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Women may face stronger sentencing for drug charges

When a person faces drug charges in Tennessee, especially charges involving opioid painkillers, they may face surprising discrimination in sentencing, according to a new information about the opioid crisis. In many cases, women who face drug charges in Tennessee may spend many more months behind bars than male offenders serve for similar charges.

This presents a number of troubling issues. First, it demonstrates some breakdown in state sentencing guidelines. There is no justifiable reason why a person should spend more or less time behind bars simply because he or she is male or female. If a woman spends six months longer in jail than her male counterparts, this is a clear violation of justice that deserves addressing.

Furthermore, it is an unjust burden on the taxpayers in the state. Every prisoner who stays in prison a day longer than they have to does so on the taxpayer's dime. Not only are longer sentences for female drug offenders clearly discriminatory, they are grossly unfair to the law-abiding citizens who foot the bill.

Even if a female suspect cannot fully escape the charges , she may have grounds to reduce the penalties significantly. If these new findings are any indication, women facing drug charges in Tennessee may have to fight simply to receive fair charges and sentencing at all.

If you are a woman facing drug charges, be sure to seek out proper legal counsel to ensure that you protect your rights and privileges as your case proceeds. The guidance and representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the details of your charges and identify strong strategies to protect your priorities and future.

Source: Tennessean, "One unexpected effect of Tennessee's opioid crisis? Longer jail stays for women Anita Wadhwani," Oct. 22, 2017

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