Tennessee Felony Drug Offenses
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY DRUG CHARGE
Often times, police officers charge suspects with a felony drug offense based solely on the amount of the controlled substance. Under Tennessee law, an inference can be drawn from the amount of drugs that the drugs were possessed by the defendant for the purpose of a sale or delivery to another person. This inference is based on Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-419. However, other facts surrounding the arrest and the search must also be considered, such as the following:
- Existence of any paraphernalia
- Presence of cash
- Presence of equipment to weigh and measure drugs
- How the drugs are packaged
Many times the officer charges a suspect with a felony when the actual offense is only a misdemeanor drug possession. If this has happened to you, you need to consult with an experienced drug offense attorney to aggressively defend you in court against the arresting officer and the prosecutor. In order to prove a felony drug offense, the prosecutor must present evidence that the defendant knowingly:
- Manufactured a controlled substance;
- Delivered a controlled substance;
- Sold a controlled substance; or
- Possessed a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell the controlled substance. (T. C. A. § 39-17-417)
It is important to remain silent if you are being investigated for a drug offense.
If you have been charged with a felony level drug offense you could be facing serious jail time and fines. These are serious crimes. But there are many defenses available in these types of cases. Issues our attorneys investigate include:
- Was the search legal?
- Were there reasonable grounds for the traffic stop?
- Is there enough evidence to prove intent to sell?
- Was a criminal informant used?
- Was there a valid prescription for the drugs?
- Was a proper search warrant obtained?
- Was a drug dog used?
- Have the drugs been tested properly?
FELONY MARIJUANA POSSESSION
The crime of Simple Possession or Casual Exchange of Marijuana (Schedule VI) is typically reserved to an amount of marijuana under one-half (½) ounce. Possessing marijuana over one-half (½) ounce is sometimes charged as a felony in Tennessee depending on the facts surrounding the search and the arrest.
Our Attorneys in Murfreesboro have experience defending felony drug cases. They have received specialized training with current and former police officers in defending and investigating crimes.