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.