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The state of Tennessee treats drugs crimes seriously. Even for a relatively low-level drug crime, such as marijuana possession, you could be charged $250 in fees and be required to attend drug offender school for a first-time offense. The penalties get increasingly stiff for repeated offenses or for more serious offenses. In addition, any kind of drug charge—regardless of whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony offense—will end up on your criminal record, which can negatively impact your future ability to get a job or secure a loan.

Considering all of the damage that a drug charge can do, it’s especially important to hire an experienced drug crime attorney who has a thorough understanding of the various defenses available to get you off the hook.

One effective means of getting drug charges dropped is to demonstrate police misconduct. An attorney who has a deep understanding of police tactics—and the type of behavior that is and isn’t allowed—can help to poke holes in your case.

You may already be aware of certain types of police misconduct—such as the use of excessive force, planting evidence or conducting searches without a warrant or probable cause. However, there are also less malicious forms of police misconduct that can completely nullify a case.

For example, let’s say a police officer pulls you over at a routine traffic stop. After issuing you a speeding ticket, the officer brings out a drug-sniffing dog—which uncovers marijuana in your trunk. In this case, the use of the dog would likely be illegal, and therefore the evidence discovered by the dog would not be admissible in court.

If you’re facing a drug charge, it’s particularly advantageous to have a defense attorney who understands the various types of law enforcement actions that are prohibited. Demonstrating police misconduct can create a solid defense for your case.