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.

Is the Possession of Marijuana in Florida Considered Drug Trafficking?

possession of marijuana in floridaDrug 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.

 

Possession of Marijuana in Florida FAQs – Felony or Misdeameanor

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Possession of marijuana in Florida remains illegal, and oftentimes leads to either a felony or misdemeanor.

Despite recent legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado, laws banning simple possession of marijuana in Florida remain firmly in place. Florida law enforcement officers continue to be aggressive in their investigation and prosecution of marijuana possession. An arrest and conviction of possession of marijuana in Florida can have some very serious consequences for your future.

  • If you’re arrested for being in possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, you can be charged with a third degree felony in Florida—a maximum punishment of 5 years in a Florida State Prison.
  • If you’re arrested for being in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor in Florida—a maximum sentence of one year in a county jail. However, if you’re a first time misdemeanor offender, the punishment is usually a fine and possibly a short period of probation.

The dangerous part about being charged with a misdemeanor is that the prosecutor could ask for Adjudication of Guilt. Adjudication of Guilt means that as the defendant, you are convicted as guilty. If you are convicted guilty of a misdemeanor marijuana case in Florida, you’ll lose your driver’s license for two years.

Unfortunately, the judge and the prosecutor can’t do much if adjudication occurs because the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license on its own.

However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid this adjudication and work to have your case dropped or have the adjudication withheld.

Please refer to the FAQs below, and email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com if you have any other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Possession of Marijuana in Florida

When are you most likely to be arrested and charged for Possession of Marijuana in Florida?  You are mostly to be arrested for possession of marijuana if you are traveling with the drug in your automobile. The police normally stop drivers for small traffic infractions, such as running a stop sign, and then the police officer smells marijuana and can search the vehicle.

In most circumstances, the police won’t be allowed to enter your home to investigate a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge unless they have a search warrant or you invite them in and give them permission to search your home.

How long will I be on probation if I am convicted of Possession of Marijuana in Florida?
The maximum time that you can be on probation for a misdemeanor is one year. Your criminal defense attorney can work to prevent you from being on probation.

If I am convicted of Possession of Marijuana and my license is suspended for two years, can I apply for a Hardship License?
Florida Statute 322.05 states that a person can apply for a restricted license (also called a hardship license), or unrestricted driver’s license, 6-months after the drug conviction. Please note that this rule applies to all drug charges and not only marijuana charges in Florida.

Here is a link to the Florida Statute: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0322/Sections/0322.055.html

If you have additional questions about your case. Please call me at my office in Orlando,Florida at (407)415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com