Despite What Many Think, Florida Still Has Laws In Place Restricting Marijuana Possession
While medical marijuana is fairly widespread here in Florida, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal. Those charged with marijuana possession without a medical card can face harsh penalties and jail time. In some cases, charges can result in a felony, which can have a devastating impact on one’s life.
Is Cannabis Still Illegal In Florida?
Here in Florida, cannabis is a schedule 1 controlled substance. It is considered a crime to possess any amount of marijuana without a prescription. It is a misdemeanor charge if one is discovered with less than 20 grams of marijuana on their person. Likewise, it is a felony charge if one is discovered in possession of more than 20 grams.
Importantly, marijuana concentrates such as hash oil, cannabis resin, cannabis wax, budder, crumble and others are not considered marijuana. They are actually prosecuted under a separate felony charge.
What Is The Punishment For Marijuana Possession?
The penalties around possession of cannabis mainly depends on how much authorities discovered. According to Florida Law, possession of less than 20 grams of pot will result in a misdemeanor charge. However, one can be charged with a felony drug crime for having more than 20 grams of cannabis.
Penalty For Having Less Than 20 Grams
One can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana. This can be punishable by up to one year in jail, one year of probation and a $1,000 fine. In many cases, a judge will sentence a convicted defendant to probation. However, imposing jail time is not out of the ordinary.
Penalty For Having 20 Grams Of Cannabis Or More
Someone who is discovered to have more than 20 grams of marijuana can be charged with a third degree felony. This charge is punishable by up to five years in prison, five. years of probation and a $5,000 fine. Possession of 20 grams or more is charged with a level 3 severity because the legal system may consider this an intent to sell it at that amount. As a result, drug distribution crimes in Florida carry a much harsher penalty.
Your Driver’s License Will Also Be Suspended For Cannabis Possession
As if fines and jail time weren’t enough, those convicted of any crime for marijuana possession will automatically have their Florida driver’s licensed suspended for six months by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
What IS The Defense Against Marijuana Possession?
We will likely start to see many marijuana possession charges become less and less in the future. However, for now, there are pretrial criminal defense case defenses that can be argued to possibly reduce or eliminate any cannabis related charges. Some of these defenses might include:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Medical neccesity
- Ignorance of the law
- Temporary possesion
- Constructive possession
- Overdose defense
- CBD defense
Contact The Law Office Of William B. Bennett For Help Today
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in Pinellas County, call the Law Office of William B. Bennett, PA today for assistance. Your initial consultation is free. Depending on your case, we may provide you with aggressive legal representation to navigate to a desirable outcome for your case. Call us today at (727) 821-8000 or contact us on our website here. We have over 30 years as a criminal defense law firm. We look forward to defending your case.