The state of Florida takes drug crimes seriously, and police arrest thousands annually for contravening state and federal drug laws. According to Norml.org, police arrest approximately 16,000 people each year on drug-related charges, which cover everything from simple possession to manufacturing, sale and distribution.
As many states across the country have moved to decriminalize or legalize the use of marijuana, it is important to understand how the state of Florida handles this drug. For example, there are Florida dispensaries & doctors that can provide medicinal marijuana, but possession and sale of marijuana is still illegal in the state, and if police arrest you on marijuana charges, you may face a fine, jail time, driver license suspension or all of the above.
If police issued you a citation (a Notice to Appear) or physically arrested you for possession of marijuana, contact Leader & Leader P.A.. Even if you think the charges are minor, it is important to avoid making key mistakes that could compromise your future. In fact, some options may be available to you that can result in dismissal of your case that you can unknowingly waive at your first court appearance and forever lose the right to utilize.
Michael D. Leader is a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney who has received recognition from the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register for his ability in the courtroom with their highest AV rating. Our firm has nearly eighty years of combined legal experience, and we are ready to evaluate your charges and help you through the legal process. Contact us today at 954-523-2020 to schedule an appointment.
Florida still has relatively strict laws regarding marijuana, and this is what you can expect if a judge finds you guilty:
Marijuana Possession Penalties
According to 2014 Florida Statutes, it is illegal to sell, possess or manufacture marijuana in the state of Florida. If a judge or jury finds you guilty of possession, you may face penalties that include fines and jail time. If it is over 20 grams (less than an ounce) or they believe you possess it with the intent to distribute it, you can face a felony punishable by up to five years or more in prison.
Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana may carry a sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony, and you may face up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. Possession of more than 25 grams carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If you are adjudicated (convicted) of any drug offense, your license will be suspended for up to 2 years.
Sale and Distribution of Marijuana
Sale and distribution is a more serious offense than possession, and if a judge or jury finds you guilty of selling marijuana, you will face jail time and a harsh fine. The severity of the penalty varies according to the amount of marijuana you were attempting to sell.
The sale or delivery of any marijuana is a felony offense, and you may face anything from 5 to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000. Just remember though that this is only for Florida. This a state where distribution of marijuana is illegal, but you only have to look at these Canada marijuana stocks to see the difference that some places have with marijuana.
Also important, concentrates, salts or other extracts are charged as a felony and punishable up to five years in prison of the quantity; greater quantities can increase the level felony, fine and period of incarceration.
Do not take drug charges lightly—even if you think you are only guilty of a misdemeanor. If a judge finds you guilty, the penalties can still be severe, and they could affect the rest of your life.
Call Leader and Leader P.A. for advice at 954-523-2020. Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Michael D. Leader can assess your case and help you develop a defense strategy.