Anyone who has been charged with a marijuana offense in Florida is subject to serious penalties and repercussions if they are convicted of the offense. Some of these punishments can include, but are not limited to:
- Jail or prison sentences,
- A possible criminal record,
- A driver’s license suspension or revocation,
- An inability to pursue certain occupations or jobs, and/or
- Ineligibility pursue certain educational opportunities, such as college or graduate school.
Although marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in Florida and is proven to have some medicinal benefit, the state attorney will harshly prosecute anyone charged with a marijuana offense. However, the prosecutor is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the alleged offender committed every element to the offense. This is a very difficult burden to meet, and if the prosecution cannot meet the burden, the individual charged with a marijuana crime may have their charges reduced or even dismissed.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime in Jacksonville, it is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to help you find defenses or mitigating factors to the charges you are facing.JACKSONVILLE MARIJUANA DEFENSE LAWYER
If you have been charged with any marijuana crime in Jacksonville, or any of the surrounding areas in Florida, including Jacksonville Beach, St. Augustine, Orange Park, or Fernandina Beach, contact Roelke Law, P.A. Bill Roelke is knowledgeable in all areas of Florida’s drug and marijuana laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the penalties and repercussions to the charges against you. Call Roelke Law today for a free consultation at (904) 354-0333 about your alleged marijuana offense.
Jacksonville Marijuana Offenses Information Center
- Marijuana Crimes in Florida
- Penalties for a Marijuana Conviction in Jacksonville
- Medical Marijuana in Florida
- Drug Court in Duval County
- Florida Defenses to Marijuana Crimes
- Jacksonville Marijuana Offense Resources
Marijuana Crimes in Florida
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act (chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes) covers all offenses involving marijuana, which is also known as pot, weed, ganja, bud, hydro, chronic and cannabis. As defined in section 893.13 of the Florida Statutes, a few of the most common Jacksonville marijuana crimes are defined as follows:
Marijuana Possession – According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13, an individual can be charged with this offense if they have actual or constructive possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Felony Marijuana Possession - According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13, an individual can be charged with this offense if they have actual or constructive possession of 20 grams or more of marijuana. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree.
Cultivation / Manufacture of Marijuana - According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13, an individual can be charged with this offense if they produce, grow, make or cultivate marijuana through either natural or synthetic processes. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the third degree.
Trafficking Marijuana - According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13, an individual can be charged with this offense if they sell or distribute marijuana throughout Florida. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree, second degree or first degree depending, on the amount of marijuana trafficked.
Penalties for a Marijuana Conviction in Jacksonville
As defined in Fla. Stat. § 775.082, 775.083 and 775.084, an individual who has been convicted of a marijuana offense in Jacksonville could face the following penalties:
- A conviction for a misdemeanor of the second degree marijuana offense can result in a jail term up to 60 days and/or a fine not more than $500.
- A conviction for a misdemeanor of the first degree marijuana offense can result in a jail term up to one year and/or a fine not more than $1,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree marijuana offense can result in a prison term up to five years and/or a fine not more than $5,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree marijuana offense can result in a prison term up to 15 years and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree marijuana offense can result in a prison term up to 30 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine not more than $10,000.
These penalties are the minimum statutory penalties and they can increase depending on a variety of factors, such as the amount of marijuana, whether the alleged offender has a previous criminal history, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, and where the offense took place. Additional penalties a convicted marijuana offender can face include:
- A ban from public housing,
- A ban from becoming a foster parent or adopting,
- A ban from owning a firearm,
- Inability to work in certain governmental positions,
- Inability to vote, and/or
- A driver’s license suspension.
Medical Marijuana in Florida
Medicinal marijuana is not currently permitted in Florida or under federal law. However, multiple states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized the use of medical marijuana and several scientists, doctors and health organizations agree marijuana has medical benefits and patients should be able to legally access marijuana under the supervision of a treating doctor.
A variety of studies also show marijuana provides relief and has proven to be a beneficial treatment and therapeutic for many types of illnesses and ailments individuals suffer from, including, but not limited to cancer, Crohn’s Disease, arthritis, movement or muscle disorders, AIDS and glaucoma.
However, Florida voters will decide in November 2014 whether cannabis should be legalized for medicinal purposes. For entrepreneurs interested in setting up a medical marijuana treatment center, William Roelke, who was a founder of a biomedical company purchased by pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb, can advise on compliance matters.
Drug Court in Duval County
Certain drug offenders whose life problems were initiated through the use of substance abuse may be permitted to attend drug court in Jacksonville. These offenders are required to seek treatment and follow certain requirements instead of serving their sentence in jail or prison. Once these offenders have successfully completed the terms of the drug court, their charges will likely be dismissed.
Alleged offenders who are eligible for the program are non-violent drug offenders, including individuals accused of various marijuana offenses.
Participants in the Duval Drug Court program are required to receive alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation services, random alcohol and drug testing, attend meetings with judges on a regular basis and attend individual or group counseling for no less than one year.
Once an individual has been determined to be eligible for the program, the State Attorney’s Office will discuss the program with the alleged offender and the options they have. Admittance into the program is completely voluntary, but does have very difficult and stringent conditions to follow. For more information, read the Duval County Drug Court Handbook.
Florida Defenses to Marijuana Crimes
Certain defenses may be available to have your marijuana charges reduced or even dismissed. However, these defenses are not applicable in every case, and it is important to first consult with a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer to determine if any of the following defenses may apply to your unique situation:
- Constitutional violations by police officers,
- Law enforcement procedural violations,
- Insufficient evidence for the criminal charges,
- Entrapment by law enforcement officers,
- Illegal search of your home, person or car,
- No actual or constructive possession of the marijuana,
- Law enforcement's failure to properly give Miranda Warnings, and/or
- Your lack of knowledge or intent to commit the offense.
Jacksonville Marijuana Offense Resources
United for Care: People United for Medical Marijuana - United for Care is a non-profit based in Florida that is working toward the legalization of medical marijuana use throughout the state. The group's members are fighting to complete a massive petition for a constitutional ammendment legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) – NORML is a national organization that aims to change public opinion about marijuana so responsible use by adults is not criminalized. This link provides access to the state’s marijuana laws and penalties and information and resources about marijuana in Florida.
Duval County Drug Court – This link is to information about the drug court provided by the Fourth Judicial Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Duval County, Nassau County and Clay County. The drug court can be contacted at:
Fourth Judicial Circuit Drug Courts
330 East Bay Street, Suite 518
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Phone: (904) 630-1650
Office of National Drug Control Policy – This governmental drug agency’s website provides information about marijuana, including types of marijuana usage, street names for marijuana and miscellaneous resources and facts about marijuana.
Drug Enforcement Administration – The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is a national governmental agency that seeks to enforce the United State’s federal drug and marijuana laws. This link is to the potential penalties for specific federal marijuana convictions.
Roelke Law, P.A. | Jacksonville Marijuana Charges Attorney
Contact Roelke Law today for a consultation about your marijuana charges throughout Duval County in Florida. Bill Roelke is an experienced Jacksonville criminal attorney who will make every effort to find applicable defenses or mitigating factors in your particular situation to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call (904) 354-0333 for a consultation about your alleged marijuana offense throughout Duval County and the surrounding counties in Florida, including St. Johns County, Nassau County and Clay County.