Penalties for Possessing Marijuana in Florida in 2018
Decriminalization and legalization of marijuana efforts are sweeping across the United States. In recent years, medical science has shown links between cannabis consumption and reduced levels of chronic inflammatory disease and a myriad of other benefits. The full benefits and risks of marijuana use are still relatively unknown. However, this doesn’t stop citizens from exercising their right to consume cannabis safely.
Many states would forgive you for thinking that possession and consumption of marijuana are entirely legal. However, in reality, marijuana is still illegal at a federal level in all states. This legislation means that authorities can charge you for consumption, distribution, or sale of cannabis and related products.
Many states, and their branches of law enforcement, still outlaw the possession and consumption of marijuana at a state level. Florida is an example of a state with strict laws and penalties for regulating the use and sale of cannabis. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you will want to hire a criminal attorney in Miami to avoid trouble.
Florida Marijuana Charges
There are many states in the U.S. where possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use is considered a minor infraction, rather than a crime. In these states, law enforcement officers are lax in their approach to enforcement and prefer to focus their energy on other, more pressing, crimes.
However, Florida is not as soft on marijuana offenders. The state considers possession, distribution, and sale of the drug a crime. If caught with pot on your person, you could face the following charges:
- It is a felony charge to possess between 20 grams and 25 pounds of cannabis. A conviction could result in up to five years in prison as well as a $5,000 fine.
- A misdemeanor charge for possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana, as well as a fine and a possible jail sentence of up to 1 year.
- Depending upon the amounts involved, there could be trafficking charges brought against you.
- Driver’s license suspension.
If caught by authorities and arrested with marijuana, call our Miami criminal lawyer to help arrange bail and prepare your case for court. Just possessing drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor in the state of Florida. The charge could result in a year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines.
Florida Law and Medical Marijuana
Florida law does make provision for the use of medical marijuana. However, unlike other states, Florida only allows exemptions for chronic disease. Patients must use the drug in private locations and are not allowed to smoke the drug.
Amendment 2 to the Florida Marijuana laws added the following chronic diseases to the list of illnesses that qualify for medical marijuana use.
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- And other similar debilitating conditions similar to those listed above
Marijuana Laws for Recreational Use
Florida state law still outlaws the recreational use of marijuana. Growing and smoking the drug in your own home is still illegal and punishable by law. Medical marijuana users must buy their medication from licensed dispensaries that only sell to qualified patients with medical marijuana cards. Consult with a criminal law attorney in Miami if caught using medical marijuana illegally in Florida.
What to Do When Charged with Possession of Marijuana
Hiring a Miami criminal lawyer is your best chance of having the charges against you dropped. Your attorney will need to argue your case in court for you. Failing to find the right representation could result in a bad verdict, with the maximum penalty imposed upon you. Avoid a maximum sentence and improve your chances of a favorable outcome on your defense by working with a criminal defense lawyer.
Stroleny Law, P.A handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Criminal Attorney in Miami.