Florida Man Arrested for Cultivating Marijuana After Offering to Cops
I don’t know why this seems to happen in my home state of Florida more than anywhere else, but here it is… A Florida man was arrested in Bunnell after inviting local police to check out his cannabis plant that he had grown and to smoke some with him. A body camera captured the video of the incident that took place on Florida’s east coast. The police were near the residence responding to a different incident and the man apparently decided to be neighborly and invite the police in. The resident had been smoking marijuana when the police arrived.
Given the fact that the man was openly violating the law, the officers asked him to produce his medical cannabis card hoping that would make the use legal. However, he didn’t have such a card. The officers arrested the man for growing marijuana. It does present an opportunity for us to discuss these acts.
Cultivation of Marijuana
Florida laws prohibit the cultivation, growing, or manufacturing of cannabis. Anyone who violates this statute will be committing a third-degree felony and the crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
Manufacturing cannabis is defined as the preparation, production, labeling or relabeling, packaging, propagation, cultivating, growing, compounding, or processing of a controlled substance whether indirectly or directly. It can also be the extraction from a natural substance or independently by chemical synthesis.
Not all offenses are charged as third-degree felonies. It may be considered a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison if the accused individual is in constructive or actual possession of a grow house or found to be in possession of 25 or more cannabis plants. The felony may be upped to a first-degree if minors are residing at the location or present where the plants are being grown. So, quick advise is do not grow marijuana unless the Department of Agriculture has given you written permission to.
Defenses to Cultivation of Marijuana Charges
Many of the same defenses to other drug possession charges can be applied to cultivation of marijuana charges. In many cultivation cases, your attorney may be able to challenge unlawful seizures and searches performed by law enforcement because the Fourth Amendment protections for a business or home are much broader than those of a vehicle.
These defenses may include the absence of a warrant or defective warrant, unlawful execution of a warrant, failure to have probable cause for a warrant, exceeding the scope of the warrant, unlawful detention or arrest, that the controlled substances are not in plain view, Miranda violations, right to counsel violations, and unlawful tactics during a search which may invalidate it. These and other possible defenses must be addressed by a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer. Mark is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and has a dedicated and vigilant team ready to help in your time of need.
You have no obligation to discuss these matters or the facts surrounding an arrest with the officers. Do not try to explain yourself or the circumstances. You should properly identify yourself to the officers, but nothing else is required. The only comment you should make is that you want to speak with a lawyer. The less you say without good counsel, the more we can help you.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Over the past decade, Florida law enforcement officials have been very aggressive in pursuing campaigns to combat the cultivation of marijuana across the state. The largest component of the effort is the Florida Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program. Since its inception, there have been over 24,000 grow sites and over two million plants eradicated.
As a result of these aggressive policies, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The Orlando criminal attorneys at O’Mara Law Group will help you avoid or minimize the consequences of being charged with cultivation of marijuana. If you have been accused of this crime, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.