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Drug crimes and the American justice system

In the eyes of most Americans, drugs and crime go hand-in-hand. When you consider that the nation's prisons are filled to overflowing with drug offenders, many of them convicted of non-violent crimes, it is easy to see why people think the way they do.

It is clear that the nation's method of dealing with drug addiction and its associated criminal element is lacking in many ways. The legal system has established laws detailing what comprises drug crimes. Some of the most common types of drug-related offenses include:

-- Possession of illegal drugs

-- Drug distribution and trafficking

-- Manufacturing and delivering illegal drugs

-- Possession of drug paraphernalia

In certain cases, those convicted of any of the above crimes receive a prison sentence where they remain exposed to the influence of criminal behavior. Some believe this is where the flaws in the justice system are the most tragic. Further, many of the defendants convicted of drug offenses do not commit other types of crime.

While no reasonable person would suggest preferential treatment for anyone convicted of a crime, it seems obvious that a new take on drug crimes and their associated penalties is worth exploring. Until a better way of dealing with these crimes can be developed and put into place, avoiding conviction is crucial in breaking the cycle of drug use or addiction and criminal behavior.

Like other states, Tennessee imposes harsh penalties for those convicted of drug crimes, including lengthy incarceration and costly fines, depending upon the severity of the charges. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, a criminal defense attorney can provide more information about your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Types of Drug Crimes," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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