Drug charges are serious business in Tennessee. One question that was asked of me recently is what happens if I am charged with poessession of methamphetamine in Tennessee. Possession of Methamphetamine(Meth) can be a felony. Meth is a Schedule II drug. Possession of any amount of a Schedule II drug may result in a felony drug conviction. It is a Class B felony with a full range of punishment of 8 to 30 years in prison depending on your criminal record.
What makes possession of meth a felony ? Mere possession of meth is not sufficent to sustain a felony charge but it can be a misdeameanor simple possession charge. Possession of meth becomes a felony under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-417. The State of Tennessee must prove one element of the following;
- One knowingly manufactured a controlled substance.
- One knowingly delivered a controlled substance.
- One sold a controlled substance.
- One possessed a controlled substance with the intent to maunufacture, deliver, or sell the controlled substance.
The last prong is the tricky one.How do you determine intent to sell meth ? There are several ways to prove that element;
- The weight of the drug. The more of the drug you possess could prove that you might be selling drugs.
- Having drug processing equipment can be a factor. Did you have digital scales ?
- How was the meth packaged ? One big bag verses a lot of little baggies.
- Records of drug transactions. Like journals or texts from your cell phone.
Weight alone may not enough to convict one of a drug trafficking charge in Tennessee. Now if you got a couple of ounces or pounds of meth may be a different situation.