Cannabis Possession

Possession of cannabis in Florida

Possession is defined in Florida as either actual or constructive possession.

Actual possession occurs when someone has physical control of the marijuana, or it is directly in their custody. This can include if the cannabis is in a clothing pocket or in a purse on a person’s body.

Constructive possession usually requires the individual’s knowledge the cannabis was in their presence, knowledge that the cannabis was an illegal substance, and they had the ability to control the cannabis or take actual possession of the cannabis.

Since actual or constructive possession is a required element to a cannabis possession charge, if the prosecutor is unable to show you had any type of possession of the cannabis, the charges may be dismissed or dropped. Constructive possession is typically much harder to prove than actual possession, because the prosecutor has to show that it was within your control and that you were aware that it was in fact cannabis. This presents a problem for the prosecutor that may result in your charges being dropped or dismissed. Call me I have vast experience to get this result for you.

Simple cannabis Possession Penalties

According to Fla. Stat. § 893.13(6)(b), a simple cannabis possession can result in misdemeanor of the first degree.

If an individual is convicted of a simple cannabis possession offense, they can receive a jail sentence up to one year and/or fines not more than $1,000.

In addition to the preceding criminal penalties, a person convicted of this offense can receive a criminal record and an automatic driver’s license suspension for two years without being eligible to receive a provisional or work-related license for the first year.

Collateral consequences of a simple marijuana possession charge can include:

  • Increased automobile insurance,
  • Denial of certain jobs,
  • Ineligibility to receive certain government aid,
  • Denial of certain educational opportunities or scholarships, and/or
  • Ineligibility for certain housing.

Defenses to Cannabis Possession

There may be applicable defenses to your cannabis charges that can be used in your particular situation. However, it is imperative to speak to a criminal defense attorney who will help you determine your best defense for the cannabis charges against you.

Miranda Warnings – The law enforcement officer who arrested you may have violated your constitutional rights. For example, if the officer failed to give you Miranda Warnings about your right to remain silent or your right to an attorney, your constitutional rights may have been violated.

Arrest Without Warrant – Law enforcement officers are required to follow certain procedural requirements, including obtaining a warrant for arrest unless an exigent circumstance exists.

Illegal Search and Seizure – Law enforcement officers are required to not perform illegal searches of your home, person or vehicle or illegal seizures of anything found from those illegal searches.  If the officer conducted an unlawful search and seizure, your attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress evidence illegally obtained.

Possession – If you did not have actual or constructive possession of the cannabis, your attorney may be able to file a motion to dismiss the drug charges against you because possession is a required element to a marijuana cannabis charge.

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