Criminal Defense

Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Tampa, FL

Marijuana possession for recreational use is against the law in Florida. However, those with a medical card can purchase cannabis at state dispensaries, and anyone possessing marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia without a medical card faces criminal charges.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession, Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., can help. As experienced marijuana possession lawyers in Tampa, FL, we can help you determine which defense strategy is the best opportunity for a favorable outcome. Do not hesitate to contact our office for a free and confidential case review. Call 813-258-4800 today.

Marijuana Possession in Florida

According to Florida Statute Section 893.03, marijuana possession is a Schedule l controlled substance. There are several types of marijuana possession charges, and penalties vary based on the offense and amount of marijuana in question.

Marijuana Possession Charges

Some of the most common marijuana possession charges in Tampa include:

Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia

Marijuana paraphernalia charges result if you are found in possession of objects used to store, consume, grow, manufacture, or harvest cannabis. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and fines as high as $1,000, according to Florida Statute Section 775.082.

Possession of 20 Grams or Less of Marijuana

Possession of less than 20 g of marijuana is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. The more marijuana you are accused of possessing, the harsher the penalties you can expect.

Possession of More Than 20 Grams of Marijuana

More than 20 g of marijuana escalates the charge to a third-degree felony under Florida law.

Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell or Manufacture

This relates to the possession of marijuana with the intent to grow or sell it. Possession of cannabis with intent to sell or grow is a third-degree felony.

Actual vs. Constructive Marijuana Possession

For an individual to face marijuana possession charges in Florida, they must have been in actual possession of the cannabis in question. This means it must have been found on your person or nearby.

Constructive possession means that the marijuana was not on you physically but was in a place where multiple people may have had access, such as a shared kitchen, living room, or other shared space.

Penalties for Possession of Marijuana

The consequences of a marijuana possession conviction are often more severe than you realize.

You face increased penalties if you are in possession of marijuana within specific areas, such as schools. There may also be minimum sentences in place depending on the amount of marijuana in your possession.

Possession of up to 20 Grams

If you are convicted of possession of up to 20 g of marijuana, you could face up to one year in county jail and be ordered to pay fines not to exceed $1,000.

Possession of Concentrates and Hash

Possession of concentrates or hash is considered a third-degree felony offense. If you are found guilty, you could be ordered to pay fines as high as $5,000 and spend up to five years in a Florida State prison.

Marijuana Possession Between 20 Grams and 25 Pounds

Those convicted of possessing between 20 g and 25 pounds of marijuana may be charged with a felony offense. The extent of your felony charges will be dependent on the amount of marijuana in question. You can expect to spend a maximum of five years in Florida state prison and be ordered to pay fines as high as $5,000.

Marijuana Possession Between 25 and 1,999 Pounds

If you are found guilty of being in possession of between 25 pounds and 1,999 pounds of marijuana, you will face felony charges. If convicted, you can spend up to 15 years in a Florida State prison and the order to pay fines not to exceed $25,000. There may be a three-year mandatory minimum sentence for possession of between 25 pounds in 1,999 pounds of marijuana.

Marijuana Possession Between 2,000 and 9,999 Pounds

If you are convicted of possessing between 2,000 pounds and 9,999 pounds of marijuana, you will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of seven years. However, your incarceration may reach up to 30 years in a Florida state prison, and you may be ordered to pay fines of as much as $50,000.

Marijuana Possession of 10,000 Pounds or More

If convicted of being in possession of more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana, you could be fined up to $200,000 and face up to 30 years in prison. Fifteen years of this sentence will be mandatory.

Possession of Cannabis Plants

If you are found to be in possession of marijuana plants, your punishment will be based on the number of plants in your possession. Anyone with less than 25 plants may face up to five years in prison and fines as high as $25,000.

However, anyone possessing more than 2,000 plants will face up to 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines, including a mandatory minimum seven-year prison sentence.

Possible Defenses to Marijuana Possession

Multiple defenses could be used to challenge the marijuana possession charges against you. And while the details of each case vary, here are a few ways to potentially defend against possession of marijuana  charges in Tampa:

  • Unlawful stop
  • Lack of warrant
  • Lack of probable cause
  • Questions surrounding actual versus constructive possession
  • Issues with the chain of custody
  • Unlawful conduct by police
  • Miranda rights violations
  • Entrapment
  • Lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute

Pretrial Diversion

In addition to building a defense, you may be eligible for certain alternatives to avoid the harshest penalties attached to a criminal conviction for marijuana possession, such as entering a pretrial diversion program.

Pretrial diversion is a deferred prosecution option for certain misdemeanor, felony, and DUI offenses. Participants are typically supervised, must enter a drug education or treatment program, and adhere to other conditions. Successful completion of the agreed-upon terms usually results in the case’s dismissal.

Get Help from a Tampa Marijuana Possession Lawyer

The consequences of marijuana possession are not to be taken lightly. A drug conviction of any sort can permanently alter the course of your life. Make sure you have an aggressive marijuana possession lawyer in Tampa, FL advocating for you.

Contact Metcalf Falls, Criminal Defense Attorneys, P.A., to get started on your defense strategy as soon as possible.  Fill out our contact form or call 813-258-4800 for a free and confidential case assessment.

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