What are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Florida?
Even with marijuana laws changing all around the country, possession of recreational marijuana is illegal in Florida. Still, Florida’s laws on marijuana have been changing over the years. In 2016, Florida allowed for the possession and sale of medicinal marijuana, and it is fairly easy for Floridians to qualify for the program. Hemp has also become legal throughout the state in 2019. As such, law enforcement and the state attorney’s do not place too many resources into pursuing simple possession charges.
Whether the prosecution pursues a possession charge is largely left to their discretion. It is for this reason that anyone charged with marijuana possession speak to a criminal defense lawyer. If a prosecutor does secure a conviction, you may face serious penalties and have a criminal record for the rest of your life, which can greatly hamper other opportunities.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
In Florida, a simple charge of possessing marijuana is defined as being in possession of under 20 grams of cannabis. This offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine and possibly up to one year in jail.
If you are found in possession of between 20 grams and 25 pounds of marijuana, it is a third-degree felony possession charge. The penalties for a conviction of this offense are much more serious and include higher fines and up to five years in jail. A criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid these penalties by getting your charges reduced, or will help you beat them altogether.
Penalties for Trafficking Marijuana
Any time a person is found with more than 25 pounds of marijuana, they will face drug trafficking charges. The penalties for a conviction of this offense vary, depending on the amount of marijuana involved.
- In excess of 25 pounds, but less than 2,000 pounds: A person found with this amount of marijuana will face first degree felony charges, a fine of $25,000, and a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years. A person found with 300 to up to 2,000 plants will also face the same penalties.
- 2,000 pounds or more,, but less than 10,000 pounds: This is also a first degree felony, anyone convicted of trafficking this amount of marijuana will face penalties that include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of seven years in prison, and a $50,000 fine. These are also the penalties associated with possessing between 2,000 and 10,000 plants.
- Over 10,000 pounds of cannabis or more than 10,000 plants: This offense too, is a first degree felony that carries a penalty of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a very high fine of $200,000.
Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your Case
Marijuana is still largely illegal in Florida and anyone charged with possessing, selling, or trafficking cannabis needs the help of an Orlando criminal defense lawyer. At O’Mara Law Group, our experienced attorneys know the defenses available for these cases, and how to use them to build the solid defense you need. When you are facing charges, call us at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to speak to one of our skilled attorneys.