Florida has fairly strict marijuana laws; possession and sales can both lead to jail time, loss of license and other consequences. If you’ve been arrested in Florida for marijuna-related crime, cong to get in touch with your attorney.
Florida Marijuana Laws
Anyone in Florida who is convicted of a crime related to marijuana use will lose their driver’s license for six months to two years.
Possession of marijuana in Florida carries a potential jail sentence regardless of whether the possession is for personal use or sale. Possession of up to 2o grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge.
Most other possession charges lead to felony convictions if the amount of pot in possession is more than 20 grams.
Cultivating more than 25 plants is considered intention to sell in Florida, which is a felony.
Paraphernalia possession or sale is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. There are no other laws in Florida regarding paraphernalia.
Florida Marijuana Penalties
Misdemeanor marijuna possession in Florida subjects a defendant to up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Delivering less tahn 20 grams to another person carries the same penalties.
Possession of any larger amounts of marijuana for personal use comes with a $5,000 fine and 5-year prison term.
Marijuana Cultivation Penalties
It is illegal to cultivate marijuana plants; having more than 25 plants is considered possession with intention to sell, which comes with a 15 year jail sentence and $10,000 fine.
Delivering more than 20 grams but less than 25 pounds of marijuana is considered selling, which can result in a 5-year jail sentence and fine of $5,000. Sale and delivery of more than 25 pounds of marijuana is considered drug trafficking in Florida.
Trafficking comes with mandatory minimum sentences, which vary depending on the amount of marijuana being distributed. Trafficking less than 2,000 pounds requires you to serve 3 years in jail and pay a fine of $25,000. For trafficking between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of marijuana, you must pay a $50,000 fine and go to jail for seven years. For trafficking any amounts greater than 10,000 pounds, you must go to prison for 15 years and pay a $200,000 fine. If any of this occurs within 1,000 feet of a school, public park, public housing facility, daycare center or church, you must pay a $10,000 fine and serve 15 years in prison.
Possessing paraphernalia is a misdemeanor; like other marijuana related misdemeanors, you will go to jail for a year and pay a $1,000 fine if convicted of it.
Florida DUI Marijuana Laws
Drugged driving, or driving under the influence of marijuana, is also illegal in Florida. Unlike many states, Florida allows police to compel drivers to take a drug test. If a driver refuses to do so, he or she can be sent to jail for one year. The police may also use force to take a blood test if they suspect intoxication at the scene of an accident.
For a first drugged driving offense, the driver must pay a fine of between $500 to $1,000. He or she must also spend up to six months in jail and lose his or her license for six months to a year. The driver’s vehicle will be impounded for 10 days and he or she must complete 30 hours of community service.
After a second offense, the person must undergo a psychosocial evaluation to determine the reason for the drug use, lose his or her license for 180 days to a year, install an interlock device, lose his or her vehicle for 10 days and pay a fine of $1,000 to $2,000.
Second and third offenses both require a year of probation, and after a third offense the person will lose their vehicle for 90 days as well as suffer all other consequences of a DUI. Subsequent offenses after the third are felonies, which can lead to 5 years in prison.
Decriminalization of Marijuana in Florida
There is no state-wide decriminalization legislation currently pending in Florida. However, in 2010 there were some initiatives to decriminalize having less than 20 grams of marijuana in four Florida cities: Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Tallahassee and Orlando. The measures did not pass.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Florida
Advocacy groups in Florida put up billboards in favor of medical marijuana laws in January 2012; however, medical marijuana measures did not get the support needed to go to the ballot as a voter referendum, nor is there any legislation pending in favor of medical marijuana laws in Florida.
Ref: (Florida Sun Sentinel).
Industrial Hemp Production Laws in Florida
Florida does not have any laws or pending legislation regarding industrial hemp production.
Marijuana Possession Legal Defenses
Florida offers rehabilitation or probation instead of jail in some cases.
This defense is most likely to be used with first offenders and with people convicted of drugged driving.
And there are always legitimate defenses possible surrounding improper and illegal search and seizure. All legal defense options require careful scrutiny and analysis as part of a legal consultation with a qualified defense attorney.