Possession of Marijuana
Despite the push to legalize or decriminalize the drug, a simple possession of marijuana under twenty grams is still considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida punishable up to one year in the county jail. Furthermore, a drivers’ license suspension will follow if you are convicted (adjudicated guilty) of possession of marijuana in Florida.
If you have been arrested or charged with possession of marijuana it is important you hare an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney who can discuss all of the options available to defend your case.What is considered Possession of Marijuana in Tampa?
There are two forms of possession of drugs or controlled substance. Florida Statute 893.02 defines to include temporary possession regardless of whether you exercise dominion or control of the drugs distinguishable in two forms.
The first is actual possession. This means an individual possesses the drugs directly on his or her person within direct reach. For example, if someone has twenty grams or less of marijuana in his or her jeans pocket he or she is could be charged with “actual” possession of marijuana since the drug is located directly on the person within his or her reach.
The second form of possession is constructive possession. The law gets tricky on proving this form of possession. Courts have found that in order for a defendant to be guilty of constructive possession of drugs it must be shown that:
- The defendant was able to exercise dominion and control over the drugs
- Knew of their presence, and;
- Knew of their illicit nature.
For example in the case a traffic stop, in many cases the knowledge element requires an admission by the Defendant that he or she know there were illegal drugs in the vehicle. This is almost absolutely necessary in the case of a traffic stop where there are multiple occupants of the vehicle and the drugs are located in a place where the defendant does not have direct access within reach.
Benefits of Misdemeanor Intervention Program and Pretrial Intervention Program Over Withhold of Adjudication and Resolving Your Possession of Marijuana Case With Plea.
If you are charged with possession of marijuana it is important to understand the difference between completing a diversion program, which removes the case from the courtroom, and resolving your case for a withhold of conviction. Both options are available if you have been charged with possession of marijuana for the first time. You may also qualify for either option if you have been convicted of not more than one non-violent misdemeanor. Acceptance into a diversion program is entirely up to the State Attorney’s Office.
The State Attorney’s Office usually basis the decision on the statutory requirements but also takes into consideration the seriousness of the crime and/or injury caused by the defendant to potential victims. Since a possession of marijuana charge is a victimless crime, getting you into a diversion program is routinely accomplished by an experienced Tampa drug defense attorney.
Contact an experienced Tampa Drug Defense Attorney today for a free consultation by calling 813-444-3912.