The majority of crimes in Chattanooga are treated as misdemeanors (Class A, Class B, or Class C).
For a Class “A” misdemeanor, like marijuana possession, you face incarceration for up to 11 months and 29 days, as well as a fine of up to $2,500.
However, lower-class misdemeanors (B or C) may result in fines of up to $500 and less jail time – or even no jail time at all. Aggravated criminal trespass (Class B misdemeanor) and public intoxication (Class C misdemeanor) are good examples.
Generally speaking, the more “aggravated” the misdemeanor, the more severe your sentence. Often, the precise penalty is down to the discretion of the judge and the persuasive powers of your defense lawyer.
If you are a first-time offender charged with a non-violent crime, you have a greater chance of leniency.
Tennessee has five different classes of felonies, which cover the most serious crimes. Certain crimes are classified separately and punishable by death or life imprisonment, such as first-degree murder.
The next most serious are Class A felonies, like aggravated rape. These are punishable by 15 to 60 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
Even the least serious felonies (Class E), such as theft, still result in prison time of up to one to six years.
As well as a jail sentence, a felony conviction can severely limit certain constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and to own a firearm.