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Overview of Florida's Marijuana Possession Laws

Overview of Florida's Marijuana Possession Laws

Posted By Parks & Braxton, PA || 2-Sep-2016

Examining the Definition of “Possession” Under Florida Law

In Florida, possession of a controlled substance is a serious offense – which includes marijuana. According to Florida Statute Section 893.13(6)(b), you could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree if you are found to be in possession of 20 grams, or less, of marijuana. This means that you had exercised the right of ownership, management, or control over the drug in either an “actual” or “constructive” manner.

Under the law, actual possession means that the marijuana was found on your body or within ready reach. Constructive possession means that the drug was found in an area over which you exercise control, such as your home or your car. It is also possible for two or more people to be in “joint possession” of a drug; however, it must be shown that the accused party or parties had knowledge of the presence of the drug.

If you were arrested for marijuana possession, your first course of action should be to contact a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer at Parks & Braxton, PA. We are available 24/7 – including nights, weekends, and holidays – so don’t wait to give us a call.

What Are the Penalties for Possession of Marijuana?

If you have been charged with a drug crime, the penalties you face will depend on the amount of drugs found in your possession. As previously mentioned, possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor offense—which, under Florida law, is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction will also result in a driver’s license suspension, a likely term of probation, and random drug testing.

The penalties for other marijuana-related drug crimes include:

  • Possessing more than 20 grams: Up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines
  • Possessing 25 plants or more: Up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia: Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines
  • Delivering less than 20 grams: Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines
  • Delivering 20 grams to 25 pounds: Up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines
  • Driving under the influence: Up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines

Possible Defenses to a Marijuana Possession Charge

Florida’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors just two months ago, which comes two years after medical marijuana was legalized in the state. Even so, the criminal justice system continues to bring the heavy hand of the law down on those who have been accused of unlawfully possessing this drug. This is why you should not forgo the representation of a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney if you have been arrested.

Possible defenses against a marijuana possession charge include:

  • Lack of probable cause to conduct an initial traffic stop
  • Lack of probable cause to conduct a search of your property
  • Lack of consent to conduct a search without a warrant
  • Invalid search warrant / invalid execution of a search warrant
  • Unlawful “stop and frisk” or “pat down” search
  • Violation of your Miranda rights or your right to counsel
  • Evidence tampering or destruction of evidence
  • Lack of clear chain of custody in regards to evidence
  • Lack of actual or constructive possession over the drug
  • Lack of knowledge of the existence of the drug

Arrested? Contact Parks & Braxton, PA for an Aggressive Defense.

If you have been arrested for drug possession in Florida, it is imperative that you act quickly. Contact a Fort Lauderdale drug crime lawyer at Parks & Braxton, PA for the help you need. Our firm is available to take your call 24 hours a day, including nights, weekends, and holidays. We have successfully defended thousands of clients over the years, so you can trust that your case will be in capable hands.

Contact the team at Parks & Braxton, PA to arrange your free, no-obligation case consultation.

Categories: Drug Crimes, Florida Laws

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