Marijuana charges can have a serious impact on your life. We can help you fight the case.
Marijuana laws in the United States and the state of Florida are rapidly evolving.
To be sure, while the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug (the most serious schedule of drug), states throughout the country have passed medical marijuana laws, decriminalization of marijuana laws, and even legalization of recreational marijuana laws.
Today, the landscape surrounding marijuana laws can be difficult to navigate. If you live in Orlando or surrounding areas of Florida, here’s what you should know about our state’s laws. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related crime, be sure to reach out to our Florida marijuana lawyer as soon as possible for help navigating your criminal case and protecting your rights.
Medical Marijuana in Florida
While it may have been a rocky road, in 2016, Florida voters approved medical marijuana in the state. However, there are many limitations. To be sure, according to NORML, the only qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in the state include:
- Crohn’s disease;
- Chronic nonmalignant pain;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Terminal illnesses; and
- Other debilitating illnesses.
In addition to the limitations set by the specific medical conditions above, note that home cultivation is not permitted under the law. There is also not recognized reciprocity between Florida and other states that have medical marijuana laws in place. Finally, marijuana must be obtained via a valid prescription through a state-licensed dispensary.
Recreational Marijuana in Florida: Laws and Penalties
While the state has made strides when it comes to medical marijuana, recreational marijuana is still prohibited. In fact, in Florida, the possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is still considered a misdemeanor offense and has therefore not been decriminalized in the state.
Possession of marijuana that is a misdemeanor can result in up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000! Consider these laws and penalties for marijuana possession and sale in Florida:
- Possession of fewer than 20 grams: misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 fine;
- Possession of between 20 grams-25 pounds: felony offense, punishable by up to five years in jail and $5,000 in fines;
- Possession of between 25 and 2,000 pounds: felony offense, punishable by between three and 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Penalties for possession of a quantity of marijuana greater than 2,000 pounds are even more severe, and absolutely require the counsel of an attorney to navigate.
A person can also be charged and penalized for the sale of marijuana. The penalties for the sale of marijuana mirror those of the penalties for the possession of marijuana. Note that penalties are more severe if the sale or possession occurred within 100 feet of a school, park, or college.
In addition to facing jail or prison time and large fines, a drug conviction charge on your permanent record could result in reduced opportunities, such as difficulties securing employment, long after your case has closed.
Defenses to Marijuana-Related Criminal Charges
If you are facing marijuana-related criminal charges, there may be defenses available to you based on the specifics of the charges you’re facing. Defenses to marijuana charges include:
- Lack of knowledge of possession;
- Lack of possession;
- Prescription for legal use;
- Illegal search and seizure.
Our lawyers will work hard to build your defense and help you to understand other options available to you, such as entering a plea agreement.
How Our Florida Marijuana Lawyer Can Help
A drug defense lawyer will play an integral role throughout the entirety of your criminal case. To be sure, our Florida marijuana lawyer in Orlando can help you by:
- Reviewing the prosecution’s evidence against you. Your defense attorney’s job is to review all of the evidence that the prosecution has against you. Not only will your attorney review the evidence, but poke holes in the prosecution’s evidence to improve your chances of being found “not guilty.”
- Representing you in all interactions with the court and prosecution. Throughout your criminal case, you will be faced with interacting with police, the prosecution, and the court. This is critical for protecting your interests, as you may say or do something detrimental to your case otherwise.
- Explaining the charges you’re facing and the options you have. Your attorney will also be responsible for explaining to you the charges you’re facing, what penalties are associated with the charges, and the options ahead of you. This can be critical when you are attempting to navigate what’s best for your interests.
- Working with you and the prosecutor to reach a plea bargain. If you do decide to plead guilty to the charges you’re facing, one option may be to reach a plea bargain with the prosecution. By reaching a plea bargain, you will agree to plead guilty in exchange for some concession from the prosecution, such as reduced sentencing or a reduced charge.
- Pointing out legal considerations that you wouldn’t be aware of on your own. There are some legal considerations that you may not be aware of that your attorney can point out for you and manage on your behalf, such as deadlines to file motions, your Constitutional rights, deadlines for appeal, etc.
- Representing you pre-trial and during trial. Finally, your criminal defense lawyer will be responsible for representing you both pre-trial and during the trial. This can not only be a huge service to you, but also a weight off of your shoulders.
Call a Florida Marijuana Lawyer Today to Learn More
You may be struggling to navigate the marijuana laws in Orlando on your own, especially if you are facing criminal charges. If you are facing criminal charges, call the law offices of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. today to schedule a consultation. We can meet with you at a time and in a location that works for you.