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Possession of Marijuana (under 20 grams)

In the State of Florida possession of under 20 grams of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor criminal charge punishable by up to one year in the county jail. In addition, if one is convicted of possession of marijuana in Florida, the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will suspend the person's driver's license for two years.

What can be done to fight my possession of marijuana charge?

There are many ways to fight a possession of marijuana charge. The following are just a few: Often there are issues that turn up with the way the officer handled the initial detention of the person. For instance, many possession of marijuana cases start with a police officer stopping an automobile. The officer must have a legal basis to stop the car. If not, then all evidence found as a result of the illegal stop may be suppressed.

Assuming the car is stopped for a valid traffic violation, the officer can only detain the driver for a reasonable period of time for the purpose of investigating and/or writing a traffic citation. If a person is detained too long, the marijuana found as a result of an unreasonable detention may be subject to suppression.

In addition, there are situations where a police officer will illegally detain a passenger of a car with no reasonable suspicion of criminanality. For instance, a car is stopped for running a red light. The officer may legally be allowed to briefly detain the driver. However, officers sometimes also detain the passengers without suspicion of criminality. The detention of the passengers may be illegal.

The above is just an example of a few commonly seen constitutional violations involving possession of drugs and marijuana cases. Our constitution protects us from unreasonable police searches and seizures and there are many different ways that a person's rights can be violated. Be sure to call us to discuss your specific case.

The cop is saying it is my marijuana but it wasn't on me!

If the marijuana was not found on the person, then there is usually a constructive possession issue. In a constructive possession situation, the state must prove knowledge (that the person knew the marijuana was there) as well as dominion and control. This is not as easy as one may think. If the state does not have specific evidence to prove knowledge and control, they may not be able to prove their case. [Check out our blog post on the difference between actual and constructive possession here.]

Beware of the probation offer

Oftentimes prosecutors will make low offers to a defendant at arraignment when they know they will likely not be able to successfully prove their case. They will often offer probation with drug treatment, some community service hours, and random urinalysis. They do this knowing that, if they make a low offer, it is more likely that the defendant will accept the offer at arraignment BEFORE AN ATTORNEY HAS A CHANCE TO LOOK AT IT.

BE VERY CAREFUL before you accept a probation offer. There are a tremendous amount of people sitting in the Sarasota County Jail because they violated their probation for some petty reason like they missed a probation appointment or did not complete community service hours in time. When someone violates probation the state almost always asks for jali, and usually a lot of it. If your case is not completely dropped, we may be able to get you an offer that does not involve probation.

The attorneys at Soler & Slack, P.A. have handled hundreds of possession of marijuana cases

We will sit down with you and discuss your case in detail. In addition, we will launch an extensive investigation. No stone will be left unturned. We will look for areas where police have violated the constitution and the law. If a violation is found we will file the applicable motions to suppress the evidence and/or motions to dismiss the case.

Our law firm offers a free consultation and case analysis. Call (941) 444-5128 to speak with an attorney and begin fighting your case.

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Address: 2170 Main Street, Suite 103, Sarasota FL 34237