Tennessee takes drug crimes seriously. Should prosecutors convict you any type of drug crime, you could face very serious consequences, including a substantial jail or prison sentence and/or a large fine.
The Discovery Place explains that Tennessee has five separate types of drug crimes as follows:
- Simple possession, casual exchange
- Possession with intent
- Sale of a controlled substance
- Drug trafficking and conspiracy
- Drug manufacturing
Conviction of any of these crimes could negatively impact you for the rest of your life.
1. Simple possession
As its name implies, simple possession means possession of a small quantity of drugs, presumably for your own personal use. This is a Class A misdemeanor, the lowest level of crime, but if convicted, penalties nevertheless include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.
2. Possession with intent
If law enforcement officers charge you with possession with the intent to sell or distribute, it means that at the time they arrested you, you allegedly possessed more drugs than you reasonably could be expected to use for your own recreation. Possession with intent constitutes a felony offense, the conviction of which could result in your lengthy imprisonment.
3. Sale of a controlled substance
A sale of a controlled substance charge means that officers allege you sold an illegal drug to someone, such as an undercover officer. Regardless of the quantity of drugs they allege you sold, conviction of this crime is a felony. The penalties depend on the following:
- The type of drug you allegedly sold
- The quantity of it you allegedly sold
- The place where you allegedly sold it
- The age of the person to whom you allegedly sold it
4. Drug trafficking and conspiracy
If officers charge you with drug trafficking, it means that you allegedly engaged in the production, transportation, distribution and/or sale of an illegal substance in conjunction with someone else. Be aware that Tennessee law provides for mandatory minimum sentences for conviction of these types of felonies. Again, your penalties upon conviction will depend on the same things as in a sale charge.
5. Drug manufacturing
As you likely know, some drugs such as methamphetamines require more than a simple plant growing in order to produce a usable, albeit illegal, product. If officers charge you with drug manufacturing, they allege that you engaged in some process or procedure by which to make such a drug. Given that methamphetamines represent Tennessee’s most notorious manufactured drugs, the state reserves its harshest penalties for persons convicted of this felony.
This is educational information only and not intended as legal advice.