As legalization topics continue to trend through the states, we are seeing some loosen or remove their former stipulations regarding marijuana. Knowing where your state stands on this subject is vital, as laws in one do not protect you from another.
Florida has yet to legalize recreational marijuana, but the recent allowance of medical marijuana and legal hemp reminds us that there is nuance in need of consideration. FindLaw provides a breakdown of Florida’s basic possession laws.
Drug possession of any kind usually results in a felony charge in Florida. However, marijuana possession at under 20 grams is only considered a first-degree misdemeanor. Charges may be higher for repeat offenders. This does not apply to individuals approved to use medical marijuana.
Individuals caught with the following can face third-degree felony charges:
- Between 20 grams and 25 pounds of marijuana
- Less than 28 grams of cocaine
- Less than 4 grams of heroin
- Less than 1 gram of LSD
- Less than 10 grams of MDMA
First-degree felony charges occur when someone possesses the following:
- 25 pounds of marijuana or more
- 28 grams of cocaine or more
- 4 grams of heroin or more
- 1 gram of LSD or more
- 10 grams of MDMA or more
First-degree misdemeanors merit up to one year in jail. Repeat offenders may require mandatory treatment or home arrest. Felonies may involve prison time. Third-degree felonies may see up to five years in prison, while first-degree felonies see up to 30 years and up to $250,000 in fines, depending on the drugs involved. Penalties may be higher for charges of “possession with intent to sell distribute” – if the prosecution can find sufficient evidence that you planned to sell the drugs to others.
Defending yourself against drug charges may seem impossible, but it does not have to be when you have the right resources and knowledge. A criminal defense attorney with experience handling drug crimes can help you build a solid defense to combat your charges.