Misdemeanor or Felony for Marijuana Possession: It All Depends on Quantity

Florida’s legislature has not taken the same steps towards decriminalizing marijuana as other states, so possession of even a small amount of pot without a prescription is still a crime here. While Miami-Dade and Broward Counties have ordinances that make possession of a small amount of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine, Duval and Nassau Counties have not followed suit. However, even here, the charges depend on the amount of the illegal substance you have in your possession.

What Is a “Small” Amount?

Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on how much marijuana you are caught with. If you have 20 grams or less, you will face misdemeanor possession charges. For reference, 20 grams of pot is worth about $250 on the street and just about fills a Ziploc sandwich bag. If convicted of possession of less than 20 grams, you face the following:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • One year of probation
  • A fine of up to $1000
  • Loss of driver’s license for one year

A judge may sentence you to probation instead of jail time, but has the option of giving jail time.

What If You Are Caught With More?

Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a Class 3 Felony in Florida and is punishable by the following:

  • Up to five years in prison
  • Five years of probation
  • A fine of up to $5000
  • Loss of driver’s license for one year

Again, the sentence is at the judge’s discretion, and an experienced attorney may be able to argue for a reduced sentence.

How Can a Defense Attorney Help?

Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, these are serious charges and you should not just give up. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to offer you options to beat the charge or to have the charge or the sentence reduced. Were the drugs really yours? Did the police execute a legal search in finding them? Is the amount in your possession in question? Is it a first offense? These are important questions to discuss with an attorney.

Call Clifton Law Office as soon as possible after your arrest. We will take a look at your situation and let you know if we can help. We are committed to protecting your rights to fair treatment under the law.

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