Is possession of marijuana considered a drug crime in Murfreesboro, Tennessee? Yes, but that truth does come with a few conditions.
Tennessee state law has not yet chosen to follow the trend of other states decriminalizing the possession of marijuana. In fact, possessing even half an ounce of marijuana constitutes a criminal offense. However, the classification of marijuana ranks very low on the state’s list of illegal controlled substances.
The state classifies controlled substances with the term “Schedule.” A Schedule I (one) type of substance would be opiates and hallucinogens, substances that have no accepted medical usage and present the highest probability of abuse. In other words, Schedule I substances carry the most severe consequences.
Marijuana possession, however, currently gets classified as a Schedule VI (six) substance, the lowest level of state classification. Marijuana has been given this classification due to the understanding that marijuana generally presents a very low potential for abuse and dependence.
In some ways, that classification presents a huge shift in opinion on the dangers of marijuana compared to how the drug was viewed only 20 years ago. Once considered a gateway drug that would lead users to always use stronger and more dangerous street drugs, attitudes about the dangers of marijuana have changed due to a better understanding of the drug itself and how addiction works. Marijuana has been recognized for medicinal use in certain medical situations.
But even with that improved understanding, the possession of marijuana still represents a crime in Tennessee. So caution must be taken with marijuana possession.
The possible penalties for marijuana possession in Murfreesboro can include up to one year of jail time, a $2,500 fine, probation, and the possibility of being ordered to participate in a substance abuse education and/or treatment service.
As with other criminal charges, the number of charges can lead to increased penalties. For example, a first offense of being caught with a half-ounce or less of marijuana could result in the probation and a $250 fine. While that may seem a simple penalty, a second offense for the same amount of marijuana can lead to a year of jail time and a new fine of $500.
Interestingly, both of these examples would qualify as misdemeanors. A third charge, however, raises the stakes by classifying the charge as a felony, another $1,000 fine, and up to six years of prison. A charge of attempting to sell marijuana makes it a $5,000 fine and six years in jail, and the charge of cultivation with ten plants or less leads to six years in jail and a $5,000 fine. So you can see marijuana possession can have severe consequences.
Potential Defense Strategies
While the penalties for marijuana possession can be harsh, if you have been accused of possession, you do have some defensive strategies:
· Not being supplied with legal counsel when requested.
· Unwarranted search and seizure
· The severity of the charge (first-time offenses generally allow more leeway in defensive arguments).
· Pre-trial diversion options, such as community service and a smaller fine.
Remember, never be ashamed about requesting a lawyer, and don’t believe that only guilty people ask for lawyers. It is one of the most important thing you can do if you have been arrested or even brought in for questioning Talk with a lawyer before answering questions. David L. Clarke and The Clarke Law Firm have been trusted by countless individuals and their families. Contact experienced criminal defense attorney David L. Clarke by calling 615-796-6299 or filling out our online form.
Need to learn more about the charges for marijuana possession in Murfreesboro, Tennessee?
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