What many people do not realize is that the State of Tennessee does not regard all narcotics as equals. There is a classification system that creates a hierarchy of drugs and punishments that correspond to the seriousness of the drug.
If you were charged with a drug-related offense, what drug you were allegedly holding is critical to your defense. Equally important is having an attorney who could build a strong defense against the state, communicate with prosecutors, and help you take proactive steps that may eliminate the state’s evidence and close your case without a conviction. Reach out to a legal professional familiar with exceptions to Chattanooga drug charges today.
There are exceptions in Tennessee that enable certain people to legally interact with certain scheduled drugs. Tennessee law recognizes that certain drugs have a medical purpose and are lawfully prescribed by doctors and sold by licensed pharmacists. These drugs fall within Schedules 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7. Schedule 1 drugs such as LSD, heroin, ecstasy, psilocybin, crack cocaine, and speed have no recognized medical use. Under Tennessee law, any person found in possession of these Schedule 1 substances is subject to drug law penalties.
However, Schedule 2 substances that have a high risk of abuse but may have legitimate medical uses are drug that one may lawfully possess if licensed to do so in Tennessee. Schedule 2 drugs include cocaine, methamphetamines, methadone, and amphetamines. These drugs on Schedule 2 are extremely limited in the types of individuals who are allowed to possess them and require far more than a pharmacist prescription to obtain, possess, and use in a medical context.
The Schedule 3 category includes substances that are less dangerous than Schedule 1 or 2 but still pose a risk of abuse. Schedule 3 substances include pain management drugs like Lortab and hydrocodone, and ADHD medication like Adderall or Ritalin. Other antidepressants and anabolic steroids fall under Schedule 3. These are drugs that are used to treat particular medical conditions. These drugs are often dispensed by pharmacists and lawfully prescribed by doctors. While addictive, they are still within the exceptions for some Chattanooga drug charges.
If these drugs are outside of their pill bottle or container, it could subject someone to a seizure or arrest if they are found on one’s person. If they are found in possession of someone else’s pill bottle and have their name on it, that pill bottle would be disregarded and they would be treated as possessing that illegal drug.
Moving down the schedules, there are less addictive and less risky substances in Schedule 4. Anti-anxiety medication like Xanax or Valium often falls under the Schedule 4 category. Schedule 5 is lower-intensity pain management drugs like codeine. Schedule 6 is where marijuana falls in the state of Tennessee and is the most widely recognized drug in this category. The final schedule, Schedule 7, includes certain butyl nitrites that are prescribed by doctors.
Despite what people may know, there are exceptions to Chattanooga drug charges. If you were prescribed a drug by a medical professional, you are protected from certain charges. However, arresting officers at the time of your arrest may still have probable cause to arrest you. Despite this, you could build a legal defense against criminal allegations. All it takes is one phone call to begin your confidential consultation. Reach out today.