Methamphetamine commonly given to soldiers in World War II to increase their stamina and energy during battle. In more recent years, methamphetamine has become a popular “street” drug. Methamphetamine (meth) is not a substance that occurs organically in nature nor is it a plant-based drug like many others (cocaine and heroin, for example). Instead, meth is man-made using a mixture of various dangerous chemicals. It is also illegal at both the state and federal level. Murfreesboro criminal attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains the state and federal crimes and penalties related to methamphetamine.
Federal Methamphetamine Crimes and Penalties
Federal law enforcement authorities typically focus investigations on large scale drug manufacturing and/or distribution operations. At the federal level, methamphetamine is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has a “high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” If you are charged with trafficking or distributing meth by the federal government, it is likely that a federal law enforcement agency has been investigating you for months. If you are ultimately convicted of methamphetamine distribution by the federal government, you face the following potential penalties:
- 5 to 49 grams of methamphetamine or 50 to 499 grams of a methamphetamine mixture. For a first offense you face a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison and/or a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $5,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $25,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual. If death or serious injury results from the distribution/sale you could be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. For a second offense, your potential sentencing range is 10 years to life and if death or serious injury occurs, you face life in prison.
- 50 grams or more of methamphetamine or 500 grams or more of a methamphetamine mixture. For a first offense, 10 years to life and/or a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of Title 18 or $10,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $50,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual. If death or serious injury occurs, your sentence will be not less than 20 or more than life. For a second offense, you face 15 years to life in prison or life in prison if death or serious injury occurs.
Tennessee Methamphetamine Crimes and Penalties
You could be prosecuted in state court for manufacturing, distributing, or possessing methamphetamine. As is the case in federal court, the quantity of the drug involved will impact your potential sentence; however, some general guidelines for a conviction of a methamphetamine crime in Tennessee include:
- Possession of methamphetamine. A first-time meth possession charge is usually charged as a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If you have a previous conviction, it could be elevated to a Class E Felony, punishable by one to six years in prison and/or up to a $3,000 fine.
- Manufacturing, delivering, selling (including possession with intent) methamphetamine. You could be charged with a Class A, B, or C Felony, depending on the amount of methamphetamine involved. Conviction of a Class C Felony carries three to 15 years, a Class B Felony carries eight to 30 years, and conviction of a Class A Felony is punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and/or up to a $100,000 fine.
Keep in mind that your criminal history (or lack thereof) along with the circumstances surrounding your arrest can cause you to be charged with a more serious crime, meaning you will face more serious penalties if convicted.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Lawyer
If you have been charged with a methamphetamine crime in Tennessee, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. In Tennessee contact a Murfreesboro criminal lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby to discuss your legal options. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your free appointment.