When arrested for marijuana possession, a criminal defense attorney in Miami may be able to help. The amount you are found to be carrying could determine the type of charge you are facing.
Marijuana Possession and Penalties in Florida
It is against the law to possess any amount of marijuana in Florida. The only impact the amount you are found to be carrying will have on your case is the type of charge you receive.
If you have less than 20 grams in your possession, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. Anything over that amount will result in felony charges.
A misdemeanor could lead to a year of jail time and fines up to $1,000. More than 20 grams could result in five years incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
Felony charges increase for those who are found to be in possession of 25 or more plants. Incarceration could be as long as 15 years, with fines up to $10,000. Those who are found in possession of 25 or more marijuana plants are automatically assumed to have the intent to sell or distribute, which is considered a second-degree felony.
If you are found to be in possession of marijuana paraphernalia, you could also be facing a year in jail and a maximum of $1,000 in fines. No matter what type of drug charge you are given, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for six months up to two years.
Defenses to Marijuana Possession
There are several defenses that may be used if you have been charged with possession. The first is if that the marijuana wasn’t actually found on you. In other words, it was discovered in an area where someone else could also have access to it. This could make it difficult to prove you were actually in possession.
In this situation, the only way you can be charged is if the following can be proven:
- you knew the marijuana was there;
- you knew that it was marijuana; and
- you had control over it.
An example would be if marijuana was found inside a vehicle that belonged to another person, but that you were driving. Even if you were the driver, you couldn’t be convicted of possession unless it can be proven that you knew there was marijuana inside the car.
Another defense that could be used is an illegal search and seizure. The ability of law enforcement to search a person, home or vehicle is limited. For instance, if there wasn’t probable cause, your case could be dismissed.
Contact South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Marijuana possession charges have the potential to be serious. This is not a crime that should be taken lightly. If you hope to see your charges reduced or dismissed, then you will want to secure legal counsel as soon as possible.
To learn more about the defenses that may be used in your case, contact a criminal defense attorney in Miami. Call Falk & Ross at 877-663-5110 or 305-741-6997 for a free consultation. An attorney will evaluate your case to determine if any of the defenses mentioned above may apply.