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Drug Related Offenses

Tennessee’s drug laws have two main categories: simple possession of a controlled substance, and possession with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell a controlled substance.
What is a “controlled substance?”  A controlled substance is a drug, substance, or immediate precursor of a controlled substance that is regulated by law. This includes, but is not limited to, illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines (“meth”), but it also applies to things like prescription drugs (valium, opioids, etc.) and the components used to make drugs.

Simple Possession

Under Tennessee’s simple possession law, it is a crime to “knowingly possess” or “casually exchange” a controlled substance unless you have a valid prescription. Marijuana is probably the most common drug associated with a simple possession charge. Someone that possesses or distributes small amounts of marijuana—1/2 ounce or less—can be charged under the simple possession law.

Conviction for a simple possession carries up to 11 months and 29 days of jail time, and it also requires mandatory fines when anyone is convicted.  For a first conviction involving marijuana, the minimum fine is $250.  For a second conviction involving marijuana, the minimum fine is $500.

 

Felony Drug Charges

Tennessee’s Drug Control Act outlines the types and amounts of drugs that result in felony charges for the possession, sale, delivery, manufacture, or the intent to carry out any of these acts in regards to controlled substances.

Drugs are classified into schedules, and those schedules and amounts determine what level of felony an individual will be charged with.  In addition to being serious felony charges, drug violations also carry mandatory fines that range from $1,000 to $500,000.

Tennessee has “Drug Free Zones,” which include areas within 1,000 feet of not only schools, but also childcare agencies, libraries, recreational centers and parks.  Being charged with a drug crime in a drug free zone means that the penalties and fines can be enhanced, and can result in convictions requiring mandatory prison time.

Drug charges are serious and complex.  They carry very high potential penalties, and require legal representation with the experience to navigate these complex and high stakes cases.  Our experienced Tennessee criminal defense lawyers are here to advise you through the entire legal process. Set up a free consultation with an attorney at Garza Law.