Many states have begun legalizing marijuana (also called cannabis, weed, and pot) for both medical and recreational purposes. Florida law was amended in 2016 to allow for the prescription and use of medical marijuana, but recreational marijuana remains illegal in the state. Marijuana possession can result in charges ranging from misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, depending on the quantity of marijuana found at the time of arrest. If the defendant is found with 25 or more pounds of marijuana (or 300 or more plants), the charge may be upgraded from possession to trafficking.
Marijuana trafficking is a first-degree felony with severe penalties. If convicted, defendants face a mandatory prison sentence and thousands of dollars in fines. If you are arrested or investigated for marijuana trafficking, your best bet is to contact a competent attorney that will defend your rights.
Attorney for Marijuana Trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL
The attorneys at Meltzer & Bell have experience representing clients facing marijuana charges. We will put our knowledge of Florida’s drug laws to work providing the best possible defense for you.
Contact Meltzer & Bell immediately at (772) 291-2534 or submit your information in the online form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Many of our clients are from the Treasure Coast area, including Port St. Lucie, Sebastian, Vero Beach, and Indiantown in Martin County and Saint Lucie County.
Overview of Marijuana Trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL
- What is Marijuana Trafficking?
- Difference Between Possession and Trafficking
- Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking
- Additional Resources
What is Marijuana Trafficking?
In order for a prosecutor to demonstrate that the accused is guilty of marijuana trafficking, he or she must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, in accordance with Florida Statute 893.01(13)(a), that the accused knowingly possessed, sold, purchased, manufactured, delivered or brought cannabis into Florida.
The prosecution must also prove that the substance in the possession of the accused at the time of the arrest was indeed cannabis – this is often confirmed by laboratory analysis.
Finally, it must be shown that the total amount of seized cannabis material weighed more than 25 pounds or constituted 300 or more cannabis plants.
Difference Between Possession and Trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL
The main difference between marijuana possession and marijuana trafficking charges is based on the amount possessed by the defendant. A misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana results from possession of no more than 20 grams of marijuana. A felony marijuana possession charge results from possession of marijuana totaling between 20 grams and 25 pounds (or up to 25 plants).
If law enforcement officials discover a large quantity of marijuana in your possession – more than 25 pounds or 300 plants – you could be charged with marijuana trafficking regardless of whether you’ve even sold any.
Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL
Marijuana trafficking penalties depend on the weight of marijuana possessed by the defendant at the time of the offense. Trafficking is a first-degree felony, and Florida law includes a tiered penalty system that increases according to the amount of cannabis seized. If you are convicted of marijuana trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL, you could face the following penalties:
- 25 to 2,000 pounds (or 300 to 2,000 plants): 3 to 30 years in prison and a fine of $25,000;
- 2,000 to 10,000 pounds (or 2,000 to 10,000 plants): 7 to 30 years in prison and a fine of $50,000; and
- 10,000 or more pounds (or 10,000 or more cannabis plants): 15 to 30 years in prison and a fine of $200,000.
Additional “enhanced penalties” may result for defendants who have a prior criminal record or who are accused of trafficking in cannabis in a drug-free zone (or “DFZ”).
If you’ve been arrested and/or charged for trafficking in cannabis, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Meltzer & Bell now. We can review your unique situation and evaluate what defense options may be available.
Prohibited Acts and Penalties | Florida Statutes Section 893.13 – Online Sunshine, the official site for the Florida legislature, provides an electronic version of the Florida statute defining prohibited marijuana acts and penalties in the state. The statute specifies the legal definition of possession, manufacturing, trafficking, and drug paraphernalia as well as the associated penalties.
Florida Laws & Penalties | Florida NORML – NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) is a non-profit organization that aims to sway public opinion toward the legalization of marijuana in the United States. This website offers a concise summary of laws regarding possession and marijuana trafficking in Florida. In addition to Florida’s marijuana laws, you can also find facts and information about legal issues involving cannabis.
Defense Lawyer for Marijuana Trafficking in Treasure Coast, FL
If you or a loved one have been charged with marijuana trafficking in Martin County or St. Lucie County, it is in your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell immediately. Our firm serves the greater Treasure Coast area, including Fort Pierce, Stuart, Fellsmere, and Indian River Shores. Call today at (772) 291-2534 or fill out our short online form; we welcome inquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. First-degree felony charges are severe, and our attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to secure the best outcome possible.