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Marijuana possession still has significant penalties in Tennessee

People in Tennessee need time to relax from time-to-time. Sometimes people plan vacations and take time off work to get away, but even on a daily basis people need to find ways to escape. This could be simply watching a movie before going to bed or going out with friends and family on the weekend. Sometimes people also like to drink alcohol in order to relax or let loose for a little while. Others like to like smoke marijuana. Although some may find alcohol and marijuana relaxing and even acceptable, marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee.

People who are caught possessing the drug can still face serious consequences, too. The severity of imposed penalties upon conviction is based on how much marijuana a person possessed when they were caught.

If the amount is less than half of an ounce, then the offense is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a $250 fine. The fines increase if a person has multiple convictions. If he or she has three prior convictions then possessing a mere half of an ounce is a Class E felony. Possessing anything in excess of a half ounce is a felony as well, as prosecutors often see this as possession with intent to distribute. The level of felony and the penalties involved increase with the more marijuana a person has in their possession. A half ounce to 10 pounds is a Class E felony; 10 to 70 pounds is a Class D felony; above 70 pounds is a Class B felony; and over 700 pounds is a Class A felony.

The fines also significantly increase if a person is convicted of these more serious felonies. They could also face significant jail time. However, these penalties are only imposed if an accused individual is convicted of drug possession. To avoid conviction, an accused individual needs to carefully consider his or her criminal defense options. Many of these defenses start with an assessment of whether the police stopped and searched the individual in violation of the law.

Many people smoke marijuana in Tennessee, which means that many people possess it. This action is illegal though, and people who commit these offenses could face significant penalties if they are convicted. The criminal justice system recognizes that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, which means everyone has the right to put forth a criminal defense to combat accusations of criminal wrongdoing. Experienced attorneys understand the various defenses that may be available to an individual, which means that they can be in dispensable in protecting an individual’s rights, reputation, finances, and freedom.

Source: FindLaw, “Tennessee Marijuana Laws,” accessed on May 1, 2018

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