In Florida, marijuana for medical use was approved in 2016 after the second medical cannabis initiative. It’s used to treat various illnesses, such as cancer, epilepsy, seizures, and other debilitating medical conditions that cause chronic pain. But in terms of recreational use, marijuana is considered illegal, and consequences follow for those caught possessing it without proof of medical use.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, you should find a Possession of Marijuana Defense in Polk County Defense Lawyer that can defend your case. They must have years of experience in marijuana law so that they can formulate the best course of action to ensure that you can fight the charges against them.
Fortunately, Smith & Eulo offers professional Possession of Marijuana Lawyers in Polk County Defense Lawyer that will study your case. They will do their best to ensure you receive a favorable outcome based on your best interests.
What is the Meaning of Possession in Florida?
Under Section 893.13(6), Florida Statutes, possession of marijuana means one’s ability to exercise the right of ownership or control over the substance. Possession of the contraband can either be actual or constructive. The difference between actual and constructive possession are as follows:
Actual possession means that the substance (marijuana) is being held by the person accused. It may also be inside a container that the person is carrying. Other times, it may be so close to the person that it is already deemed within reach and that the accused person controls it.
At the same time, the proximity of marijuana to the person is not enough for them to be in possession of the controlled substance, especially if the substance is not in a place where the person has exclusive control.
On the other hand, constructive possession is when the substance isn’t on the actual person of the accused. However, it’s somewhere where the person charged has control over it or in a place where the person concealed it. For a person to have constructive possession of the substance, the following must be proved or established by the prosecution:
- The accused has complete control over the controlled substance.
- The accused knows that the controlled substance was within their presence.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Polk County, Florida
Florida has not changed or decreased its punishments for marijuana possession. Furthermore, they have not reclassified marijuana as a less serious drug. Therefore, even if you were caught with small amounts of marijuana, significant penalties are highly possible.
The penalties for possession of marijuana in Polk County depend on the amount of marijuana you have in your possession and if it’s your first offense or not. The following are the penalties:
- Marijuana possession of up to 20 grams: Possession is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Twenty grams up to 25 pounds: Possession between 20 grams to 25 pounds is considered a felony, resulting in imprisonment of up to five years and up to $5,000 fines.
- More than 25 pounds to less than 2,000 pounds: Once caught with marijuana between 25 pounds to 2,000 pounds, the punishment is three to 15 years of imprisonment with a fine of up to $25,000. A mandatory three-year sentence applies for this amount of possession.
- Two thousand pounds to less than 10,000 pounds: Possession of this much can result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence of seven years or up to 30 years. On the other hand, the fine is $50,000 once convicted.
- Ten thousand pounds or more: Once charged and convicted, the penalty is a mandatory 15-year imprisonment or up to 30 years with a fine of $200,000.
- Plants: Serious consequences await an individual caught with marijuana plants. It depends on the number of plants, with less than 25 plants resulting in five years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. For more than 2,000 plants, the jail sentence is a mandatory seven years or up to 30 years with a $50,000 fine.
- Paraphernalia: Individuals caught with marijuana paraphernalia can get a misdemeanor conviction with a fine of $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
- Hash and concentrates: These are considered schedule 1 narcotics, and being in possession can result in a third-degree felony conviction. Imprisonment is up to five years, with a fine of up to $5,000.
Increased penalties may occur in some instances. For example, the offense occurs within 1,000 feet of a school or other specific areas.
What Happens if I’m Charged with Marijuana Possession?
Once you’re charged with marijuana possession, you must find possession of marijuana defense attorney in Polk County Defense Lawyer. They are the ones who will defend your case for you. With their expertise and experience with marijuana law, they can formulate a solution that will either drop the charges or give you a more favorable penalty.
Retaining legal counsel from a professional gives you a better chance of fighting the charges and preventing them from going to your record. Since marijuana possession is a highly defensible charge, there are many different defenses your lawyer can use, as long as it’s backed by evidence.
What is Joint Possession?
Joint possession means more than one person is charged with marijuana possession because they have joint possession over a substance or contraband (marijuana) found in the same premises that multiple persons have occupied at the time of the arrest.
However, the prosecution can only establish joint possession if the parties involved are aware of the substance. At the same time, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s ability to establish their control over the substance with independent proof, which is the same case as Hall v. State.
Defend Yourself from a Marijuana Possession Charge with the Help of a Reputable Lawyer
Only a Polk County Defense Lawyer Possession of Marijuana lawyer can defend your case from a marijuana possession charge. So you must contact a lawyer as soon as possible to get legal advice.
Smith & Eulo has a team of lawyers with the expertise to guide you through this complex process. So make sure to contact us and schedule a consultation so that we can help you through this ordeal.