Drug Possession

Contact the Knoxville, TN Lawyers at Stephens & DiRado, LLP.

Knoxville Drug Possession Defense Attorneys 

How Does Tennessee Law Define Drug Possession?

In Tennessee, a person could face drug possession charges if law enforcement finds that they knowingly have a controlled substance without a valid prescription. It is a crime to possess any amount of a Schedule I, II, III, IV, V, VI, or VII controlled substance. These can include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, prescription drugs like Xanax or Valium, and many others. Additionally, our state has laws that specifically target synthetic substances that have been manufactured to be like Schedule I or II substances. 

When it comes to drug possession charges, the stakes are high. If you have been arrested or charged, do not wait to contact S|D Law. We have defended thousands of clients and have the skill and know-how to handle your case. No matter how major or minor your situation might seem, you can count on us to work relentlessly to protect your rights and freedoms. To speak about your case with our drug possession lawyers in Knoxville, schedule a free consultation today. 

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Simple Possession vs. Possession with Intent

Under Tennessee state law, there is a distinction between what is called “simple possession” and “possession with intent” offenses:

  • Simple Possession: Possessing a controlled substance for personal use.
  • Possession with Intent: Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute it.

To prove possession with intent, the prosecution must show that the defendant had the intent to sell or distribute the substance. Potential forms of evidence of this include large quantities of the drug, packaging materials, or drug paraphernalia. 

The Penalties for Tennessee Drug Possession Crimes 

The penalties for drug possession depend on the controlled substance, the amount of it, and whether a court determines it to be simple possession or possession with intent. Being convicted of simple possession can result in a sentence of up to a year and a fine of $2,500. 

A conviction for possession with the intent to sell is much more serious. This charge is generally a felony and can result in multiple years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. The severity of the sentence depends on the schedule of the drug and the amount. 

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Collateral Consequences of a Tennessee Drug Crime Conviction

Once a person has fulfilled their sentence for a drug crime, there are still many consequences they could face. A conviction can bar individuals from owning a gun, applying for certain jobs, receiving federal student aid, and make it difficult to obtain a visa or legally immigrate to the United States. Additionally, Tennessee requires most convicted offenders to have their names listed on The Drug Offender Registry for 10 years. This is a publicly searchable database. 

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