Heroin in Tennessee: The harsh penalties for opiate use

The opioid crisis in the United States has grown to major proportions, causing stress on local governments and individuals. In Tennessee, the state tries to combat the growing issue by restricting access to illegal opioid drugs. One such drug is heroin.

Possessing heroin is a crime, just as selling or distributing it is. Although some attitudes about drugs have changed, heroin is still one that people regard negatively on the whole. It has an extremely addictive nature and is easily overdosed on, especially with new formulas containing fentanyl.

Selling heroin in Tennessee can lead to a Class A or B felony, depending on how much you sell and where you sell it. For the sale to a minor or in a school zone, you'll face a Class felony one class higher than you would have otherwise, which means you'll face harsher penalties. The first time anyone is arrested for the sale of heroin results in a minimum penalty of $2,000.

Although possession generally doesn't hurt anyone but yourself, even a casual exchange of heroin leads to penalties. It's a Class A misdemeanor between adults, but it's a felony to casually exchange drugs between an adult and minor. Fines can be as high as $100,000 for each count you face.

Remember that these penalties are just for the sale or possession of heroin. If the drug was mixed with another or you had multiple drugs in your possession, you could face enhanced penalties or further charges. It's a good idea to look into a strong defense, because you may wish to seek drug addiction counseling or other alternative options if they're presented.

Source: FindLaw, "Tennessee Heroin Laws," accessed Dec. 06, 2017

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