Simple possession of marijuana is the least penalized marijuana possession offense, and is defined as having anything in your possession under 20 grams, or about ¾ of an ounce. This can include cannabis, pot, ganja, bud, chronic or weed, but does not include any resin from the plant, or anything created from the plant’s resin.
Any officer who arrests you for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana will attempt to find additional evidence to indicate you were trying to sell the marijuana. A charge for "possession of marijuana with intent to sell" has much greater penalties and repercussions.
Tallahassee Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Attorney
If you have been charged with simple possession of marijuana under 20 grams in Florida, an experienced attorney can analyze the particular facts of your case to find potential defenses or reasons to have your charge reduced or dismissed altogether. Don Pumphrey, Jr. is knowledgeable about Florida’s drug laws, and can help you avoid serious consequences. He represents adults and youth in Tallahassee, Bristol, Quincy, Monticello, Crawfordville and surrounding areas. Contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. today for a consultation about your alleged charges.
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Definition of Possession
Florida defines possession as either constructive or actual. Sometimes if a prosecutor is unable to establish you had either actual or constructive possession of marijuana, the charges against you may be dismissed because they will not have enough evidence to charge you with the offense.
Actual possession occurs when someone has direct control over the marijuana, or the marijuana is actually on their body.
Constructive possession usually requires three elements in Florida, including:
- The person charged with possession has marijuana in their presence, or close enough to actually possess the marijuana;
- The person knew the marijuana was in their presence; and
- They knew the marijuana was an illegal or banned substance.
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Penalties for Simple Possession (Under 20 Grams)
Florida Statute § 893.13 states that a person convicted of this offense is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, and can face punishment including fines up to $1,000 and/or jail time up to one year.
Additional penalties can include an automatic two-year suspension of your driver’s license, without any possibility of obtaining a work-related or provisional driver’s license for the first year, increases in automobile insurance, and a criminal record. Further, you may be denied certain employment, housing, school scholarships, or other governmental assistance for having a criminal record.
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Misdemeanor Diversion Program in Florida
Leon County provides for a misdemeanor diversion program, where an eligible misdemeanor offender can complete community service hours under the Work Program, pay required fines and fees and watch an educational video instead of being charged with the offense.
An offender will typically have 90 days to complete the program, and upon completion, the misdemeanor charge will be dismissed.
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Options to Fight a Simple Possession of Marijuana Charge
There are options to fight this offense. The arresting officer charging you with a possession of marijuana offense may have violated your constitutional rights. For example, if the officer conducted an unreasonable search and seizure or illegally searched you, your home or your car, your attorney can file a motion to suppress the charge.
A Motion to Suppress will eliminate the prosecution from using any illegal evidence against you. If the prosecution no longer has any evidence to charge you with your possession charge after the motion to suppress is granted, then your charges will likely be dismissed.
If the officer arresting did not read you Miranda Warnings, then this may also be a violation of your constitutional right against self-incrimination. If your charge resulted from anything you said after this constitutional right was violated, it is not admissible by the prosecution. Therefore, if the prosecution has no other evidence to charge you with simple possession, your charges may be dismissed.
Other defenses can include mistaken identity if the marijuana was not yours, inability to demonstrate constructive or actual possession, or entrapment by law enforcement.
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The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Simple Possession of Marijuana Lawyer
If you have been arrested for simple possession of marijuana in Leon County, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. to discuss the facts of your particular case. It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney who can help you find the best possible outcome for the charges against you. Don Pumphrey, Jr. is an experienced marijuana attorney in Tallahassee and will aggressively fight your criminal charge. Call (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged offense.