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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    3

    Default Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    Yesterday I got pulled over and a drug cop was called. Im not sure how exactly they may have known but they did. So this guy came up to my window and started asking me questions. I admitted to having a small amount of marijuana on me, less than a gram, and gave it to them. They also found a small pipe in my pocket. They released me and gave me a citation that doesn't even have a conviction written on it, but a number for me to call in a few days to get information on the fine and so forth. They told me it was going to be a charge of simple possession of paraphernalia and that i wouldn't even have to come to court if i sent in the fine beforehand. They didn't know what the fine would be but they said it was probaby $250. I dont mind paying the fine and am quite happy i didn't go to jail, but a few things worry me. 1) I am a nursing student currently enrolled in a program and half way through it. If they find this charge against me, i will be expelled. I told the cops this and they said if i just paid the fine it was a simple citation and my school would never know. 2) I'd rather not have my parents find out. I told them that as well.. and the drug cop was like.. "well why do your parents need to know?" All I'm wondering, is if this is going to show up on my record for my school to find, and/or a hospital would see in my future applications. So when they say, have i ever had any offenses against me.. blah blah.. on applications, will i need to say yes for this simple citation?

    ps. sorry for the other post something happened and it just posted.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    You need to tell the truth.

    I wouldn't count on the nursing program not finding out.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2008
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    3

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    Tell the truth about what? I've been telling the truth.. but thanks for the advice. I was looking more for.. "you should go to court and talk to the DA about getting your first time offense expunged." Isn't that a big possibility? That's at least what everyone has been telling me.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    Expungement restricts who can see your files.

    If you are trying to get a nursing license, the license authority may still be able to see it.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    One other thing...

    Expungement doesn't happen instantly. You have to prove to the court that you have learned your lesson.

    In Tennessee, you also cannot have been convicted and/or pled guilty.

    Tennessee Code Annotated 40-32-101. Destruction or release; construction of law

    (a)(1) All public records of a person who has been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, and
    which charge has been dismissed, or a no true bill returned by a grand jury, or a verdict of not guilty
    returned by a jury, and all public records of a person who was arrested and released without being
    charged, shall, upon petition by that person to the court having jurisdiction in such previous action, be
    removed and destroyed without cost to such person
    ; however, the cost for destruction of records shall
    apply where the charge or warrant was dismissed in any court as a result of the successful completion
    of diversion program according to 40-15-102--40-15-105; provided, that such cost for destruction
    shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00); provided, that the records of a person who successfully
    completes a diversion program pursuant to 40-15-102--40-15-105 shall not be removed and
    destroyed pursuant to this section if the offense for which prosecution was suspended was a sexual
    offense as defined by 40-39-102(5); provided, however, that when a defendant in a case has been
    convicted of any offense or charge, including a lesser included offense or charge, the defendant shall
    not be entitled to expungement of the records or charges in such case pursuant to this part.

    (2) All public records of a person required to post bond under the provisions of 38-3-109 or
    38-4-106 (repealed) shall be removed and destroyed as required by this chapter upon the expiration
    of any bond required, if no surety on the bond is required to fulfill the obligations of the bond.

    (3) Upon petition by a defendant in the court which entered a nolle prosequi in the defendant's case,
    the court shall order all public records expunged.

    (4) For purposes of this section, "court" includes any court exercising juvenile jurisdiction.

    (5) All public records concerning an order of protection authorized by title 36, chapter 3, part 6, which
    was successfully defended and denied by the court following a hearing conducted pursuant to
    36-3-605, shall, upon petition by that person to the court denying such order, be removed and
    destroyed without cost to such person.

    (6) All public records of a person who has been convicted of an offense that was committed prior to
    such person's twenty-first birthday shall, upon petition by such person to the court having jurisdiction
    over the original conviction, be removed and destroyed if such person:

    (A) Has not been convicted of an offense except for the offense to which the petition pertains;
    (B) Was not convicted of a sexual offense as defined by 40-39-102(3) [now 40-39-102(5)];
    (C) Pays a fee to be established by the court for the destruction of such public records; provided such
    fee shall not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

    (b)(1) "Public records," for the purpose of expunction only, does not include arrest histories,
    investigative reports, intelligence information of law enforcement agencies, or files of district attorneys
    general that are maintained as confidential records for law enforcement purposes and are not open
    for inspection by members of the public and shall also not include records of the department of
    children's services or department of human services which are confidential under state or federal law
    and which are required to be maintained by state or federal law for audit or other purposes.
    Whenever an order of expunction issues under this section directed to the department of children's
    services or department of human services, the department shall notify the defendant if there are
    records required to be maintained as directed above and the basis therefor. The department shall
    delete identifying information in these records whenever permitted by state or federal law. These
    records are to be expunged whenever their maintenance is no longer required by state or federal law.

