Today we’re going to be talking about a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana.
First of all, what is a misdemeanor charge for possession of marijuana? What the law says is that a misdemeanor charge—and it’s a first degree misdemeanor—is carrying or possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana in the state of Florida. Now that is as of today’s date, which is July 6th, 2011. The penalties for this are a maximum of up to 1 year in jail, as well as a fine and court costs.
Now, what you need to know is that there are defenses to this charge and we do need to look at those, and it’s a good idea to sit down with an attorney. The other thing that you need to know is that there are penalties outside of these obvious criminal penalties that I just discussed and one of the biggest penalties is if you happen to be adjudicated guilty, which means that the court finds you guilty, you will lose your license for 2 years.
Now most of the time, people don’t go to jail for a long time because they’ve got pot on them, alright? Now, if it’s a repeat offense and you’ve been charged with this before, if there are some extenuating circumstances—yes, you could go to jail. But a lot of times a good result involves pre-trial diversion where the cases goes away, involves merely fines and court costs, or also what’s called a “withhold adjudication” – the court withholds adjudication against you, and what’s important about that is that you’re not found guilty.
The thing is not every attorney understands the consequence of a conviction for possessing marijuana. And the important thing here is even if you don’t go to jail – if you lose your license for two years – that’s going to cause you a lot of grief and misery in your life. Because if you work, if you live in this area of town – if you live in Central Florida – most people need a car to get around. We don’t have great public transportation and your license is very, very important.
So you’ve got to keep this in mind outside of the criminal penalties of a year in jail and the fines and all that. The suspension of your driver’s license is really important and I really want to bring that to your attention and that’s why we’re talking about that right now. And if you really want to get in to what’s going on in your criminal case, if you really want to get in to what’s going in your possession of marijuana case – whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor – call me at the number below. I’ve handled numerous cases like this and I can surely help you with yours. I’d be glad to help in way I can, give whatever advice I can.