Criminal Defense Attorney
Start Your Free Consultation Now 321.248.7742
We Fight For Your Freedom

Melbourne Marijuana Charges Defense Lawyer

Fight for Your Rights & Future Following an Arrest in Brevard County

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. Let the criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Bryan J. 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 attorney is experienced with the Florida legal system and its restrictions and policies on the possession and use of cannabis.

Call (321) 248-7742 now to get the help of an experienced marijuana crimes attorney on your side. We serve many areas in Florida, including Brevard, Orange, Volusia, Seminole, Indian River, and Osceola counties.

Extensive Experience Protecting Those Accused of Marijuana Crimes

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

As with any drug-related offense, men and women charged with misdemeanor or felony marijuana crimes run the risk of serious consequences.

A conviction has the potential to negatively affect 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
  • Mandatory two (2) year driver’s license suspension

Consider hiring the Melbourne marijuana defense attorney with The Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy for skilled and knowledgeable legal representation specifically related to both felony and misdemeanor marijuana crimes.

Defending Your Case

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 attorney 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
  • 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 cases can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.

Possession of Marijuana

For cases dealing with the possession of marijuana or cannabis, the primary factor under Florida law is the amount in possession.

Consequences for possession could include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Marijuana Trafficking in Cannabis under Florida Law

Under Florida law, marijuana volume is measured by weight of the cannabis in possession or by the 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.

The law is defined as follows:

  • 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.

Marijuana Cultivation (Grow House) under Florida Law

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.

Penalties will be assessed as follows:

  • 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.

Actual Possession under Florida Law

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 a case of actual possession of marijuana.

Constructive Possession under Florida Law

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
  • Territorial control over the marijuana

Marijuana Legalization in the U.S

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.

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.

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.

Our Team on Your Side

At the Law Offices of Bryan J. McCarthy, we are committed to defending your rights throughout the criminal trial process for your marijuana charges. Let our Brevard County drug crimes attorney help you understand the impact a criminal accusation can have on your future. We stand ready to represent your best interests and work to get your charges reduced or dropped.

If you’re facing charges related to marijuana, contact our offices at (321) 248-7742 or fill out our online form with case details to set up a free case evaluation.