    (2) "Public records", for the purpose of expunction only, does not include appellate court records or
    appellate court opinions.

    (c)(1) Release of such confidential records or information contained therein other than to law
    enforcement agencies for law enforcement purposes shall be a Class A misdemeanor.

    (2) This section shall not be construed to deny access to any record to the comptroller of the treasury
    or the comptroller of the treasury's agent for purposes of audit investigation; the comptroller of the
    treasury or the comptroller of the treasury's agent having such access shall protect the confidential
    nature of any such records which are not otherwise public under other statutes.

    (3) Release of arrest histories of a defendant or potential witness in a criminal proceeding to an
    attorney of record in the proceeding shall be made to such attorney upon request.

    (d)(1) Any court ordering the expungement of a person's public records of a criminal offense,
    including orders issued as a result of the successful completion of a diversion program pursuant to
    40-15-105 and 40-15-106 or judicial diversion program, shall send or cause to be sent a copy of such
    expungement order to the Tennessee bureau of investigation for entry into its expunged offender and
    pretrial diversion database. The order shall contain the name of the person seeking expungement,
    the person's date of birth and social security number, the offense that was dismissed, the date and
    cause of such dismissal and the date the order of expungement is entered.

    (2) After April 25, 2000, a defendant petitioning a court for expungement of records because the
    charge against such person was dismissed as a result of the successful completion of a diversion
    program pursuant to 40-15-102-- 40-15-106 shall be assessed a fifty dollar ($50.00) fee. Such fifty
    dollar ($50.00) fee shall not apply to any case where there has been an acquittal, nolle prosequi, or
    dismissal for failure to prosecute or where the law does not require a copy of the expungement order
    be sent to the Tennessee bureau of investigation. Such fee shall be transmitted by the clerk of such
    court to the state treasurer for deposit in a special fund to be used by the Tennessee bureau of
    investigation for the exclusive purpose of establishing and maintaining the expunged criminal offender
    and pretrial diversion database. The moneys received in such fund shall be invested for the benefit of
    the fund by the state treasurer pursuant to 9-4-603. Amounts in the fund shall not revert to the
    general fund of the state but shall, together with interest income credited to the fund, remain available
    for expenditure in subsequent fiscal years.

    (e) It is the intent of the general assembly that no fee ever be charged a person who is petitioning a
    court for expungement of records because:

    (1) The charge against such person was dismissed for a reason other than the successful completion
    of a diversion program pursuant to 40-15-102-- 40-15-106 or 40-35-313;

    (2) A no true bill was returned by a grand jury;

    (3) A verdict of not guilty was returned by a jury; or

    (4) The person was arrested and released without being charged.
    Attorney Kenneth Quillen accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    thanks for your help. So what do you think i should do? I mean.. if i just pay the fine then it will definitely show up on my record? so should i go and just talk to the DA on my court date and see what they can do? I've had friends in this state go through the same thing and they said the DA just got it expunged right there since it was a first time offense?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    That is called a diversion... and it is certainly possible.

    You only get one bite at this apple, though. I would definately get an attorney to help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,006

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    I would get an attorney...and yestereday. You need advisment as to how this could affect your career. If it shows up on the mandatory background check, you could be up a creek. Timing may also come into play. If your placed on probation as part of a diversion program (meaning if your placed on probation for a year, 3 mons, 6 months, whatever you have to be good for that period of time and then it will be sealed/expunged). Depending on when your applying for licensure, it may show up. I also would not count on the school not finding out. Just because your friends got out of it, doesn't mean you will. Your asking the state to give you a license which will give you access to a lot of controlled narcotics, a drug conviction (although a small minor one) will not look good for you in anyway.

  9. #9
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    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Simple Possession of Paraphernalia in Tennessee

    Quote Quoting gigirle
    View Post
    I would get an attorney...and yestereday. You need advisment as to how this could affect your career. If it shows up on the mandatory background check, you could be up a creek. Timing may also come into play. If your placed on probation as part of a diversion program (meaning if your placed on probation for a year, 3 mons, 6 months, whatever you have to be good for that period of time and then it will be sealed/expunged). Depending on when your applying for licensure, it may show up. I also would not count on the school not finding out. Just because your friends got out of it, doesn't mean you will. Your asking the state to give you a license which will give you access to a lot of controlled narcotics, a drug conviction (although a small minor one) will not look good for you in anyway.
    Further, if you do manage to get your license, you still have to pass the background checks that any potential employer will run you through.

    I really hope you enjoyed the grass... it may make all of your education worthless.

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