POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA

(Less than 20 grams)

In Florida, Possession of Less than 20 Grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor,

Florida Statute 893.13(6)(b) states:

To be considered in “possession” the accused must be able to exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over the contraband.

There are legally 2 forms of possession, “actual” and “constructive.”

  • “Actual” possession means the substance is actually on the defendant’s person or within “ready reach”.

  • “Constructive” possession means the controlled substance is not on the physical person of the accused but rather in a place over which the defendant can exercise dominion or control over.

Simply put, “constructive” possession means the contraband is in a place where more than one person has access to it.

PENALTIES

As a first-degree misdemeanor, Possession of Marijuana Under 20 Grams is punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in jail; or

  • Up to 1 year of probation; and

  • $1000.00 fine

Additional consequences include:

  • A 1-year driver’s license suspension; and

  • Random drug and alcohol screens

DEFENSES

Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:

  • Illegal search;

  • Lack of Probable Cause;

  • Failure to prove “possession”;

  • No knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance.

Aside from avoiding a criminal conviction that can have future consequences on employment, housing, or educational opportunities mANY people are concerned with losing their license for 1 year. There are many defenses and alternatives to a conviction that can help you avoid a license suspension.

 

Charged with the Possession of marijuana less than 20 grams? Contact us today.

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