If you find yourself in a situation where your loved one has been arrested and accused of committing a serious drug crime, it can be an intimidating experience. However, you are not alone in this situation. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 80% of crimes committed in the state are related to drugs in some fashion. The TBI estimates that there are approximately 800 meth labs in the state at any given time. However, the TBI states that heroin use is also becoming increasingly common, made more dangerous when combined with fentanyl, a narcotic.

How serious are meth and heroin crimes?

Both meth and heroin are Schedule I drugs in Tennessee. Being sentenced for a drug crime involving a Schedule I drug can lead to severe consequences, as these are considered the most serious drug crimes.

If it is a person’s first offense purchasing or possessing one of these drugs, they could be incarcerated for two to 15 years. If it is a person’s second offense purchasing or possessing one of these drugs, they could be incarcerated for five to 30 years. If it is a person’s first offense selling or intending to distribute one of these drugs, they could be incarcerated for five to 30 years. Finally, if it is a person’s second offense selling or intending to distribute one of these drugs, they could be incarcerated either 10 to 40 years, or for life.

The prosecution must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”

The thought of a loved one going to jail for years or even decades is sobering indeed. If your husband, son or boyfriend is facing drug charges involving meth or heroin, you will want to seek the help of an attorney in Memphis who practices in criminal defense. After all, your loved one only has one opportunity to be found, “not guilty.” Attorneys in Tennessee understand the legal system and the challenges your loved one faces.

Crimes involving meth or heroin may seem common, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious. However, in order to be found guilty, it is the prosecution’s duty to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If any reasonable doubt exists that your loved one did not commit a crime, they cannot be found guilty. A strong criminal defense strategy can poke holes in the prosecution’s case, and with the right help, those facing drug charges can present arguments that cast doubt that they had knowing possession of the drug or that they intended to distribute it.