Marijuana is one of the most used controlled substances in South Florida. While recreational marijuana is still illegal in Florida, the laws have become somewhat relaxed over the years. Today, it is frequently left up to police discretion to make an arrest for marijuana depending on the amount found in possession. Still, it is imperative to know that even small amounts of marijuana can lead to significant charges in Florida. Having an experienced Florida marijuana defense attorney on your side can help protect you of heavy penalties.
What are the Charges for Marijuana Possession in Florida?
In Florida, marijuana charges are typically classified as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Typically, if an individual is found with up to 20 grams of marijuana, it is only classified as a misdemeanor offense and will carry a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony charge punishable of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If found in possession of 25lbs to 2,000lbs of marijuana in Florida, penalties can include a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years and up to 15 years in prison depending on the amount. A felony marijuana charge in Florida is serious and requires the knowledge and skill of an experienced West Palm Beach marijuana lawyer on your side.
What are the Charges for Possession with Intent to Sell Marijuana in Florida?
If you are found with more marijuana that you can consume for personal use, you can be charged with intent to sell, distribute, or even drug trafficking. Marijuana drug trafficking charges in Florida are serious and can lead to years in prison if found guilty. A first-degree marijuana drug trafficking charge in Florida can come with a maximum prison sentence of 30 years according to Florida Statute 893.135.
For example, in the Florida Department of Health v. Redner case, Article X, section 29 of the Florida Constitution authorizes a qualified patient to use and possess marijuana for medical use under the state law. Fla. Dep’t of Health v. Redner, 273 So. 3d 170 (2019). The defendant in this case was arguing that he was qualified to grow his own marijuana at his home. Id. at 172. The defendant’s argument is not supported by the plain language of Article X. Id. The word “use” in Article X does not mean a patient can grow amounts of marijuana in their backyard for their use and there is no language that allows people to grow marijuana. Id. Typically, those who need medical marijuana go to a dispensary for their marijuana, they do not grow it themselves in states where marijuana is still illegal. Florida is a state where marijuana is illegal.
Therefore, the 1st District Court of Appeals in Florida held that the Florida Constitution does not allow qualified patients or caregivers to grow, cultivate, or process their own marijuana. Id. at 174.
How Can a Palm Beach and Broward County Marijuana Defense Lawyer Help?
Law enforcement oftentimes use aggressive tactics to obtain evidence if criminal activity is suspected. In certain cases, evidence can be thrown out if the police obtained it without following proper protocol. If your vehicle was searched illegally in Florida, the prosecution will have no choice but to drop the charges. For 18 years, our experienced marijuana defense lawyer has been defending marijuana charges in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Some potential defenses to misdemeanor or felony marijuana charges include:
- Illegally Obtained Evidence
- Pulled Over Without Probable Cause
- Witness Testimony Coercion
Can I Beat a Marijuana Possession Charge?
If you are being charged with your first marijuana offense in Florida, you may only be facing a simple possession charge. There is a good chance an experienced drug defense attorney can improve your chances of getting probation rather than serving jail time. If you are being charged with a marijuana misdemeanor or felony, time is of the essence and The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky can help. To protect your rights, contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 so we can review your case immediately!