Felony possession of marijuana is commonly known as possessing more than 20 grams of cannabis, or about ¾ of an ounce. Possession of marijuana is also known as possession of pot, ganja, bud, chronic or weed, but does not include any resin from the plant, or anything created from the plant’s resin.
A person can also be charged with this offense if they possess 25 or more cannabis plants. Florida laws define illegal marijuana plants as anything with even the smallest amount of root formation. If someone possesses this amount of plants, it can be used as evidence the person was intending to sell or distribute the marijuana, which can lead to even greater penalties.
Tallahassee Felony Marijuana Possession Lawyer
If you have been charged with felony possession of marijuana over 20 grams in Leon County, an experienced attorney can analyze the facts of your particular case to find the best possible outcome. Don Pumphrey, Jr. is knowledgeable about Florida’s drug possession laws, and can help you find defenses to reduce your charge or have it dismissed altogether. The law office represents clients in Tallahassee, Bristol, Quincy, Monticello, Woodville, and nearby areas. If you have been charged with this serious offense, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. today for a consultation about your alleged charges.
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Penalties for Felony Possession of Marijuana / Over 20 Grams
Under Florida Statute § 893.13, someone charged with this offense can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and can incur up to five years in prison, and fines up to $5,000.
Also, if someone illegally possesses 25 marijuana plants, or more, they can be charged with a second degree felony, and serve up to 15 years in prison and/or face fines up to $10,000.
If you are convicted of a felony, you will have a criminal record, not be permitted licensing for certain occupations, and be required to disclose the information on job applications. Also, a felony conviction will prevent you from owning, possessing or using a firearm, and from being allowed to vote. A two-year suspension of your driver’s license can also be a penalty for a felony conviction, without any possibility of obtaining a work-related or provisional driver’s license for the first year of the suspension.
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Definition of Felony Possession in Florida
Whether or not you were in possession of the cannabis can be a factor in reducing your charges or even having them dismissed. For example, if a prosecutor cannot demonstrate you had either actual or constructive possession, the prosecution will probably not have enough evidence to charge you with felony possession of marijuana. If there is not sufficient evidence for the charges brought against you, then the charge will probably be dismissed.
Possession in Florida can be either constructive or actual possession. In order for someone to have actual possession, they have to have control over the marijuana, or the marijuana has to be on their actual body. For example, they have to have the marijuana in their hand or in their pocket.
Constructive possession is often to harder to prove, and requires three elements in Florida. The marijuana has to be in the presence of the person charged with the offense, they had to know the marijuana was in their presence, and they knew marijuana was an illicit, or illegal, substance. For example, if someone has marijuana in the glove compartment of their car, they knew it was there, and they knew it was illegal, they could be charged with constructively possessing the marijuana.
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Defenses to a Felony Possession of Marijuana Charge
If you are convicted of this offense, you may have certain options available to reduce your charges or have them dismissed, including various violations of your constitutional rights. For example, the arresting officer may have violated your constitutional right against self-incrimination if they did not read you Miranda Warnings.
If you said anything against your interest after the officer failed to give you Miranda warnings, the prosecution will not be able to use this evidence against you. Therefore, if the prosecution does not have enough other evidence to charge you with felony possession of marijuana, your charge may be dismissed.
Also, if an unreasonable search and seizure was conducted by your arresting officer, or they illegally searched you, your home or your car, your attorney may be able file a motion to suppress the charge.
A motion to suppress will prevent the prosecution from using any illegally obtained evidence against you. If the prosecution is no longer able to charge you with a felony possession charge because they do not have enough evidence, your charges will likely be dismissed.
Other defenses can include the marijuana was not yours, you did not have constructive or actual possession of the marijuana, or law enforcement entrapped you.
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The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Felony Marijuana Possession Arrest
If you have been charged with a felony possession of marijuana in Florida, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. to discuss the facts of your case. It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney who can help you avoid severe consequences. As a lawyer, Don Pumphrey, Jr. has represented those accused of this offense and will aggressively fight your criminal charge. Call (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged charges and begin putting your life back on track.