Simple Possession of Marijuana
Simple possession of marijuana in Florida is defined as anything less than 20 grams of cannabis, pot, ganja, weed, chronic, bud, hydro or reefer. A person can commit this offense if they possess any part of the plant, but a marijuana possession charge does not include resin from the marijuana plant or anything created from the resin. This type of marijuana offense is the least penalized marijuana possession offense, but can still result in a criminal record, jail sentence and/or fines.
Orlando Simple Marijuana Possession Attorney
If you have been charged with simple marijuana possession in Orlando, Florida, contact Hale & Hale, P.A. today. The attorneys of Hale & Hale will analyze the particular facts of your case to find potential defenses or mitigating factors to have your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. Call the law office of Hale & Hale at (407) 425-4640 for a free consultation today about your alleged marijuana offense in Orange County and the surrounding areas of Florida.
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Definition of Possession in Florida
Possession is defined in Florida as either actual or constructive possession.
Actual possession occurs when someone has physical control of the marijuana, or it is directly in their custody. This can include if the marijuana is in a clothing pocket or in a purse on a person’s body.
Constructive possession usually requires the individual’s knowledge the marijuana was in their presence, knowledge that the marijuana was an illegal substance, and they had the ability to control the marijuana or take actual possession of the marijuana.
Since actual or constructive possession is a required element to a marijuana possession charge, if the prosecutor is unable to show you had any type of possession of the marijuana, the charges may be dismissed or dropped. Constructive possession is typically much harder to prove than actual possession.
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Simple Marijuana Possession Penalties
According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6)(b), a simple marijuana possession can result in misdemeanor of the first degree.
If an individual is convicted of a simple marijuana possession offense, they can receive a jail sentence up to one year and/or fines not more than $1,000.
In addition to the preceding criminal penalties, a person convicted of this offense can receive a criminal record and an automatic driver’s license suspension for two years without being eligible to receive a provisional or work-related license for the first year.
Collateral consequences of a simple marijuana possession charge can include:
- Increased automobile insurance,
- Denial of certain jobs,
- Ineligibility to receive certain government aid,
- Denial of certain educational opportunities or scholarships, and/or
- Ineligibility for certain housing.
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Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion in Florida
Orange County utilizes a pretrial diversion program for certain misdemeanor and felony offenders, which is an alternative to going through the court system. Upon successful completion of the program, the prosecution will no longer prosecute the individual for the offense and the case will be disposed of.
An offender who is charged with a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge will be placed in a pretrial diversion program for at least six months, and the individual is required to complete 40 hours of community service and pay $300 in costs. The individual may also be required to complete classes and treatment.
Persons eligible for the program do not have any prior felony offenses and have no more than two prior unrelated misdemeanor offenses. Also, the individual must not have previously participated in one or more diversion programs, including juvenile diversion programs. The individual is usually required to reside in Florida.
Misdemeanor offenses involving weapons or exposure of sexual organs are not eligible for the pretrial program.
If an individual is placed in the program, but fails to complete the program successfully their case will be set back on the trial docket.
It is important to speak to your Orange County criminal defense attorney to determine if your situation may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program.
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Defenses to Marijuana Possession
There may be applicable defenses to your marijuana charges that can be used in your particular situation. However, it is imperative to speak to an Orlando criminal defense attorney who will help you determine your best defense for the marijuana charges against you.
Miranda Warnings – The law enforcement officer who arrested you may have violated your constitutional rights. For example, if the officer failed to give you Miranda Warnings about your right to remain silent or your right to an attorney, your constitutional rights may have been violated.
Arrest Without Warrant – Law enforcement officers are required to follow certain procedural requirements, including obtaining a warrant for arrest unless an exigent circumstance exists.
Illegal Search and Seizure – Law enforcement officers are required to not perform illegal searches of your home, person or vehicle or illegal seizures of anything found from those illegal searches. If the officer conducted an unlawful search and seizure, your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence illegally obtained.
Possession – If you did not have actual or constructive possession of the marijuana, your attorney may be able to file a motion to dismiss the drug charges against you because possession is a required element to a marijuana possession charge.
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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Simple Marijuana Possession Lawyer in Orlando
Contact the attorneys at Hale & Hale, P.A. to discuss the facts of your alleged marijuana possession charges in Orange County, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Seminole County, Osceola County, Winter Park and Kissimmee. It is important to hire an experienced Orlando marijuana crimes lawyer who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact Hale & Hale, P.A. at (407) 425-4640 for a free consultation about your marijuana offense in Orlando.