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National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
National College of DUI Defense
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Repeat Offender in Knoxville Faces Enhanced Charges for Drug Crimes

April 30, 2015

A 42-year-old Knoxville man was sentenced to 27 years in prison following multiple convictions on cocaine charges. Neighbors had been complaining of suspicious drug activity since August 2013, and a subsequent search of the residence uncovered 140 grams of crack and powder cocaine, which has a street value of roughly $14,000.

While this sentence may seem long, there are many aggravating factors that have caused this to be. Firstly, this is not the man’s first drug-related conviction. He spent ten years in federal confinement for convictions of ‘conspiracy to distribute cocaine’ and ‘using a firearm during drug trafficking’ in the 1990s. Repeat offenders are usually served harsher, lengthier sentences – and this man’s latest punishment is reflective of just that. In fact- the KPD “Repeat Offender” Squad pursued this most recent case against the man.

In addition to the prior convictions, these crimes were also “enhanced” due to the proximity to a drug-free school zone. According to Tennessee law, any drug-related crime within 1,000 feet of a school, day care, or similar facility is automatically punished one classification higher than usual. These crimes were committed within this boundary- and this proximity alone has extended the man’s sentence considerably.

When faced with serious allegations, things like prior convictions can come to light and greatly affect the rest of your life. Finding the right representation under these circumstances can be incredibly helpful, as your attorney should understand what these seemingly small details can do to your case, and can formulate your defense with them in mind. No matter what the circumstances, you owe it to yourself to research your legal options.