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Florida has shown some progress with marijuana reform, but it is still miles away from many other states. In the last couple of years medical marijuana has become legal and more than a quarter million residents are currently licensed patients. Patients are allowed to use smokable flower, edibles and concentrates but are not permitted to grow or cultivate their own pot. While medical marijuana is fully functional in Florida, there has not been much progress with modernizing the criminal laws regarding non-medical users. Possession of marijuana, or the legal term cannabis, is a crime in Florida regardless of quantity, and the only question is how severe the potential sanctions will be for a person who is charged.
Anyone found to be in possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail term of 1 year. Florida statute 893.13 specifically grants police officers the authority to arrest a suspect for misdemeanor possession of cannabis, and they will not hesitate to do so. If you have been charged with possession of cannabis do not risk potential criminal penalties by showing up to court without an experienced lawyer. Many South Florida judges are uncomfortable sentencing a defendant charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana to jail, but that does not mean these cases can be taken lightly. A defendant could still end up with a permanent criminal conviction, probation, fines and mandatory drug treatment that can be expensive and time consuming. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida marijuana possession lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of clients in cannabis related charges. He firmly believes that no person should be punished in any capacity for the use or possession of marijuana, and fights tooth and nail to secure a dismissal in all cases. Benjamin represents clients in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, and also is an experienced Treasure Coast lawyer for clients with cases in Martin and St. Lucie County. Contact Benjamin anytime 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305 for a free consultation about your case.
The Florida law regarding possession of over 20 grams of cannabis continues to be one of the most unjust and overly harsh drug laws in the country. Years back, state lawmakers arbitrarily decided that possession of 20 grams of pot or more should be treated differently than simple possession. There is really no logical reason why lawmakers chose this number other than it being a multiple of ten and an even number. Twenty grams is less than an ounce, and frequently less than a someone would purchase for personal use, but nonetheless possession of this amount or more is considered a third-degree felony under Florida law that comes with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. While a lengthy prison sentence is unlikely in most cases, there is still the very real possibility that a defendant could end up with a permanent felony conviction in addition to serving some jail time. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in felony cannabis possession cases. He is committed to fighting for all defendants who are facing unjust prosecution under Florida’s outdated marijuana laws. Benjamin is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305, and has flexible hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach office locations. Contact Benjamin to set up a consultation today, and discuss what defenses may be available in your case. Under recent laws regarding the legalization of hemp, the state must prove that cannabis in a criminal have a THC content of over .3 percent. The evidence in your marijuana case may have been illegally seized based on a search absent probable cause, as police are no longer able to detain and search based on odor of marijuana alone. Possession of any illegal substance can be actual or constructive. Actual possession means that the evidence was allegedly found on the defendant’s person, which includes things found in bags and backpacks. The laws regarding constructive possession allow officers to charge anyone they believe has knowledge or control over contraband. Constructive possession cases are common in traffic stops and search warrant executions, where the drugs are found in common areas. Benjamin has won jury trials and motions to suppress illegally seized marijuana, and is standing by to fight for you.