your rights.


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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

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Sevierville Cocaine Possession Attorney Disclaimer: The cocaine possession, selling cocaine, 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.

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