Possession of Marijuana in FL

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An arrest for possession of marijuana is still a serious crime in Florida. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs. The possession of fewer than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor under Florida law and can carry a sentence of up to 12 months in jail. Regardless of whether or not you are convicted of this misdemeanor offense, the consequences of receiving a marijuana charge can have repercussions long after you have completed any sanctions ordered by the Court.

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Penalties for Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession

Possession of Marijuana/Cannabis Less Than 20 Grams is a first-degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to a $1,000.00 fine and up to 12 months in jail. If you are convicted/adjudicated guilty of this offense, your Florida driver’s license will automatically and immediately be suspended for a period of two (2) years. Delivery of Marijuana/Cannabis Less than 20 Grams (without monetary exchange) is a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $1,000.00 fine and up to 12 months in the county jail. If you are convicted/adjudicated guilty of this offense, your Florida driver’s license will automatically and immediately be suspended for a period of two (2) years.

Penalties for Felony Marijuana Possession

Possession of Marijuana/Cannabis More Than 20 Grams is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to a $5,000.00 fine and up to five (5) years in prison. If you are convicted/adjudicated guilty of this offense your Florida Driver’s license will also be automatically and immediately suspended for a period of two (2) years.

While the punishment and sanctions for marijuana possession can be severe, there are many legal and factual defenses to these cases. Our attorneys can assist you in preparing defenses in your case. There are motions that can be filed on your behalf, which can include illegal search and seizure issues as well as insufficient evidence defenses.

There are two primary defenses raised in a Possession of Marijuana case:

  • Illegal search and seizure
  • Insufficient evidence

Illegal Search & Seizure

Law enforcement may overstep their authority and may require defendants to submit to a search of their person or property. They may also coerce a citizen into agreeing to said search. If it can be proved that either of the above occurred during your arrest, there is a possibility and we may be able to get your case dismissed or have the charges reduced via evidence suppression. There are many other defenses that can be raised in possession cases. Contact our criminal defense attorneys at Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney, P.A. to discuss your case in detail to determine if these defenses are available to you.

Insufficient Evidence

In some cases, prosecutors may not have enough evidence to implicate the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. In these cases, we examine the evidence and determine whether or not an argument of insufficient evidence would be compelling to the court.

The State can prove a Possession of Marijuana case in one of two ways:

  • Actual Possession
    To prove actual possession, the State must show that the marijuana in question was found on your person.
  • Constructive Possession
    To prove constructive possession is much more difficult. If the marijuana in question was found in a place where one or more persons had access, the State has to prove you actually possessed the marijuana.

The law of constructive possession requires that the State prove certain specific elements before a person can be convicted:

  • Knowledge of the marijuana’s presence
  • Knowledge that the substance was marijuana
  • Dominion and control over the marijuana

Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Brooks, LeBoeuf, Bennett, Foster & Gwartney, P.A. to discuss the legal defenses available to you in your specific case. Our team of criminal defense lawyers can assist you and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

We're ready to help you take swift action against the allegations against you. Call our offices at (850) 426-4477 today.

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