Possession with Intent to Sell, Manufacture or Deliver
Possession with the intent to manufacture, deliver or sell is a felony offense in Tennessee. The felony classification, and possible punishment, depend on the type and amount of the drug, whether any enhanceable factors exists, such as possession in a school zone, as well as the number of prior felony convictions of the person charged. A successful prosecution hinges on the State of Tennessee’s ability to establish sufficient evidence to convince a jury of the person’s intent in controlling the drugs. Factors considered in determining whether drugs were intended to be used to manufacture, deliver or sell include:
- Amount of the drug. The higher the amount, the more difficult to argue the possession was intended only for personal use. In Tennessee, marijuana in an amount over 1/2 an ounce may be charged as possession with intent. In theory however, an individual with several pounds of marijuana could argue as a defense that their possession was intended only for their personal use and if convincing to the jury could be found guilty only of a misdemeanor simple possession in Tennessee.
- Large sums of cash found in proximity to the drugs, particularly in smaller denominations is suggestive of many cash transactions and selling.
- Packaging of the drugs. Were the drugs individually packaged or in a single bulk packaging?
- Existence of anything else in close proximity to the drugs that would suggest manufacturing, selling or delivering. For example, a bulk quantity of marijuana is found in a room. In that room there was a chopping block, scissors, a box of plastic baggies and a scale. All of those items would be very clear indications that the person charged had been selling. Alternatively, a bulk package of marijuana found in a room with a bong, a pipe with marijuana residue and none of the other items previously mentioned would create a much stronger argument that the possession was purely for personal use and the person would be guilty of a misdemeanor, simple possession.
Although there are some similarities with drug cases, the facts will almost always be slightly different. Drug charges are prosecuted aggressively in Tennessee. If you are charged with a drug crime in Cookeville, Nashville, Lebanon, Murfreesboro, Franklin, Gallatin, Dickson or another area in Tennessee, call our office and discuss your case with our criminal lawyers. Changes in Tennessee law now provide mandatory jail time for certain types of drug offenses, even if it is a first offense. An arrest for a Drug Offense can be the result of bad influences or a sign of addiction. Either way, incarceration rarely helps, especially when there are more appropriate alternatives to deal with substance abuse. Proper review of the case and your personal situation with your criminal defense attorney is imperative, especially with Tennessee’s tough stance on drugs.