Even though at the time of this writing some states, including Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana, Tennessee still cracks down hard on the possession of marijuana. If you are convicted of a marijuana offense in Tennessee you may face a lengthy term of incarceration. This is why you should contact an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney right away if you have been charged with a marijuana offense in Tennessee.
The State of Tennessee does not care why you have marijuana. Whether you use marijuana for medical purposes or have been growing marijuana to sell, both are crimes and are taken extremely seriously.
Possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor for a first or second offense in Tennessee. This is punishable with by up to a year in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,500. Your first conviction has a minimum mandatory fine of $250, the second conviction a minimum mandatory fine of $500, and subsequent convictions have minimum mandatory fines of $1,000. A third or subsequent conviction is also charged as a felony, punishable by a term of incarceration of one to six years.
A class E felony, which results when you are convicted of possessing half an ounce to 10 pounds of marijuana, comes with a minimum jail sentence of one to six years and a fine up to $5,000. Possessing 10 pounds to 70 pounds of marijuana is a class D felony. This offense is punishable with a jail sentence of two to 12 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000. You can be convicted of a class B felony if you were possessing 70 pounds to 300 pounds of marijuana. This is punishable with eight to 30 years in jail and a fine up to $200,000. If you are convicted of possessing over 300 pounds of marijuana, a class A felony, you will be sentenced to 15 to 30 years in jail and a fine not to exceed $500,000. Keep in mind that when large amounts of any drug are involved it could catch the attention of federal law enforcement officers as well, subjecting you to federal charges in addition to state charges.
As you can see, the State of Tennessee does not take even simple possession lightly. Possessing any amount of marijuana can result in a jail sentence. Going to jail would likely be more than just an inconvenience for you and your family. Not only would you have to spend time away from your family but your ability to work would be nonexistent. It is imperative that you contact a Tennessee criminal defense attorney right now.