Marijuana Crimes

Experienced Attorney Helping St. Petersburg and Clearwater Residents Fight Drug Charges

There can be a lot of confusion about what is or is not legal under the laws pertaining to marijuana in Florida. If you have only heard bits and pieces of the legal developments concerning this particular controlled substance, you may be under the mistaken impression that pot is now legal in the state. Except in very specific cases in which the user has been diagnosed with a medical condition that marijuana is believed to help alleviate, a person who uses, sells, cultivates, or traffics in marijuana does so at the risk of facing jail time, fines, and other penalties. St. Petersburg and Clearwater marijuana lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law has 20 years of experience fighting drug charges. If you are facing prosecution, you need a knowledgeable drug crime attorney who stays abreast of the latest developments in this rapidly evolving field of law.

As with other controlled substance charges, the severity of the penalties that a defendant may face varies according to the amount of marijuana that the defendant had in their possession or control. Generally speaking, the more grass, the more time. The defendant’s prior criminal history may also affect sentencing, as may the issue of whether they had a firearm at the time of the arrest.

Understanding Marijuana Laws and Protecting Your Rights

People who possess less than 20 grams of marijuana are likely to face a misdemeanor charge. Unless the defendant is a first-time offender who qualifies for some type of diversionary program, they may still spend up to a year in jail and be hit with a sizeable fine. For quantities of weed over 20 grams but less than 25 pounds, the defendant faces a felony charge that might yield a five-year prison sentence. Possession of more than 25 pounds of cannabis is considered trafficking; as a result, it is a felony in the first degree. Depending on the exact amount, the defendant might receive a mandatory sentence of between three and 15 years and could potentially pay a fine of between $25,000 and $200,000. Considering the severity of these penalties, a defendant should lose no time in consulting a marijuana attorney in the Clearwater or St. Petersburg area who can help them avert or minimize the consequences.

Any felony conviction poses the risk of interfering with many key aspects of the defendant’s future. It may be hard for a convicted felon to find a good job, continue their education, or find a respectable place to live. It is important to fight a marijuana charge if at all possible so that the long-term effects of the case are kept to a minimum. Defenses vary according to the facts of each case but might involve a constitutional challenge to certain evidence that might have been seized illegally or a confession that might have violated the defendant’s Miranda rights. The defendant may also be able to attack the credibility of a witness for the State or point to weaknesses in the evidence to argue that the State has not met its burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Get Reliable Advice from a Marijuana Lawyer in Clearwater or St. Petersburg

Marijuana cases are often complicated. In addition to Florida’s laws regarding the prosecution of people who possess, sell, or distribute controlled substances, there are federal laws that may also apply. To talk to a St. Petersburg and Clearwater marijuana attorney about ways that you may be able to have the charges pending against you dropped or reduced, call Hanlon Law at 727-897-5413 or contact us online. A lot is riding on your decision regarding who should serve as your advocate, whether you are looking for a marijuana lawyer or a cocaine trafficking attorney. While you may qualify for a public defender, you should understand that drug cases require a high level of attention to detail and a commitment to vigorous advocacy. Public defenders, while well-intentioned, rarely have enough time to zealously defend each of the cases that are assigned to them with the same care and energy as a private attorney.