Most drug users in Tennessee are not dealing drugs or trying to distribute the drugs to others. They simply want to have enough of the drug for their own personal use. People in this situation may also give some to friends or family from time to time for their limited use, but nothing beyond that. While this may seem harmless compared to those who are involved in selling them or bringing in the drugs from other countries, there are still serious consequences for those caught possessing drugs.
Like any other drug charges, the potential penalties for those caught possessing drugs in Tennessee depends on the type and amount of the drug that the person possesses or casually exchanges. For most types of drugs, a conviction would be a class A misdemeanor. However, if the drug is methamphetamine then the person would have to serve at least 30 days in jail. It should be noted, though, that this requirement can be satisfied if the person goes to a court approved treatment program.
There are also additional penalties if the person gives the drug to a minor or they have a least three convictions of this type of crime. In these situations the person would be guilty of a felony instead of a misdemeanor. However, people charged with crimes are not automatically guilty. There may be defenses available to the person. These defenses start with whether the police properly searched the person and seized the drugs. If the stop or search was illegal, then the evidence of the drugs may be suppressed.
Many people use various drugs in Tennessee. Some of these drugs are used legally if the person has a valid prescription, but many others are illegal. Most people only possess enough for the personal use, but even that can lead to serious consequences. However, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and the person may have defenses available to them. Criminal defense attorneys understand these defenses and may be able to help clients protect their rights.
Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses § 39-17-418” November 20, 2017