What Is Considered Simple Drug Possession in Tennessee?

In the state of Tennessee, you commit a simple possession drug offense if you “knowingly possess or casually exchange a controlled substance, unless the substance was obtained directly from…a valid prescription…while acting in the course of a professional practice” (TCA 39-17-418).

A simple drug possession conviction, even one that carries probation with no jail time, will get you probation for 1 year and will stay on your permanent record forever. Which drugs will get you a simple drug possession charge? What can you do about it?

Simple Drugs and Possible Penalties

In Tennessee, a simple drug is one of the following:

  1. Powder cocaine
  2. Crack cocaine
  3. Heroin
  4. Marijuana
  5. Methamphetamine
  6. The penalties for being caught in possession of one of the drugs listed above vary depending on the amount of the drug and the number of previous offenses.

A first offense is considered a Class A Misdemeanor and will get you either:

  1. probation;
  2. court fees;
  3. fines; or
  4. a jail sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days.

The fine amount for simple drug possession will vary depending on the type of drug found on your person.

If found with marijuana, you could be fined:

  1. $250 for the first conviction;
  2. $500 for the second conviction; and
  3. $1,000 for the third conviction and every other conviction after. If you are convicted for a third time, you will be charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

If you are found with a scheduled controlled substance (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine), you could be fined:

  1. $750 for the first conviction;
  2. $850 for the second conviction; and
  3. $1,000 for the third conviction and every other conviction after. If you are convicted for a third time, you will be charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor.

Contact Patton | Pittman Attorneys Today

If you are arrested for exchanging, possessing, or distributing any of the substances mentioned above, you risk charges that will follow you for the rest of your life. Our attorneys will focus on your best interests and will aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome for you.

Call our firm today at (931) 361-4477 or contact us online for a case evaluation.

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