Florida has some of the harshest penalties for marijuana in the country. It is important to understand the marijuana laws and possible penalties in Florida, since unlike many parts of the country marijuana is still illegal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Though marijuana is classified as a schedule one substance in Florida, unlike heroin, LSD and other schedule I drugs, the penalties are different for marijuana than the other schedule drugs.
Laws and Penalties
Like the laws in other states, the penalties for being caught with marijuana depend on the weight of the drug and whether or not the prosecution can prove that there was an intent to sell it. Skilled drug crime defense attorneys can be especially helpful in disproving that there was an intent to sell. The possession and sale of marijuana is charged and punished as follows:
Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.
Possession of 20 grams up to 25 pounds, or the sale of any amount of marijuana up to 25 pounds is a felony and punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
Possession of 300-2,000 cannabis plants, or sale or possession of 25 pounds – 2,000 pounds of marijuana is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a mandatory minimum sentence of three years with a maximum of up to 15 years in prison.
Possession or sale of 2,000-10,000 pounds of marijuana, or 2,000-10,000 plants, comes with a seven-year mandatory minimum sentence. There is a maximum sentence of up to 30 years and a $50,000 fine.
Possession of over 10,000 pounds of marijuana requires a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence and up to $200,000 fine.
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail.
People who are convicted of possession or sale of marijuana also may lose their driver’s license. The penalties listed above are the basic penalties, but there are factors that can make the penalties more severe.
One of the most common aggravating factors for drug penalties have to do with so called “drug free” school zones. People who are caught selling marijuana within 1000 feet of certain designated areas such as schools, parks, and colleges can be charged with a felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in a prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Another common aggravating factor is for repeat offenders. Defendants are more likely to get lighter sentences if it is their first offense.
West Palm Beach Drug Crimes Attorneys
If you are caught with drugs in Florida, it is important that you have a skilled attorney on your side because Florida has such harsh drug penalties. Our experienced drug crimes attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help to defend you against these and any other criminal charges you may have.