Simple possession sounds like a minor offense, and truthfully, for the most part it is. However, if you have never faced criminal charges it can be a very serious matter. No one foresees a criminal record in their future and you are probably frightened at what this charge could mean for you.
In an effort to combat the drug problem in this country, law enforcement is heavy handed when it comes to seeking out and arresting or citing drug dealers and even recreational users.
Please contact us for our legal defense advice on a drug possession or marijuana possession charge in Tennessee.
Tennessee Drug Classifications
The federal government classifies controlled substances into several “schedules”. Most states, including Tennessee, adopted these schedules, making minor adjustments. The following is how controlled substances are classified in Tennessee:
Schedule I drugs include those that are the most dangerous and have a high risk of addiction or dependency and no legitimate medical use. Drugs included under this heading include LSD, heroin and mescaline.
Schedule II substances still have a high risk of abuse but may have legitimate medical uses. These include things like opium, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines, and amphetamines.
Schedule III drugs are slightly less dangerous than Schedule II substances, but still have a moderate risk of abuse. Schedule III substances include anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, and some depressants.
Schedule IV drugs have a slight risk of dependency and have very acceptable medical uses. Some Schedule IV drugs are clonazepam, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Schedule V substances have a very low risk of dependency and include things like Tylenol with Codeine.
Schedule VI includes marijuana which is thought to have a very low risk of physical dependency.
Schedule VII includes only Butyl Nitrate also called “poppers”.
Tennessee Simple Possession or Casual Exchange
Simple possession or casual exchange is the lowest drug offense there is in Tennessee. If you did not have enough of a controlled substance on you to be charged with felony possession or a trafficking or sale charge, the other option for the prosecution is “simple possession”.
If you are charged with simple possession or casual exchange you will faceClass A misdemeanor penalties. This means you may serve up to one year in jail and face fines up to $2,500.
If this is a second offense or greater, under this law you will face Class E felony charges which carry a potential sentence of 1-6 years and fines up to $3,000.
In addition to any jail or fines, you may be required to take a drug education class at the discretion of the judge.
Note: Also see our Marijuana charges page.
Ref: TCA 39-17-418
Free Consultation on Tennessee Drug Possession Charges
If this is your first offense, there is a good chance we can help you get probation rather than jail time. There is also the chance that we could get your charges dropped altogether. Call today to give us the details on your case and see what a difference a highly qualified attorney can make.