February 28, 2019
St. Petersburg’s Khonsari Law Group understands the anxiety and seriousness of facing a criminal drug charge. Drug arrests are at an all-time high, so much so that drug-related crimes are one of the most common criminal charges in the state. But, don’t despair. What may seem like an impossible situation to you is something we handle on a regular basis. If you are facing possession of marijuana charges, contact the Khonsari Law Group as soon as possible.
Marijuana-Related Drug Crimes
As of May 2018, 1,772 drug arrests have taken place in St. Petersburg this year. A drug crime charge in the Tampa Bay area can turn your life upside-down. Among the most common drug charges in and around Pinellas County are:
Possession of a Controlled Substance
Residents of Florida may not sell, manufacture, deliver, possess with intent to sell, or manufacture a controlled substance. Florida law also prohibits the possession of marijuana. Whether you are carrying a small amount of the substance or a more substantial amount, it’s still illegal to possess.
If you have on your person, or in your home or car, less than 20 grams of marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor.
First-time offenders with no prior criminal history may have the option to engage in a drug diversion program rather than face criminal charges.
In 2016, Florida passed legislation that legalized medical marijuana and low-THC cannabis use, possession, and production. The illnesses for which medical marijuana is allowed include:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Even though Florida law allows the use and possession of medical marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law. Generally, the federal Controlled Substance Act trumps state laws.
Drug trafficking is a more serious crime than simple possession and is considered a felony under state law. Drug trafficking includes the act of intending to sell a controlled substance, and it often involves individuals who are discovered to have large amounts of illegal drugs, who are found with large amounts of cash in their possession, or who are distributing prescription drugs, such as pharmaceutical opiates.
The charges related to marijuana depend on the classification of the substance. In Florida, cannabis is a schedule I controlled substance; whereas schedule II drugs include cocaine, opiates, fentanyl, and others. Schedule III drugs are those that have a stimulant effect. Controlled substance classifications range from I to V.
Sale or Possession With Intent to Sell
Possession with intent to sell may result in serious consequences. Based on the type and schedule of substance the person is selling, and the amount he or she is carrying, the punishment can be severe.
Call the Khonsari Law Group if You Are Charged With a Marijuana Crime
As discussed above, the conditions for and details of being arrested for marijuana possession are complicated and can result in serious penalties. Retaining a compassionate criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance for successfully defending your freedom. Drug laws are constantly changing in Florida, and an experienced Florida attorney will be familiar with any recent changes.
Call the Khonsari Law Group today at (727) 269-5300, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation. A member of our legal team will begin investigating your case and preparing your optimal defense.