Simple possession charge in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the law is clear on the possession of narcotics, and the courts are harsh in their administration of punishments. The consequences of an arrest can change from case to case, depending on the type and amount of the drugs in question. Regardless, you will want to legally defend yourself in any arrest scenario. Future employers and other organizations can see your criminal record and that will potentially damage any future relations with them. You will want to talk to a Tennessee Drug Lawyer in order to defend yourself and to avoid the worst punishments.
Tennessee Simple Possession Definition
Simple possession, AKA casual exchange, is actually the lowest form of drug offense there is in Tennessee. It is the possession of small amounts of a drug, whether on your person or on the property of a registered owner. The prosecution will go with this charge for lower amounts of drugs and try you for the minor infraction if they can. A conviction will go on your record permanently for anyone to see in addition to any of the punishments the court deems suitable to the crime.
What Happens After Being Charged
If you are charged with simple possession, then the crime is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. That means that you face up to a year in jail and fines up to $2,500 in addition to the mark on your record. If you already have a conviction on record, repeat offenses raise the classification to a Class E Felony. When the crime is a felony, the punishment is harsher with up to six years in prison and $3,000 in fines. You may also need to take a drug education class if the presiding judge decides it is necessary.
With a few notable exceptions, Tennessee’s classification of narcotics largely mirrors the Federal Government’s drug scheduling. Controlled substances in Tennessee are classified by schedules that divide them based on their potential for abuse and the usefulness of their medical applications.
- Schedule I: The most dangerous and addictive drugs such as LSD (blotter acid), heroin, ecstasy (MDMA, “Molly”) mescaline, and psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin).
- Schedule II: High-risk drugs, but with legitimate medical uses. This schedule includes opium, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
- Schedule III: Moderate-risk drugs including anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, and some depressants.
- Schedule IV: Still dangerous but with very clear medical uses. Includes clonazepam, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
- Schedule V: Lesser substances like Tylenol with Codeine.
- Schedule VI: Close to zero chance of danger or dependency, marijuana is in this category.
- Schedule VII: Only contains Butyl Nitrate.
Hire an Attorney to Overview Your Case
Regardless of the drug charges, you are going to want to defend yourself against any accusations in court with a local Criminal Defense Attorney in Knoxville, TN. A defense attorney will fight the charges on your behalf and represent you in a Tennessee court of law. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Your local law firms are ready and willing to represent you.