Memphis Drug Crimes

Defending Memphis Drug Crimes

You could be facing jail time from eight to twelve years and become a convicted felon

Memphis drug crimes

Memphis Drug crimes can range from simple possession of marijuana to trafficking cocaine across state lines. Many drug crimes have mandatory minimum fines, ranging from $750 to $100,000 and sentences from eight to twelve years. In addition, police can seize your vehicle if there is a reasonable belief that your vehicle was used in connection with a drug crime.

A defendant charged with a drug crime can receive a jail sentence for even a very small amount of crime. In Tennessee, if a defendant has a certain amount of drugs, prosecutors can ‘assume’ that the defendant is a drug dealer – even without baggies, scales, or other contraband that would identify an actual dealer. You may be surprised to learn that you have been charged with a crime like “possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance.”

At The Law Office of J. Jeffrey Lee, located in Memphis, I regularly defend defendants charged with drug crimes in state and federal court. I can defend your drug crime whether you are accused of obtaining, possessing, manufacture, trafficking, or selling a controlled substance, which includes marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, drug paraphernalia, or controlled prescription drugs like OxyContin, Hydrocodone and Zanax.

The first approach with a drug crime is to determine whether the contraband can be suppressed due to a warrantless search, an illegal pat-down, or other unlawful search techniques by law enforcement. If the evidence cannot be suppressed, we still have many tactics for trial, such as to demonstrate to the jury how shoddy the police investigation was in many cases.

Lastly, if a defendant truly has a substance abuse problem, has no winnable case, and tells me that they want to take advantage of this opportunity to receive life-saving rehabilitation, I work closely with the staff of Judge Dwyer’s drug court and drug screening programs, and I will use my best efforts to negotiate an arrangement where, upon the successful completion of a judicial diversion or other probation period, the charges can be drastically reduced or even dismissed and expunged in many cases.

As a certified criminal trial specialist, I am familiar with preparing and delivery a trial strategy from beginning to end – from accusation to acquittal. Click here to schedule a Strategy Session where we can discuss the details of your case and I can provide an Individualized Client Packet based on your specific needs.


T.C.A. § 39-17-417. Offenses; violations, fines; habitual drug offenders

(a) It is an offense for a defendant to knowingly:

(1) Manufacture a controlled substance;

(2) Deliver a controlled substance;

(3) Sell a controlled substance; or

(4) Possess a controlled substance with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell the controlled substance.


T.C.A. § 39-17-418. Simple possession; casual exchange

(a) It is an offense for a person to knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from, or pursuant to, a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of professional practice.

(b) It is an offense for a person to distribute a small amount of marijuana not in excess of one-half ( ½ ) ounce (14.175 grams).

(c)(1) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), a violation of this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(2)(A) A violation of subsection (a) with respect to any amount of methamphetamine shall be punished by confinement for not less than thirty (30) days, and the person shall serve at least one hundred percent (100%) of the thirty (30) day minimum.

(B)(i) The thirty (30) day minimum sentence required by subdivision (c)(2)(A) shall not be construed to prohibit a person sentenced pursuant to this subsection (c) from participating in a drug or recovery court that is certified by the department of mental health and substance abuse services.

(ii) Any person participating in such a court may receive sentence credit for up to the full thirty (30) day minimum required by subdivision (c)(2)(A).

(d) A violation of subsections (a) or (b), where there is casual exchange to a minor from an adult who is at least two (2) years the minor’s senior, and who knows that the person is a minor, is punished as a felony as provided in § 39-17-417.

(e) A violation under this section is a Class E felony where the person has two (2) or more prior convictions under this section and the current violation involves a Schedule I controlled substance classified as heroin.

(f)(1) In addition to the other penalties provided in this section, any person convicted of violating this section for possession of a controlled substance may be required to attend a drug offender school, if available, or may be required to perform community service work at a drug or alcohol rehabilitation or treatment center.

(2) Any person required to attend a drug offender school pursuant to this subsection (f) shall also be required to pay a fee for attending the school. If the court determines that the person, by reason of indigency, cannot afford to pay a fee to attend the school, the court shall waive the fee and the person shall attend the school without charge. The amount of fee shall be established by the local governmental authority operating the school, but the fee shall not exceed the fee charged for attending an alcohol safety DUI school program if such a program is available in the jurisdiction. All fees collected pursuant to this subsection (f) shall be used by the governmental authority responsible for administering the school for operation of the school.