What criminal charges can I get from Marijuana Possession in Clearwater FL

On the Pacific Coast of the United States, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use is now perfectly legal. It’s quite the opposite on the Eastern Coast, especially in the State of Florida. Possession of marijuana remains illegal pursuant to Florida Statute 893.13. On that basis, if you are arrested for possession of marijuana, police, and prosecutors take the crime seriously. You don’t want to try and represent yourself. If you’ve been arrested for possession of marijuana in or around Clearwater, you’ll want to contact William Hanlon Clearwater criminal lawyer.

The 20 Ounce Exception 
There are 28.5 grams in an ounce. Miami-Dade County and Broward County have decriminalized possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana. A police officer can issue a $100 civil citation for possession of 20 grams or less of the substance. Fort Lauderdale voted out of this plan though. This option isn’t available anywhere else in the state, and it won’t apply if a person has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, a crime of violence or a felony. 

Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession 
A person can be found guilty of possession of marijuana in one of two ways. He or she can be in actual possession of the substance or be in constructive possession of it. If a person is in actual possession of marijuana, it’s in their hand, pocket or sock. The person might even be driving in a car, and it’s on the seat next to him or her in a bag or box. If the individual is alleged to be in constructive possession of it, the marijuana might be in a car or a house. The prosecution must prove that the defendant knew that the marijuana was there, and he or she had control over it. Constructive possession is most often charged when several people are in a car or home where the marijuana was found. People who are charged with being in constructive possession of marijuana might also be charged with being in joint possession of it. 

Penalties for Possession of 20 Grams or Less 
Aside from Miami-Dade County and Broward County, possible sentencing for possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is uniform across the state. A conviction is punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and a one-year revocation of a person’s driver’s license. Diversion programs are available that may or may not operate in an individual’s best interests. 

More Than 20 Grams 
Possession of more than 20 grams and up to 25 pounds of marijuana in Florida turns into a third-degree felony. If a person pleads guilty or is found guilty of the crime, it’s punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 and revocation of a person’s driver’s license. That individual also obtains the status of being a convicted felon for life. Possible time in prison and fines continue to increase by the weight of the marijuana being possessed. For example, possession of 10,000 pounds or more of the substance is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. 

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, don’t give police any type of a statement or confession. Prosecutors will only use it against you to try and convict you. Exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney, and contact a Clearwater criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They will listen to you and examine all of the evidence carefully, Then, they’ll answer your questions and advise you of all of your legal options.

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