Drug trafficking is one of the most serious crimes a person can face in the state of Florida. You may be surprised to hear that in certain circumstances, possession of marijuana in Florida can be considered drug trafficking.
Trafficking cannabis or marijuana is a criminal charge, which carries the following minimum mandatory sentences:
· 3 years prison if convicted of trafficking more than 25 lbs. or 300 plants
· 7 year sentence for trafficking between 2,000 lbs.- 10,000 lbs.
· 15 year minimum mandatory prison sentence for trafficking an amount over 10,000 lbs.
The Jury Instructions for Trafficking in Marijuana require the State of Florida to prove that a person did one of the following:
· Sold marijuana
· Purchased marijuana
· Manufactured marijuana
· Delivered marijuana
· Brought marijuana into Florida
· Possessed marijuana
Additionally, the prosecution representing the government must prove that the substance was in fact marijuana. Lastly, they must prove that the marijuana either weighed more than 25 pounds or constituted 300 or more marijuana plants.
People often think they cannot be found guilty of trafficking if they were only in possession of marijuana in Florida. However, Florida law says that if you possess a drug in large quantities (in the case of marijuana more than 25 lbs. or 300 plants) you can be charged under Florida’s trafficking statute. Additionally, it is important to know that Florida law defines “cannabis” to mean all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, whether growing or not. Therefore, a person in possession of a relatively small number of marijuana plants could face a very serious criminal charge from the State of Florida.
If you are charged with trafficking marijuana in Florida, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will help to ensure that your rights are not violated. This process will often involve reviewing how the marijuana that was seized and looking at the details of the case to ensure that your Constitutional rights have not been violated in any way, through an improper search or other means.
If you have questions about your Marijuana case, please feel free to call me at (407) 415-9626.
Photo courtesy of Torben Bjørn Hansen on Flickr.