Although marijuana is considered legal in Florida when used by qualified individuals for medicinal purposes, it is still considered an illegal drug. Anyone who has not received their medical marijuana card from an authorized health care provider who is caught with marijuana in their possession could face some serious charges and penalties depending on the amount they have. Here is a look at some of the penalties a marijuana charge carries with it:
- When a person is accused of having 20 grams or less of marijuana in their possession, they shall be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, and could face up to one year in jail and a fine.
- Those accused of having over 20 grams but under 25 lbs. of marijuana in their possession shall be charged with a first-degree felony and could face up to five years in jail if convicted, and a fine.
- Anyone accused of having more than 25 lbs. but less than 2000 lbs. of marijuana in their possession shall be charged with a felony and will face a minimum jail sentence of three years but could potentially be sentenced to 15 years. The crime also carries a hefty fine.
[Source: Florida Statute § 893.13].
It is worth noting that those who have been cleared by a health care professional to use marijuana for medicinal purposes are also required to follow strict guidelines. Those who fail to follow these guidelines could also face criminal charges.
When might an individual get their drug charge thrown out?
If an individual has been charged with a drug crime such as possession of marijuana in Fort Lauderdale, FL, they may be able to get their charge thrown out if they hire a Fort Lauderdale, FL criminal defense lawyer who can help them prove:
- It was a case of mistaken identity. Sometimes police officers arrest and charge the wrong person for a crime. If this is the case, an individual will need a skilled lawyer working on their side as it isn’t always easy to prove that it is a case of mistaken identity.
- The drugs were discovered after officers performed an illegal search and seizure.
- The arresting officers planted the drugs on the individual.
Do drug crimes qualify for expungement?
There are certain types of crimes that can be removed (i.e. hidden) from your criminal record so that the charge/conviction cannot be seen. When an arrest or conviction is expunged, certain agencies will be able to see that a charge was expunged, however, the details will not be available. It is important to note that if an individual applies for a certain type of job such as an educator or police officer later in life and they had a criminal charge expunged, they will likely need to disclose to the employer details surrounding the charge.
While some drug crimes may qualify for expungement, it is best to discuss this with a Fort Lauderdale, FL criminal defense lawyer as they will be able to determine much quicker whether a person’s criminal offense qualifies for expungement.
Retaining a Criminal Defense Attorney After Being Charged with Possession of Marijuana in Fort Lauderdale
If a person was charged with possession of marijuana or another drug crime in Fort Lauderdale, they can contact Gabriela C. Novo, P.A. for legal advice and help. Criminal charges are serious and scary, and it is important for an individual who has been accused of a crime to be represented by someone who is going to protect their rights.
Gabriela C. Novo, P.A. is located at:
200 S.E. 6th Street, Suite 102
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301