If you’ve been charged with a crime relating to marijuana (commonly called pot or weed), it can be an unsettling time. Florida has some of the most restrictive rules in the country related to the possession of marijuana. Knowing what to do next and following through with that plan is a key component in obtaining the best results.
Melbourne Marijuana Lawyer
We represent clients in following marijuana-related cases:
- Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana
- Felony Possession of Marijuana
- Cultivation / Grow House
- Trafficking in Cannabis
- Federal Marijuana Charges
Let the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, fight your case aggressively. We are experienced in filing and litigating motions to exclude, motions to suppress and motions to dismiss the criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are experienced with the Florida legal system and its restrictions and policies on the possession and use of cannabis. Attorney Mark Germain is also a member of the NORML legal committee, which allows him to network with some of the top legal minds in the area of marijuana defense.
As with any drug-related offense, men and women charge with misdemeanor or felony marijuana crimes run the risk of negatively affecting the following:
- employment status, military careers, or academic opportunities;
- prohibition from attending your child’s school or recreational activities;
- ineligibility to have your record sealed if convicted of the offense;
- ineligibility to expunge your record if you are put on probation; and
- if convicted a mandatory two (2) year Driver’s License suspension.
Consider hiring the Melbourne marijuana defense attorneys with the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy for skilled and knowledgeable legal representation specifically related to both felony and misdemeanor marijuana crimes.
Marijuana Charges Information Center
- Defending Your Case
- Possession of Marijuana
- Marijuana Trafficking
- Marijuana Grow House
- Actual Possession under Florida Law
- Constructive Possession under Florida Law
- Marijuana Legalization in the U.S
Depending on the particular facts of your case, certain defenses may be utilized in your case to force the prosecutor to drop the charges or to convince the judge to dismiss the charges. Your criminal defense attorney can move to exclude or suppress any evidence in the case that was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. Additionally, if the evidence is insufficient to show either actual or constructive possession of marijuana, your attorneys can move to dismiss the criminal charges.
Your criminal defense attorney can pursue the following types of defenses in your case:
- Lack of legal or probable cause to stop, search, or arrest you;
- Lack of evidence to show constructive possession of cannabis;
- Lack of sufficient evidence to show active possession of cannabis;
- Violations of rules related to arrest or search warrant execution; and
- The entrapment defense.
There are a variety of marijuana-related charges that can be placed against an individual under Florida law, and knowing what the law dictates about these charges will help in your case. Each county in Florida has special programs and procedures for dealing with marijuana offenses. Having an attorney experienced in these case can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
For cases dealing with the possession of marijuana or cannabis, the primary factor under Florida law is the amount of weed, pot, marijuana, or cannabis possessed.
Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana – For a small amount — less than 20 grams – the offense is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, which comes with up to one year of imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine.
Felony Possession of Cannabis – For a larger amount — over 20 grams, but under 25 cannabis plants – is considered a third-degree felony, which comes with a penalty of up to 5 years in Florida State Prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
For charges involving possession of more than 25 plants, Florida law provides for a presumption that the amount possessed is indicative of an intent to sell.
Under Florida law, marijuana volume is measured by weight of the cannabis in possession or by number of plants in larger volumes. State and Federal laws view cannabis trafficking as a major crime, though the severity depends on the volume of cannabis being distributed, targeted area, and the presence of minors.
If you’re accused of moving between 25 and 2,000 pounds or 300–2,000 cannabis plants, you can face up to 3 years in prison or a $25,000 fine.
If 2,000–10,000 pounds or between 2,000 and 10,000 cannabis plants are being distributed, the penalty is up to 7 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
For over 10,000 pounds or cannabis plants, a maximum penalty of 15-year imprisonment and $200,000 can be placed against you.
Grow house operation and marijuana cultivation is considered a felony, regardless of the circumstances under Florida law. The severity and extent of the punishment, however, differs depending on the situation.
Owning, renting, or leasing any place and knowing that it will be used to cultivate marijuana is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in Florida state prison.
If you’re in actual or constructive possession of the grow house—living or operating in it—it is considered a second-degree felony with a sentence of up to 15 years in Florida state prison.
Operate the grow house the presence or residence of a minor, and it becomes a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in Florida state prison.
To prove the actual possession of a controlled substance or that an individual actually possessed marijuana, prosecutors must prove that marijuana was uncovered on the alleged offender. For instance, if the cannabis (marijuana) was uncovered from your pockets, the convicting prosecutor would have case of actual possession of marijuana.
Constructive possession is instituted if Cannabis (marijuana) is uncovered in a place where you can still exercise control over the substance although it is not on your person. The prosecutor can even attempt to prove constructive possession if the cannabis is located in a place where many people have access to it. In these circumstances, the Florida prosecutor will often have a complicated time establishing that you possessed the marijuana. Florida law obligates prosecutors to prove constructive possession beyond all reasonable doubt.
Under Florida law, a theory of constructive possession obligates the prosecutor to prove distinct fundamentals prior to a conviction:
- Awareness of the marijuana’s presence;
- Familiarity that the substance was marijuana; and
- Territorial control over the marijuana.
Thirteen states in the United States have proceeded in the process of making marijuana legal, including Nevada, Maine, California, Montana, Michigan, Vermont, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Rhode Island, Alaska and Hawaii.
Though marijuana is still not legal in the other thirty-seven states, medical professionals in Arizona are allowed to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes. Additional, the State of Maryland recognizes the medical use defense.
Helpful Marijuana Defense Resources
United for Care: People United for Medical Marijuana – United for Care is a non-profit organization based in Florida that is fighting for the legalization of medical marijuana use in the state. Supporters of the cause have banded together to formulate a massive petition and are currently working together towards a constitutional amendment.
National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws – NORML is a non-profit, public-interest organization that opposes marijuana prohibition including all criminal penalties for private possession, cultivation, and responsible use of marijuana by adults. Their website provides information on marijuana laws (by state) and activism to change those laws.
NORML of South Florida – The South Florida Regional Chapter of NORML meets in a variety of places throughout the area. Schedule meetings are listed on the NORML state chapters page.3341 SW 35th St
West Park, FL 33023
Phone: (954) 303-9254
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition – LEAP is made up of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who are speaking out about the failures of our existing drug policies.
Marijuana Policy Project – The MPP Foundation is a non-profit organization aimed at gaining public support for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies. The MPP works to change state laws to reduce or eliminate penalties for medical and non-medical use of marijuana by responsible adults.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy – The SSDP is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities and who are pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.
Americans for Safe Access – The ASA is the nation’s largest organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research.
Western Judicial Service – Drug and alcohol substance abuse treatment center in Melbourne that specializes in criminal justice patients.1600 Sarno Road Suite 110
Melbourne, FL 32935
Talking with Your Child About Marijuana – Tips on how to speak with your child about marijuana.
Office of National Drug Control Policy – ONDCP is to establish policies, priorities, and objectives for the Nation’s drug control program. The goals of the program are to reduce illicit drug use, manufacturing, and trafficking, drug-related crime and violence, and drug-related health consequences.
Drug Enforcement Agency – Marijuana – The DEA’s web page about marijuana and links to other government organization’s online materials about marijuana.
Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy | Marijuana Crime Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Germain & McCarthy, we are committed to defending your rights throughout the criminal trial process for your marijuana charges. Let our Brevard County drug crimes attorneys understand the impact a criminal accusation can have on your future. Let us represent your best interests and work to get your charges reduced or dropped in Melbourne and the surrounding areas, including Brevard, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, Orange, and Indian River counties. If you’re facing charges related to marijuana, contact our offices at (321) 253-3447 or fill out our online form with case details to set up a free case evaluation.