As states and municipalities across the country have moved to legalize or decriminalize cannabis—the plant better known as marijuana in its use as a recreational drug—largely because of the drug’s medicinal value, Florida’s progress has been relatively incremental. The state enacted a medical marijuana bill in 2014 that helped limited group of people and the Broward County Commission approved an ordinance in 2015 that allows police to issue alleged offenders citations instead of arresting them for possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Overall, marijuana still remains a controlled substance that carries serious penalties for certain criminal offenses. People who are charged with any kind of cannabis crime need to understand the consequences to guilty pleas—even for reduced charges—in these cases.Criminal Defense Lawyer for Marijuana Crimes in Broward County
If you were arrested for any kind of cannabis-related criminal offense in Florida, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm helps clients facing marijuana charges throughout Broward County, including Pompano Beach, Miramar, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and several other surrounding communities.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale whose previous experience includes several years handling these types of cases as an Assistant State Attorney for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Call (954) 524-4474 today to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Florida Marijuana Crimes Information Center
- What are some of the different cannabis offenses people can be charged with in Florida?
- How serious are marijuana-related convictions?
- Where can I find more information about cannabis organizations in Broward County?
Common Marijuana Crimes in Fort Lauderdale
When an alleged offender is charged with a violation of a cannabis offense under state law in Florida, the violation is usually one of the statutes established under Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes, also known as the “Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.” A few of the most common marijuana crimes in the Sunshine State include:
- Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession;
- Felony Marijuana Possession;
- Marijuana Cultivation/Grow House; and
- Marijuana Trafficking.
As soon as a person has been arrested for any kind of a cannabis crime, it is important to immediately retain legal counsel. An experienced attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest and identify all possible defenses against the marijuana charges.
In certain instances—such as cases involving excessive amounts of cannabis or crimes committed on federal property—alleged offenders may face federal charges. Federal marijuana crimes carry penalties that are even more severe than state charges.
Most people who have been arrested for a cannabis offense in Florida are primarily concerned with the more immediate consequences of a possible conviction. When a prosecutor offers such alleged offenders reduced fines and probation instead of a jail or prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea, it can seem like a very attractive offer.
It is critical to understand that any kind of guilty plea to a marijuana crime—even charges of small, misdemeanor possession—can still have very detrimental long-term consequences. By pleading guilty to a cannabis offense, a person will have that crime on his or her criminal record.
These kinds of drug charges on a criminal record can create multiple problems that may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Denial, revocation, or suspension of professional licenses;
- Difficulty obtaining employment or housing;
- Driver’s license suspension;
- Ineligibility for Bright Futures Scholarships and other forms of state and federal financial aid;
- Ineligibility to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”) or other public assistance benefits; and
- Prohibition from child adoption.
It is important to note that felony marijuana convictions can involve several additional consequences, including the right to possess a firearm, the right to sit on a jury, and the loss of the right to vote.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) of Florida — NORML is a national nonprofit lobbying organization “working to legalize marijuana, stop arrests of smokers, provide educational research, and legal information on medical cannabis.” It has multiple chapters in the Sunshine State, including this one based in Broward County. On this section of the NORML website, you can find links to this chapter’s Facebook page, email address, and website with additional legalization news, upcoming events, and volunteer registration.
NORML of Florida
3341 SW 35th St
West Park 33023
United States of America
Florida | Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) —MPP is a national nonprofit organization that works to decriminalize marijuana possession and end marijuana prohibition. On the Florida section of the organization’s website, you can find a blog, recent news, and information about cannabis-related issues. You can also see answers to frequently asked questions and find ways to take action.
Were you arrested for a cannabis offense in Florida? You should contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible for help possibly getting the criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients in Plantation, Davie, Sunrise, Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach, and many nearby areas in Broward County. You can have him review your case during a free initial consultation as soon as you call (954) 524-4474 or fill out an online contact form.