Felony Marijuana Possession
Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis in Florida is a felony offense. Unlike simple possession cases in which alleged offenders may receive civil citations in some parts of Broward County, people charged with these crimes could potentially be sentenced to multiple years in prison and be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
The possible consequences of a conviction for this type of crime can extend far beyond just the imprisonment and fines though. As a convicted felon, a person who is convicted of felony possession of marijuana can also face a lifetime of difficulty obtaining employment, housing, or other public benefits.Felony Cannabis Possession Lawyer in Broward County, Florida
If you were arrested in South Florida for being in alleged possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm can fight to have your cannabis charges reduced or dismissed.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman is a former Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office who represents clients accused of marijuana offenses in Cooper City, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, and many surrounding communities in Broward County. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our lawyer review your case and discuss your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Felony Cannabis Possession Arrests in Fort Lauderdale
- What are the possible sentences for people convicted of this offense?
- What kinds of defenses can be raised in marijuana possession cases?
- Where can I find more information about help for people with marijuana issues in Broward County?
Felony Marijuana Possession Penalties in Florida
An alleged offender who is accused of possessing more than 20 grams of cannabis will face third-degree felony charges. Chapter 25.7 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions states that a prosecutor must prove the alleged offender knew of the presence of marijuana, exercised control or ownership over the cannabis, and that marijuana weighted more than 20 grams.
The jury instructions state that there are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession. Constructive possession means the alleged offender was aware of the presence of the cannabis, the marijuana was in a place over which the alleged offender had control, and the alleged offender had the ability to control the cannabis.
Actual possession means the alleged offender was aware of the presence of the marijuana and:
- The cannabis was in the hand of or on the alleged offender;
- The marijuana was in a container in the hand of or on the alleged offender; or
- The cannabis was so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the alleged offender.
If an alleged offender is convicted of felony possession of marijuana, the crime is punishable by:
- Maximum sentence of five years in prison;
- Maximum fine of $5,000; and/or
- One year revocation of driver’s license.
If an alleged offender possesses more than 25 pounds of cannabis, then the crime becomes a drug trafficking offense.
Defenses Against Felony Cannabis Possession Charges in Broward County
The jury instructions also state, “Mere proximity to a substance is not sufficient to establish the power and intention to control that substance when the substance is in a place that the person does not control.” While felony possession charges can be frightening for alleged offenders, there are often several defenses that may be raised to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors.
Every case is different, but some common defenses in felony marijuana possession cases include, without being limited to:
- Cannabis belonged to somebody else;
- Illegal search and seizure;
- Lack of evidence;
- Medical necessity;
- Mistaken identity; or
- Unknowing possession.
Florida Felony Marijuana Possession Resources
Marijuana Addiction Treatment in South Florida | Live Sober — Live Sober Now identifies itself as “an organization that is comprised solely of people either currently in recovery or who have been directly affected by addiction.” It provides free drug and alcohol treatment placement services, and this section of its website discusses marijuana addiction. Learn more about the negative effects of marijuana, signs of marijuana abuse, and how marijuana addiction can be harmful.
Live Sober Now
1868 North University Dr.
Florida | Marijuana Anonymous (MA) — MA is an organization that uses the basic 12 steps of recovery founded by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). While MA does not currently have any in-person meetings in Florida, you can visit this website to attend online meetings or phone meetings. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions and an online forum that allows users to seek help or discuss other marijuana-related issues.
Were you recently arrested in Florida for allegedly possessing more than 20 grams of cannabis? You will want to immediately retain legal counsel.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who represents clients all over Broward County, including Margate, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Davie, and several other nearby areas. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (954) 524-4474 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.