Possession of Marijuana Attorney in Tampa, FL
Marijuana possession may not seem like the most serious of crimes, but Florida treats even simple marijuana possession seriously. A conviction in this state can mean probation or even jail time, plus mandatory drug treatment and driver’s license suspensions. Do not attempt to respond to marijuana possession charges on your own.
If you or a loved one are facing possession of marijuana charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa possession of marijuana criminal defense lawyer, today.
Simple Possession of Marijuana in Tampa, FL
Florida, like the federal government, places marijuana among heroin and LSD on the list of outlawed drugs the state considers most dangerous, most addictive and least useful to the medical community. Even so, Florida, like most states, treats marijuana less harshly than other illegal drugs when it comes to simple possession laws. That said, Florida’s drug laws are particularly harsh, including laws against marijuana. Possession of a small amount of cannabis for personal use — 20 grams or less — is a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail, while simple possession of other illegal drugs is typically a felony. It is also a first-degree misdemeanor with a one-year maximum to deliver less than 20 grams of cannabis to another person as long as no money changes hands. In both cases, probation and fines are more likely than jail time, especially for first-time offenders. Possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis is a third-degree felony punishable by as many as five years in prison, assuming it is not treated as possession with intent to deliver or as the even more serious crime of marijuana trafficking.
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell in Tampa, FL
Selling or delivering marijuana, or possessing it with intent to sell or deliver it, is also third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years. Prosecutors can prove intent to sell or deliver from a number of facts, including possession of large amounts of marijuana, possession of large amounts of cash, or possession of paraphernalia such as baggies and scales. There are enhanced penalties in some cases. Possession of marijuana with intent within 1,000 feet of a child care facility, school, college, park, community center, recreational facility, public housing facility, place of worship, assisted living facility or certain businesses is a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years.
Possession of Marijuana: Trafficking in Tampa, FL
Even more serious penalties are reserved for marijuana trafficking. This applies to the sale, delivery, purchase, smuggling or possession of substantial amounts of marijuana. It is important to note that as long as the amount is large enough, possession qualifies as trafficking regardless of whether prosecutors can prove intent to deliver. It is a first-degree felony to possess more than 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 or more marijuana plants. This crime carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. A minimum sentence of three years is imposed if the amount is between 25 and 2,000 pounds or 300 and 2,000 plants; seven years is imposed if the amount is between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds or 2,000 and 10,000 plants; and a mandatory sentence of 15 years is imposed if the offender possesses 10,000 or more pounds or 10,000 or more plants