In Tennessee, simple drug possession is when a person is found with a controlled substance but only possessed it for personal use (was not attempting to sell it).
Simple possession can be defined as:
- knowingly possessing a substance;
- casually exchanging a substance or giving out ½ an ounce at most of marijuana; or
- possessing a substance without a valid medical prescription.
A simple possession charge is a misdemeanor but can become a felony if a person has been charged twice previously. It can also become a felony if the person casually exchanges the substance with a minor or the exchange took place near a school.
Penalties for Simple Possession
Socially speaking, a simple drug possession charge can make it difficult for an offender to enroll in higher education or gain scholarships; it can also conflict with either a current job or future employment opportunities.
A simple possession charge is a misdemeanor. Penalties for crimes of this nature will vary depending on how many times a person has been charged.
If it is the first time a person has been charged with a Class A misdemeanor, they could face the following punishments:
- up to 11 months and 29 days in jail;
- a fine between $250 and $750; and/or
- any court costs related to the charges.
The punishments become increasingly more severe for a person who repeats a simple possession offense. For example:
- a second offense conviction can increase the fine to between $500 and $850; and
- a third offense conviction (or higher) can increase the fine to a minimum of $1,000 and makes the charge a felony.
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If you were arrested for a drug-related crime, our attorneys are on your side. We have over 85 years of combined experience and will aggressively fight for your rights.
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