Marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, is among the most commonly used recreational drugs in the country today. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that nearly 12 million people (a vast majority of whom were men) admitted to using marijuana in 2017. Still, possessing, using, and selling marijuana remains illegal in most parts of the country – including Miami, FL.

In this article, we take a look at the penalties for marijuana possession in Florida and how a Miami criminal defense lawyer can help you defend against the charge.

Penalties For Marijuana Possession in Miami, FL

Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession in Miami, FL

Possessing a small amount of marijuana (20 grams or less) is a misdemeanor in Florida – punishable by fine (up to $1,000) and imprisonment (up to one year).

However, as any Miami criminal defense attorney can tell you, misdemeanor marijuana cases are no longer pursued aggressively in Miami, as the government’s attitude towards minor marijuana possession has softened considerably in recent years. So, if you are caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana, you might be able to avoid prison time and get away with a fine – especially if you are a first-time offender.

Still, it is important to be represented by an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer, as there is no guarantee that the prosecution might not throw the book at you.

Felony Marijuana Possession in Miami, FL

Possessing a larger amount of marijuana (more than 20 grams but less than 25 lbs) is a third-degree felony in Florida – punishable by fine (up to $5,000) and imprisonment (up to five years).

Possessing more than 25 lbs of marijuana is a first-degree felony in Florida. In addition to that, depending on the amount of marijuana you are caught with, you could also face drug trafficking charges. The penalties include a fine (anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000) and imprisonment (anywhere from 5 years to 30 years).

How a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

The most common defenses to the charges of marijuana possession include:

  • Unlawful search and seizure (if the incriminating evidence against you was obtained by the police unlawfully)
  • You were not in constructive possession of the substance (if the substance was found in a place which more than one person had access to and you were not aware of its presence)
  • Lack of knowledge (you did not know that it was marijuana)
  • Medical necessity (if you are suffering from an ailment which can be treated with marijuana and if you have the prescription for the same ailment)
  • Temporary possession (the substance was handed to you by the actual owner and you were in possession of it only for a moment)

Looking for a Marijuana Possession Defense Attorney in Miami, FL?

For more than a decade, Piotrowski Law has been at the forefront of fighting for the rights and interests of people who are charged with drug-related charges in Florida.

Led by Chad Piotrowski, a former prosecutor turned defense attorney, we are capable of taking up any kind of drug related case – no matter how serious the charges might be.

Call our firm today at 305-783-3436 or complete this online contact form for a free and confidential case review with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney.