Skip to main content

Tennessee Drug Possession Laws

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Memphis, Tennessee or the surrounding area you could be facing numerous consequences including jail time, fines, forfeiture of property, and permanent felony or misdemeanor convictions on your record. A drug possession lawyer in Memphis should be consulted for advice on how to proceed. In Memphis, your case will be heard at the Criminal Courthouse building downtown, located at 201 Poplar Avenue. However, if you were charged in one of the surrounding areas of Shelby County outside of Memphis your case will not be downtown. Germantown drug crimes, Bartlett drug crimes, and Collierville drug crimes will be heard in that community’s respective court. The severity of drug offenses in Tennessee depend on the type and amount of the controlled substance. The Tennessee Drug Control Act, found in Tennessee Code Annotated Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 4, is patterned after the federal Controlled Substances Act. It divides drugs into seven categories, or schedules. For cocaine and methamphetamine, which are schedule 2 drugs, it is a crime to manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess with intent to manufacture, deliver or sell. If the amount of cocaine or methamphetamine is .5 grams or greater the offense is a Class B felony punishable from 8-30 years and a maximum $100,000 fine. If the amount is less than .5 grams the offense is a Class C felony punishable from 3-15 years and a maximum $100,000 fine. There is additional punishment if a gun was used or possessed during the crime. Marijuana is a Schedule 6 controlled substance. To manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell between ½ ounce (14.175 grams) and 10 pounds is a Class E felony punishable from 1-6 years. There is also a maximum fine of $5,000. Other drugs such as heroin, morphine, and LSD carry their own sets of penalties. For any of these charges, a Memphis drug crimes lawyer should be contacted to handle the case. There is also possession without intent, or simply possession of a controlled substance. This is a misdemeanor crime punishable up to 11 months and 29 days, unless the defendant has two or more prior convictions in which case it is a Class E felony. It is also a felony for an adult to casually exchange a controlled substance to a minor at least two years younger. With marijuana, possessing or distributing an amount less than ½ ounce is a misdemeanor. With other substances, it will depend on the facts. If it appears from the type of drug and the amount, along with other relevant facts, that the possession was for personal use and not with intent to distribute, the charge will be a misdemeanor and not a felony. Patrick Stegall is a Memphis marijuana possession lawyer. He represents individuals who have been charged with felony and misdemeanor drug possession offenses in Memphis, Bartlett, Germantown and Collierville. Tennessee drug crimes carry many long-lasting consequences, so it is important that the case be reviewed and handled by an experienced attorney. For help with your case, please contact Mr. Stegall at [email protected] or 901-205-9894.

Additional resources provided by the author

Rate this guide


Recommended articles about Criminal defense

Can’t find what you’re looking for?


Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer