Knoxville Drug Lawyer
The Garza Law Firm
Knoxville, Tennessee and Federal Drug Crime Legal Information Center
Drug charges cover a broad range of offenses, from the less severe, such as simple possession of a small amount of certain drugs, to the more serious, such as participation in an ongoing drug-related criminal enterprise or manufacturing and distributing drugs.
Even minor charges can be stressful, however, and carry the risk of serious penalties upon conviction; the more serious charges, of course, can give rise to even more severe consequences.
An experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorney can take some of the terror out of drug charges by answering questions and guiding an accused offender through the complex legal process that awaits.
Due to the fact that even smaller or more minor drug charges can result in a criminal record that can last for the rest of your life, it is important to contact a Knoxville, Tennessee Drug Crime Defense Lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your legal and Constitutional rights against a federal drug charge or state drug charge.
Federal Drug Charges:
The United States judicial system is divided into state and federal courts. Whether a person accused of a drug-related crime is prosecuted in the federal or state criminal system depends on what laws were violated, the severity of the offense(s), and the policies and procedures of each court system.
Out of the millions of felony prosecutions filed each year, less than ten percent are filed in the federal system. Often a particular criminal behavior will violate both a state and a federal law, and drug charges are no exception. In theory, the offender could be prosecuted in both systems for the same criminal activity, but in practice this rarely happens.
Most federal and state prosecutors divide up criminal charges based on availability of resources, which statute most closely fits the criminal conduct, available punishment in each system, and each system's policy considerations. If accused of a drug charge, it is crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible who is licensed to practice in both federal and state systems.
The main federal law at issue in drug cases is the Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which codified federal drug law into a uniform system. The Act classifies drugs into five categories, listed in schedules, and establishes regulatory requirements and penalties for the misuse of the drugs on each schedule.
The Act also allows the United States Attorney General to add drugs to the schedules as necessary. Most states have drug laws that mirror the federal act, but the penalties may be less harsh and more flexible under state sentencing schemes than under the federal sentencing guidelines.
A conviction for simple possession, for example may receive a sentence under state law of drug treatment rather than jail time, and probation may be available to first-time offenders for even the more serious crimes.
We can explain the differences between the Tennessee state and federal court systems, both in general terms and with regard to drug charges in particular.
Knoxville Drug Charges:
If you have been charged with drug possession or intent to sell, you need a Knoxville, Tennessee drug crime lawyer to protect your rights.
A drug charge can significantly affect your life including your ability to work or drive a vehicle. You will often risk jail time. Do not let your rights go unprotected. Contact a Knoxville, Tennessee drug crime defense lawyer at The Garza Law Firm today. We are dedicated to protecting your Constitutional rights.
Searches and Seizures in Knoxville Drug Cases:
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of his or her person or property.
A search may involve an inspection of the person or his or her surroundings or property, and seizure refers to taking the person or property into Knoxville police custody. Usually, but not always, if a seizure is invalid, it is because the seizure was preceded by an invalid search. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects an individual against unreasonable searches and seizures of his or her person or property.
A search may involve an inspection of the person or his or her surroundings or property, and seizure refers to taking the person or property into Knoxville police custody. Often, but not always, if a seizure is invalid, it is because the seizure was preceded by an invalid search.
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knoxville drug lawyer
The Garza Law Firm
550 W. Main St.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Toll Free: 888-540-8300
Marcos M. Garza
Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyer Marcos M. Garza grew up in McMinn County, Athens, Tennessee. He attended Vanderbilt University where he received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a double-major in Human & Organizational Development in 1996.
In 1998, Mr. Garza received a Master of Science degree in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Tennessee College of Social Work in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Garza received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2001.
During Law School, Mr. Garza was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in 1999. While stationed at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, Mr. Garza's military experience included Criminal, Operational Law, Legal Assistance, Contracts, Family, Ethics, Administrative Law, and Income Taxation. Mr. Garza's billets included that of a Prosecutor/Trial Counsel of Courts Martials, Aide-de-Camp of a General Officer, and also served as a Martial Arts Instructor. Mr. Garza finished his Active Duty with the rank of Captain.
Mr. Garza is a:
- Board Member of The Tennessee Association for Justice,
- Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,
- Member of the National College of DUI Defense
- Member of The American Association for Justice,
- Member of The Tennessee Bar Association
- Member of The Knoxville Bar Association, and
- Member of The Sevier County Bar Association
After his tour as a Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps, Mr. Garza formerly worked in the areas of personal injury, family law and general civil litigation as a solo practitioner in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Mr. Garza is also a graduate of the prestigious National Criminal Defense College Trial Practice Institute. Mr. Garza is one of only a few lawyers across the country who have been certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the same tests often administered by police officers prior to arresting someone for driving under the influence (DUI).
Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyer Marcos Garza is licensed to practice in both Tennessee State and Federal Courts, The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
During his free time, Mr. Garza enjoys running, spending time with his wife and three young children, and charcoal grilling on his Big Green Egg.