How Marijuana Possession Affects Your Future
As a result of the rampant illegal drug trade of marijuana and cocaine in Miami during the 1970s and 1980s, drug laws in Florida became one of the strictest in the United States. The penalties and conviction for marijuana are not things you can afford to have on your record, because they affect future employment opportunities and a host of other social privileges. The worst-case scenario includes jail time, which means being away from friends and family and being unable to earn a living. When charged with illegal possession, it is important that your defense investigates the facts and develop strategies that lead to reduced charges and/or outright dismissal. An attorney understands the importance of maintaining your freedom and that the penalties can be stiff.
Possible penalties for marijuana drug possession in Florida include:
- Possession of 20 grams or less, up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000
- More than 20 grams, up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- Less than 25 plants, up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000
- 25 plants, up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000
You may have been in the vicinity of the substance, or even driving a vehicle where the substance was found. However, a passenger or other person may have been responsible for the possession of the controlled substance. Other possible defenses include arguing that a vehicle stop was illegal, or that the search and seizure of contraband was conducted improperly. Also of note is the amount found in your possession. To be actionable, it needs to be of a certain quantity. And in cases of controlled substances prescribed by a physician, no action should be taken against you.
Regardless of the size or magnitude of the crime, an arrest is a frightening experience. Maintaining your freedom is important to you and the future of your family. If you’ve been arrested on charges of drug possession, contact a Tampa criminal defense attorney to make sure that your rights are protected.