Drug Possession Lawyer in Murfreesboro TN
If you have been charged with illegally possessing drugs, often referred to as Simple Possession or casual exchange, it can be a very serious matter with damaging consequences. While you may have only received a citation or a ticket, it is important to understand what you are up against.
Simple possession/Casual Exchange charges are misdemeanors in Tennessee, which means the maximum penalty is a fine up to $2,500 and up to 11 months and 29 days in jail for each charge. In addition to the penalties imposed by law, a guilty conviction can dramatically affect one’s career and future employment opportunities. It is also important to note, if you are found guilty of the offense, it will likely remain on your criminal record indefinitely and you may not have the right to have your record expunged. Each case varies depending on your charge and facts of your case.
On the bright side, it may be possible to avoid being found guilty of illegal possession. There are a variety of defenses to your charge that may lead to a dismissal of your case. That’s why you need an experienced attorney aggressively defending your case. The most common drug charge in Tennessee is simple possession of marijuana. However, any other drug that falls under the category of a controlled substance is illegal to possess without a valid prescription. Controlled substances are assigned a schedule ranging from schedule I to Schedule VII. Schedule I consists of the most dangerous and addictive drugs and Schedule VII being the less serious.
Like any criminal case, before you can be found guilty of simple possession, the state must be able to sufficiently prove that you committed the crime. This is where the legal professionals at Wilson, Howser and Oliver may be able to help you.
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What must the state prove to find me guilty?
The state must prove that you were in possession of an illegal controlled substance (drug), and that you knew you had the drug in your possession without a valid prescription.
Does that mean that if the drug was not found on my person, i.e. in my hand or my clothing, then I cannot be found guilty?
No, it does not. It is possible to be found guilty of simple possession even though the drug was not found on your person. The law recognizes a form of possession called “constructive possession” which means the drugs were found in an area close to you. The most common examples are drugs found in the common area of a home were multiple people reside, or drugs found in a car occupied by multiple people. If no one claims to be the owner of the drug then everyone in the car or house may be charged with possessing the same drug.
It may sound like an easy task for the state to prove their case, however there many issues that must be thoroughly reviewed before making any determination. It is critical to have a legal team that will work diligently on your behalf to review all the actions of the police officers that charged with this crime.
How will I know if I have any defenses to the charge or if I can avoid being found guilty?
Call one of our Murfreesboro criminal defense lawyers for a free case consultation.
It is important to note that if you have already been convicted of a simple possession charge twice in the past and now find yourself facing another simple possession charge, it can be a Felony if you are convicted for a third time.
Possession with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell
Being accused of simple possession of a drug can be a serious situation, but if you have been accused of Manufacturing, Selling, Delivering, or Possessing with the intent to Manufacture, sell, or Deliver a drug, you should retain an experienced attorney immediately and must be very careful in your selection of a criminal defense attorney.
It is a felony in Tennessee to:
- Possess a drug with intent to Manufacture, Deliver, Sell a controlled substance.
Often times the only difference between the charge being a felony or a misdemeanor is the amount of drugs found and the items that may have been found with the drugs. These items, referred to as paraphernalia, could include scales, large amounts of cash, individual baggies for drugs, etc. Unlike simple possession charges, having a prescription alone may not be an absolute defense for this crime.
The severity of the penalties you may face vary greatly depending upon on the type of drug you are accused of possessing. You may be accused of selling or buying drugs from a confidential informant, or the transaction may have been video recorded. It is important to hire a competent lawyer that will help you find out exactly what evidence the state may or may not have against you.
If you are in need of an experienced and determined drug crimes defense attorney, Wilson, Howser and Oliver is ready to defend you in court. Contact us today to begin your free case assessment.