Marijuana - Schedule I Controlled Substance Arrests
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In many respects, Florida laws concerning drug possession of any type are among the harshest in the country post-conviction; when penalties are imposed at the sentencing stage of a case. In the case of marijuana, even possessing a small amount can result in jail time depending on many variables based on an arrest and a convicted offender's previous record. Although a first-time offender may likely get a probationary sentence or even the possibility of having charges dismissed, the likelihood of spending time behind bars is ever-present which is why having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side who is an expert in these types of cases as early as possible when charges of this type are filed against you or someone you care about is essential.
Although some states have decriminalized the possession of marijuana and twenty-three others allow its use for medicinal purposes, Florida has not yet entirely approved the measure.
In June (2014), Governor Rick Scott signed two bills into law that was passed by the Florida Legislature which allows "restricted" use of Cannabidiol (CBD) for person's afflicted with certain diseases. Cannabidiol is a compound derived from the cannabis plant that are now being harvested and supplied for medicinal usage. Before this bill became law doctors who prescribed this type of cannabis were equally subject to arrest as were their patients. The diseases that will exempt a regulated group of persons from criminal prosecution for using this type of treatment if certain requirements are met are pediatric epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, certain types of cancer, Parkinson's disease, and other medical disorders that are usually associated with severe and persistent muscle spasms and chronic seizures. This strain of marijuana is low in THC (0.8% or lower) and high in CBD (10% or higher). The second bill signed by the Governor protects the identity of the patients enrolled in the program.
Although this is a small first step in the legalization of marijuana in Florida if it's a step at all, it doesn't help those that are currently using it for recreational purposes or selling it in small quantities that have suffered an arrest.
By way of its proponents, a debate has always ensued that marijuana use is no more corrupt that the use of alcohol. Whether this is true or not doesn't matter as far as the law's concerned. Advocates that believe its use should be legalized or at least decriminalized make comparisons to the years when prohibition was enforced as the law of the land.
Schedule I Controlled Substances
Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance which is the same category as heroin, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and MDA (Ecstasy), among other drugs that are considered to be the most dangerous. Cocaine is considered a less dangerous drug and in comparison is categorized as a Schedule II controlled substance.
A serious previous conviction record may result in the imposition of jail time for the use of even a single joint of marijuana. Depending on an individual's previous record, a single joint can result in jail time contingent on the circumstances of an arrest.
The penalties for a conviction for possession of marijuana will vary based on the amount of the drug found on an individual who has been arrested possessing it. If you or someone you care about is arrested for possession of marijuana it is very important that you immediately seek counsel to protect your rights. Although small amounts and a clean history will most likely result in a minor penalty for a conviction, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is well-practiced in cases such as these will offer an improved prospect of having a case terminated or adjudication withheld keeping your record clean. Even a conviction for a quantity of twenty grams or less of marijuana, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, is punishable with a jail sentence of up to one year in jail. This penalty can also hold true for possession of certain drug paraphernalia and in some cases can result with the suspension of your driver's license.
How I Can Help
Early in my career as a member of the prosecution I've led or have been a part of many varieties of drug cases both on a state and federal level. This experience throughout that initial portion of my legal career has educated and trained me to know how the prosecution will move forward in these types of cases and has allowed me to enact the proper counter measures to combat the legal actions the prosecution will employ through a strong defense and carefully calculated strategy. Working for what is now our opposition and learning their tactics and procedures and how they'll plan to move forward in a courtroom setting has given me an advantage for countering allegations proposed and planned, as well as being able to have charges terminated or reduced before a case even goes to trial when that opportunity is present.
In Florida, a conviction for a Schedule I controlled substance such as marijuana can be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence depending on the quantity of the drug involved and/or seized. These mandatory minimums are basically the same for the manufacturing or cultivation, trafficking, sale, purchase and possession. If more than twenty-five pounds or 300 plants are involved in a criminal prosecution, a conviction will require a judge to impose a sentence of not less than three years in prison. Additionally, a fine of $25,000.00 can be imposed. The mandatory sentences go up in terms of years of incarceration and the amount of monetary penalty as the quantities of the controlled substance increase in size. To view a chart that itemizes the penalties for convictions of offenses relating to marijuana and other drugs click here.
Call Now, Don't Delay
If you or someone you care about is arrested in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County for possession, cultivation or trafficking of marijuana or any other drug related charges no matter what the quantity involved is, the first most important step is calling me at any of the phone numbers listed throughout this Website or contacting me by email by clicking here. Submitting the contact form and explaining you issue as clearly as possible will allow me to assess your individual situation and quickly reply explaining in detail how I will craft a proper defense for you, a friend or loved one's individual difficulty.
To read more about my qualifications and find out what you should do next click here.
A complete list of Schedule I controlled substances that pertain to this page can be found by clicking here - Source: flsenate.gov (The Florida Senate)