With more states legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, you may be wondering how Tennessee deals with people found to be in possession of the substance. It is important for you to understand that it is illegal for you to possess any amount of marijuana in the state. Even if you have a medical marijuana card from another state, the moment you drive into Tennessee, that card is no longer legal.
Any type of drug possession charge can turn into a conviction and haunt you for the rest of your life. You should not take chances because you believe it is only a matter of time before marijuana becomes legalized in the state. Take some time to learn about the penalties a marijuana drug charge carries.
Penalties you may receive with a conviction
The courts are not very lenient to drug offenders, especially first-time wrongdoers. If you are caught with less than one-half ounce of marijuana on your person or in your vehicle, you could receive a jail sentence. If you have more than a half ounce of the substance, the amount of jail time you may receive increases substantially. Sometimes, there may be circumstances where the judge and prosecution agree that probation is a better option instead of incarceration. If you are sentenced to probation, it may be for the same amount of time you would have spent behind bars. In addition to jail/probation, you may receive fines ranging from $250 to $100,000, community service and court-ordered treatment.
Keep in mind that the above penalties are for those who do not have prior drug arrests or convictions. Individuals who have old convictions may end up receiving stiffer sentences. Also, if there are other charges pending against you, you could end up with multiple convictions.
Because drug possession charges are tough to beat, you should consider hiring an attorney. She or he will go over defense options that can weaken the prosecution’s case against you and lessen the impact of those charges. You do not want to waste time, give the prosecution a chance to find more evidence or do anything that could make your situation worse.