Although many states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes, Tennessee is not one of them. In Tennessee, marijuana possession is a crime. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, defending against the allegations can be an important step toward keep a drug conviction off your record. Nashville drug crime attorney Bernie McEvoy has significant experience handling drug possession cases in Williamson and Davidson Counties. He understands how marijuana offenses are prosecuted, and he can prepare a strategy that serves the specific needs of his client.Tennessee Laws Regarding Marijuana Possession
Marijuana is regulated by Tennessee and federal laws as a controlled substance. Under Tennessee law, marijuana is illegal in any form and not permitted for recreational use under any circumstances. Further, Tennessee does not allow anyone to provide or obtain marijuana within the state for medicinal purposes. It is criminal offense to knowingly possess marijuana in Tennessee, unless it was procured under a valid prescription or order of a practitioner who was acting in the course of professional practice. If you are found with marijuana, you may face a criminal charge for marijuana possession.
To convict a defendant of marijuana possession, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the substance was marijuana, and that the defendant knowingly possessed the marijuana. For the first element, the prosecution typically will call an expert witness to present any lab reports and testify that the substance is in fact marijuana. Possession may be actual, physical possession, such as carrying marijuana in a jacket pocket or on one’s person, or possession may be constructive. A person may be found in constructive possession of marijuana if they knowingly have the power and intention to control it at any given time, although they are not in physical possession of it. For example, a homeowner may be presumed to be in possession of marijuana that is found in their garage.
Marijuana possession is a class A misdemeanor offense in Tennessee. Although simple marijuana possession may seem like a minor charge, the penalties that may be imposed for a conviction include jail time and/or a fine up to $2,500. In addition, the judge may order the defendant to attend a drug offender school or perform community service work. Typically, a marijuana possession charge arises from situations involving less than one half ounce of marijuana. A person found with a large amount of marijuana may face a felony charge for possession with intent to sell. Unlike a simple possession case, this requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant was going to sell the marijuana. A conviction for possession with intent to sell may carry a sentence of up to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000, among other penalties. A seasoned drug crime lawyer can help you defend against charges for possession with intent to sell.Defenses
There are several potential defenses to a marijuana possession charge. If the police discovered the marijuana in an illegal search of your home or car, for example, the court may rule that the evidence found in the search cannot be used against you at trial. In cases involving possession of marijuana derivatives, such as CBD oil, the content of THC should be examined. Tennessee has legalized the possession and sale of hemp-derived CBD oil and CBD-infused products that contain small amounts of THC. In addition, people with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, may possess CBD oil containing up to 0.9 percent THC.Nashville Defense Attorney for Marijuana Possession Charges
You have the right to retain an experienced lawyer to defend you against prosecution in a marijuana possession case. Bernie McEvoy can provide skilled representation to individuals facing charges for marijuana and other drug crimes. He can assist residents of Nashville, Franklin, and other places in Davidson and Williamson Counties. To request a free consultation, call the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy at (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 on evenings and weekends, or contact us online.