New laws are being passed to decriminalize cannabis possession and use across the United States. While the Sunshine State has been part of this growing conversation and made progress with medical marijuana legalization, recreational marijuana possession is still classified as a misdemeanor offense. In some instances, possession can result in felony charges.
You can face anything from fines to incarceration, depending on the amount you have or any intent to sell. The penalties of this misdemeanor can cause issues in both the short and long run, which is why you need experienced legal representation to alleviate stress as you fight your charges in court.
Work with Mike G Law, one of the best marijuana lawyers in Tampa. Our team of attorneys will fight your charges and work to have them reduced or even dropped depending on your case.
Contact us to schedule a FREE case consultation and continue reading to learn more about how we work with our Florida clients.
25 Years of Experience in Tampa, Florida
Mike G Law promises the best effort and representation for your case—and we have the credentials to back it up. Mike G brings 25 years of legal experience, including time as a prosecution attorney for the State of Florida.
Mike G Law will bring knowledge of how the prosecution will think and approach your charges. Our experience and understanding can only help strengthen your defense.
Mike G is committed to getting the best possible outcome for you. We have worked extensively in and around the Tampa area on a range of criminal defense issues, including marijuana charges.
Understanding Florida Marijuana Laws
The first step in approaching your case is understanding the charges filed against you and how they may have violated Florida marijuana laws. Understanding why you are being charged will also inform you of possible outcomes and consequences if you are found guilty of marijuana offenses.
As a state, Florida allows marijuana for medical use. In order to receive medical marijuana, a doctor must certify you have a certain medical issue, such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Or another qualifying condition
Only permanent or seasonal residents of Florida qualify for this and must register in the medical marijuana use registry.
It is not legal to self-medicate with medical marijuana. You may still be arrested if you are found using medical marijuana that was not prescribed to you by a doctor.
Fines, Sentencing & Consequences for Marijuana Possession in Tampa
Consequences for a Misdemeanor Charge
The penalties of marijuana possession can be found under Florida Statute Section 893.13(16). Anything less than 20 grams of marijuana found in your possession will be a first-degree misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is punishable by:
- Maximum $1,000 fine
- Maximum 1 year in jail
Cities across Florida have passed ordinances specific to their jurisdictions to grant officers discretionary power when it comes to misdemeanor level possession. An officer has the discretion to issue a citation rather than a fine or jail time.
The jurisdictions with these ordinances include:
- Key West
- Miami-Dade County
It is best not to rely on these ordinances. At the end of the day, you could still face jail time.
Consequences for a Felony Charge
If you are found in possession of over 20 grams of marijuana, you have strayed into felony territory. A marijuana felony charge can result in:
- Maximum $5,000 fine
- Maximum 5 years in jail
The consequences of a felony will worsen if you are charged with the intent to sell or deliver marijuana. If this occurs within 1,000 feet of a college, park, school, or other legally specified areas, you could face:
- Maximum $10,000 fine
- Maximum 15 years in jail
If the sale is for 25 pounds or fewer of cannabis, the felony charges can result in:
- Maximum $5,000 fine
- Maximum 5 years in jail
Notice these are the maximums, as in, the worst-case scenarios. The Mike G Law team strives to avoid the worst-case scenario to reduce the sentence or have the charges dropped completely.
Types of Possession
In addition to the difference between misdemeanor and felony, there are two types of possession you can be charged with:
- Actual possession is found when marijuana is on your person, such as in your hands, pockets, or anywhere else within your dominion and control.
- Constructive possession is found when marijuana is somewhere you have control over, like your locker, car, apartment, or anywhere else only you have access to. If alleging constructive possession, the prosecution will have to prove you had control of the area and that you were aware marijuana was there.
Our team will look at all the details of your case and the evidence in play to find a solid defense. Our goal is to get you a fair outcome—and not let you get trampled by the prosecutors.
Why You Need an Experienced Marijuana Lawyer on Your Side
While some states have not touched the legalization question and others have legalized recreational use, Florida is somewhere in between. While medical use is legal, the consequences of illegal possession can be serious, especially when you consider the ripple effect possession charges will have on your life. You will lose time, money, and be followed by a criminal record.
Working with an experienced, successful marijuana lawyer in Tampa is essential to battling marijuana charges. Mike G Law promises aggressive, zealous, and hard-working defense lawyers to hear out your case, advise you on a course of action, and help you move forward.
Get in touch with a marijuana lawyer at Mike G Law today to discuss your case!
Mental Health & Substance Abuse
As an experienced defense attorney, we know these charges can be linked to a history of substance abuse or mental health disorders. If you are facing marijuana charges and have mental health concerns, you have options the prosecution may not tell you about.
Florida has a specialty mental health court to provide treatment instead of jail time. If this is a route you need to take, Mike G Law can help.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
It starts with a free case consultation. Mike G Law gives a no-nonsense approach to the law, which lets you expect honest and transparent feedback on your legal options. If you are facing charges in Tampa or the surrounding area, Mike G Law can help.
Contact Mike G Law at 813-221-4303 or contact us here to start your case evaluation process.