Simple Possession in Tennessee
Simple possession is the lowest drug offense that there is in Tennessee. If you did not have enough of a controlled substance on you to be charged with a felony possession, trafficking, or sale charge, then simple possession – also known as casual exchange – is another option for the prosecution.
Simple possession is usually considered something of a minor offense in Tennessee. However, to those who have never experienced criminal charges, possession can be a serious and frightening thing to face.
Those charged with simple possession or casual exchange will face Class A misdemeanor penalties, which can mean serving up to one year in jail and facing fines of up to $2,500. One can be charged with possession of a controlled substance even if not caught with the drugs on their person. If law enforcement finds a controlled substance on the property of a registered owner – such as a car or house – then that person could be charged with drug possession.
Those charged with a second offense or greater will face Class E felony charges. This holds a potential sentence of one to six years and a fine of up to $3,000.
One may also be required to take a drug education class at the presiding judges discretion.
Possession with Intent
Possession with intent holds serious penalties and is a felony offense in Tennessee. The quantity in a person’s possession is not the only element that distinguishes simple possession from possession with intent (which is also known as intent to distribute). Possessing items such as bags or containers used to package and resell drugs, scales used to weigh drug product in bulk, large quantities of unclaimed cash, and more can contribute to an intent to distribute charge.
If a law enforcement officer determines that the amount of drugs one possesses is for more than recreational use (a strong sign that one intends to sell the drugs) then one could receive a possession with intent charge. This does not mean the offender is presumed guilty of a felony drug crime. The State of Tennessee must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt possession of the drugs with intent to distribute or sell.
Call us today
Given the various serious consequences that drug possession can bring, it is crucial for people facing these charges to consider seeking legal assistance to help. Call (615) 785-2000 for an experienced Drug Possession Attorney today.