Bad Combination: Smoking Marijuana on Probation

One common issue that I frequently see as a criminal defense lawyer is that people will smoke marijuana while on probation for a crime. This can  lead to significant consequences, such as a prison or jail sentence. When a person smokes marijuana, it can  stay in his or her urine for a long time. THC, the active chemical in marijuana, will stay in your urine for some time depending on factors like your weight and the amount of  marijuana you smoked. It is likely that marijuana will stay in your urine system for at least 30 days and possibly up to around 45 days, however, this is only a general estimate and it is impossible to know exactly how long it will stay in your body.  When a person is placed on probation with the Florida Department of Corrections their probation normally involves random urine test for drug use.  When the probation officer does a  urine test they can easily detect whether  the person has used Marijuana. This situation is difficult for your lawyer, because when you are on probation you agree to give up many of your constitutional rights. You can be subjected to random searches or seizures, unlike someone who has not been placed on probation. When your probation officer requests that you provide a sample of your urine when you are on probation, you are required to give them that sample or risk being taken to jail for a violation of probation.

In conclusion, marijuana stays in your system for a considerable time and is easy to detect with a simple urine sample. If you smoke marijuana on probation it is very likely that this will be detected by your probation officer and this can have serious consequences. If you have questions about your criminal case or if you have violated your probation, please give my office a call at 407-415-9626. I would be happy to schedule a free consultation with you or your family member.

What is Community Control in the State of Florida?

If you have been convicted or plead to a felony charge in the State of Florida the Judge has the option of placing you into a program called Community Control. Community Control is a form of house arrest in which a person lives in their home and is subject to very close supervision by a probation office. Often a Judge will place someone on Community Control after they have failed to complete regular probation. The Florida Department of Corrections describes Community Control as “a form of intensive supervised house arrest in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with limited caseloads”.

In my opinion, judges and prosecutors should allow more individuals to be placed on Community Control rather than over crowd our expensive prison system. Community Control allows people to be around their family and remain in their home. Additionally, the cost to the taxpayer is lower than sending someone off to live in state prison.

Here is link to the Florida Statute that governs probation and community control-

Do you have more question about Community Control?

If you or your family member have questions about Community Control or Probation please feel free to call me at (407) 415-9626. I am a former State Prosecutor and my office is Orlando, Florida. You can also email the question that you have at 

What is Pre-Trial Intervention in the State of Florida and How does it Work?

In many Florida counties, the State Attorney’s Office operates several pre-trial intervention programs for  individuals with no criminal record or a very limited criminal record who have been charged with a crime. Basically, if you are accepted into a pre-trial intervention program you cannot be arrested or pick up any charges for a period of time, often six months to a year. The Pre-trial Intervention program in circuit court is for individuals facing a third degree felony criminal charge. During this time, you are often required to do community service and take a drug test. You may also be required to pay back any restitution that is owed to the victim in the case. When you successfully complete this program the charges are dropped against you.

The State Attorney’s Office in Florida also maintain a Misdemeanor Pretrial Intervention that is for misdemeanor cases in county court. Additionally, the State Attorney’s Office may, in some counties, also runs a criminal traffic intervention program for criminal traffic charges like Driving While License Suspended.  There is also a batterer’s intervention program for those who are charged with a crime involving domestic violence. This Domestic Violence Pre-trial Intervention program often requires a person to complete a number of classes on domestic violence in order to successfully complete the program.

So you have several different programs that allow for individuals  to have their charges dropped by the prosecutor if they are successfully completed. Basically, these programs work to reduce the number of people who have a criminal record. These diversion or PTI programs allow a person who makes a mistake and is charged with a crime to move on with their life without the stigma of a criminal record.

Please keep in mind that prosecutor’s office determines who is eligible for the Pre-trial Intervention. Florida law also requires that if a victim is involved that the victim approve of the Defendant being accepted into Pre-Trial Intervention.  If you have questions about your criminal case or about Pre-trial Intervention please feel free to call my office at 407-415-9626. My office is in Orlando, Florida and I also handle cases in Lake, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.