Marijuana Possession in Boca Raton
Laws regarding marijuana possession have become increasingly relaxed in numerous states. For example, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for approved medical purposes. Additionally, 18 states have passed measures decriminalizing certain instances of marijuana possession. Decriminalization generally means that a first-time offense for possession of a small amount meant for personal use is treated more like a minor traffic issue rather than a crime. Offenders will face no time in jail or have the violation reported on their criminal record. Finally, two states—Colorado and Washington State—have completely legalized possession of small amounts for personal consumption.
Florida, unfortunately, has not passed any progressive laws related to marijuana possession, and our state’s drug laws continue to be one of the strictest in the nation. Despite the overall national trend toward greater acceptance of marijuana, you will still face serious consequences if you are charged with marijuana possession in Boca Raton or elsewhere in Florida. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, you should always contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Marijuana Possession Charges and Penalties
The charges and penalties you may face for marijuana possession depends largely on the amount that you are suspected to have possessed. For example:
- 20 grams or less—First degree misdemeanor charge; potential sentence of a $1,000 fine and/or a year in jail.
- Over 20 grams—Third degree felony charge; potential sentence of $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.
These penalties and charges only apply if law enforcement and the prosecutor believe you possessed the marijuana for personal use. The potential penalties for marijuana possession can greatly increase if they believe you possessed the drug with the intent for selling or otherwise distributing it.
Just because you were arrested or charged with marijuana possession does not mean that you will definitely face such harsh penalties, however. Fortunately, there are many ways for an experienced attorney to defend a marijuana charge. For instance, if the police illegally stopped you, illegally searched you or your property, or violated your constitutional rights in any other way, an attorney may be able to get any evidence of marijuana completely kept out of court. Without such evidence, the prosecutor will likely be unable to prove the required elements for a conviction. Furthermore, a defense lawyer can make an argument that you were unaware of the presence of the marijuana, that you believed the marijuana was another type of legal substance, or that the marijuana actually belonged to someone else and was not actually in your possession. The type of defenses that may be used will depend on the specific circumstances of your individual case.
Contact a Boca Raton Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in the Boca Raton area, an experienced drug crime defense attorney can build an aggressive defense in your case to limit the consequences you face or have your case completely thrown out. Please do not hesitate to contact the office of Lavalle Brown & Ronan, P.A. to discuss your case today.