Felony Marijuana Possession
While it’s been proven that casual marijuana use has limited adverse side effects and low levels of addiction, Florida still classifies the plant as a Schedule I drug. Being caught with more than 20 grams of marijuana is considered a felony offense.
Being convicted of a felony can extend past jail time and fines. Once a person is a convicted felon, they could face difficulty finding a job, housing or receiving public benefits.
Attorney for Felony Marijuana Possession in Treasure Coast, FL
If you were recently arrested for being in possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis in the Treasure Coast area, contacting Meltzer & Bell would be in your best interest. Our attorneys are lifetime members of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) legal committee and they will strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 248-1215 or submit your information in the online form to set up a case consultation. We proudly represent clients with marijuana charges in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie.
Overview of Felony Marijuana Possession in Treasure Coast, FL
Unless you have a medical card, if you are caught with more than 20 grams of cannabis, you could be charged with a felony. Florida Statutes 891.13 defines felony possession as an individual who is in actual or constructive possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana.
Actual possession involves the marijuana being found on the defendant. This can include in the hands, pockets or anywhere on a defendant’s person including in a handbag or backpack. Constructive possession, on the other hand, is when the drugs are known to the defendant and under the defendant’s control. For example, you were in a vehicle when it was stopped and searched by police and they found weed in the glove box.
The penalties for felony marijuana possession vary depending on the amount and whether or not the defendant was in possession of the plant’s buds or the plant itself. Listed below are the possible penalties for felony marijuana possession:
- More than 20g but less than 25lbs or less than 25 plants: This is classified as a third-degree felony that is punishable by up to five years in jail and no more than $5,000 in fines.
- More than 25lbs but less than 2,000 lbs or 300-2,000 plants: Being in possession of more than 25 lbs of marijuana is considered trafficking and is classified as a first-degree felony that is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of three years of incarceration and up to $25,000 in fines
- Within 1,000 Feet of School: If you are caught in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, college or park you could face up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
If convicted, you will also lose some of your civil rights. Some of these rights include the right to vote, hold office, serve on a jury and possess a firearm.
Just because you were arrested, doesn’t mean that you are guilty. The best defense anyone facing a felony charge can make is to contact a proven and experienced defense attorney at Meltzer & Bell. Listed below are some of the possible defenses to felony marijuana possession:
- Illegal Search and Seizure: Often times, police officers will exceed the scope of their authority and require people to submit to a vehicle, body or home search, without a warrant or probable cause. If it is proven that either instance has occurred, the court will be required to suppress the evidence that was illegally obtained.
- Unknowing Possession: The Florida Standard Jury Instructions for possession of a controlled substance require the state to prove the defendant knew the controlled substance was present. If the defendant arrested for felony marijuana possession was not aware that the other party had been storing or left cannabis in their vehicle or other property, they might be able to invoke unknowing possession.
- No Miranda Rights: Whenever someone is arrested, law enforcement is required to read the individual his or her Miranda rights. If an officer fails to do so, the evidence that was gathered during the arrest may be thrown out of court.
Prohibited Acts and Penalties | Florida Statute 893.13 – Read through the Florida Statute that defines what marijuana possession is and its penalties. The statute also states the penalties for other drug offense in Florida. The statute can be read on Online Sunshine, the official website for the Florida legislature.
NORML of Florida– Follow this link to learn more about NORML of Florida. The site features information on the states marijuana laws, recent research on medical marijuana and arrest report. NORML is a non-profit organization with the goal to shift public opinion to legalize recreational marijuana in the United States.
Defense Lawyer for Felony Marijuana Possession in Treasure Coast, FL
It is wise for anyone facing a felony conviction to retain experienced legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell has a proven record of defending felony marijuana possession charges and our attorneys will fight to ensure your rights are protected.
We assist clients in counties along the Treasure Coast that include Martin and Saint Lucie. Call Meltzer & Bell today at (772) 248-1215 or submit your information in the online contact form to set up a free case consultation.