Marijuana legislation reform continues to make headlines across the country. Many states have legalized medical marijuana, and some now allow its recreational use. As these changes take place, U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their state’s laws to make sure they understand their rights – and the penalties for drug offenses.
marijuana leaf on white illegal skunk from amsterdam
Possessing, selling and growing marijuana in the state of Florida is illegal. As a Schedule I controlled substance, the law regards marijuana as highly prone to abuse and addiction, and it offers no medical benefits according to the law.
If you are facing marijuana-related charges and wish to speak with a criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale, contact Leader & Leader PA. With more than 80 years of combined legal experience, our lawyers have the knowledge and resources to structure your defense. Call us today at 954-523-2020 to schedule a consultation.
In the meantime, read on to learn about marijuana possession laws in Florida:
What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida?
Like other controlled substances, the exact penalties for marijuana possession depend on the amount the suspect possessed at the time of the arrest. Any amount less than 20 grams is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. However, if it is a wax, oil, liquid, edible or other concentrate, it can be deemed a third degree felony for any amount, no matter how insignificant. Further, we have handled cases in which the officer literally scraped resin from a bowl, device or paraphernalia and our client was charged with possession of cannabis in addition to possession of drug paraphernalia for the scraped resin.
Even if not a felony, a conviction can still come with up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. This will also establish a record of drug offenses – meaning that any subsequent charges could involve a more serious punishment. Furthermore, any conviction (adjudication) for a drug offense will likely result in a suspension of your driving privilege.
Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana comes with worse penalties. This, like oils or concentrates, is a third-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of up to five years and $5,000 in fines.
Fighting Marijuana Charges
Because the penalties for marijuana possession are so severe, it is important that you take these charges seriously. Fortunately, there are many defense strategies that may apply to your case.
For example, if you did not know the drugs were in your possession, then the court may dismiss the charges. This can also happen if police did not have a warrant or probable cause to search you for the drugs. In some cases, the substance turns out to be legal, in which case the charges should be dropped or declined
In order to find you guilty of possession, it must be proven that you not only were in possession of marijuana (actual or constructive with constructive meaning under your control or access even if you did not have it on you) but also that you were aware of what it was/that is was an illicit substance. Your criminal attorney can evaluate your charges and the prosecution’s case against you to develop a comprehensive defense.
Drug charges in the state of Florida can have lasting repercussions. If police have arrested you for possession, then a proven Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney like Michael D. Leader, Esq. can evaluate your case, build your defense and help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your interests.
At Leader & Leader PA, we can provide experienced legal counsel and aggressively fight for a positive outcome to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 954-523-2020.