Possessing cannabis within the state of Florida is illegal. This is a common and well known law, yet, what exactly happens when you are arrested for possession of marijuana? There are several things that can, may, and perhaps will happen after you are charged with possession, and several punishments that you may face.
First of all, it matters how much marijuana you have on you at the time of your arrest. This is what makes the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. If you possess under 20 grams, you will be charged with a misdemeanor; if it is over 20 grams, you will be charged with a third degree felony. However, in the legal systems, you are innocent until proven guilty.
There are several defensive approaches to take when charged with possession of marijuana, but some of the more common ones are:
illegal search and seizure,
lack of knowledge,
overdose defense, and
Many of these defenses have the ability to protect you from being charged with possession when you truly are not guilty. For example, it is possible that the law enforcement officer may have exceeded his available power, and either required you to or coerced you to submit to a home, body, or vehicle search, which is an illegal search and seizure. Or, if you were driving someone else’s car and were found with weed in the glove compartment, you can defend using constructive possession and state you cannot be charged for something you didn’t even know was there.
However, if the charge does stick, there are several punishments that you can be assigned depending on the severity of the crime. For the felony charge, a judge can sentence up to five years of probation, five years in prison, a fine up to $5000 dollars or any combination of the three. For a misdemeanor possession charge, you may face up to a fine of $1000 dollars, one year of probation, one year in jail, or any combination of the three. Also, in the case where you are convicted of possession of marijuana in the state of Florida, your driver’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked by the Florida DHSMV for one year.
If you are ever charged with possession, these are a general overview of the consequences of such an occurrence and ways that you may proceed to hold a defense against the charge. Here a Blick Law, we pride ourselves on helping the hurting, so if you or someone you know is ever in need of legal advice in regards to possession or any other case, feel free to give us a call at 813-931-0840 for a free consultation.