If the police have arrested you and taken you into custody for possessing marijuana, this can understandably be frightening, especially if this is your first time going through it. If you end up convicted on a marijuana possession charge, you may face various punishments, including jail time, the suspension of your driver’s license and even monetary fines.
In addition to facing the above punishments for possessing a drug in Florida, you will unfortunately also have a criminal record, which will drastically limit your job opportunities. With so much at stake, you have the right to fight back in the criminal court system.
Requirements for proving drug possession
To receive a conviction for the possession of marijuana, prosecutors have to be able to demonstrate the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You knew that the drug you had was a controlled substance.
- You knowingly possessed, or had control over, the drug.
The concept of possession additionally includes constructive possession, which means that you were able to access the marijuana even if the drug was not actually on your person when the police arrested you.
If police claim that you were in possession of marijuana, you may face either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge. Both of these charges carry penalties that may seriously limit your freedom.
- Misdemeanor charge: This includes possessing under 20 grams of the drug; it can result in one year behind bars or probation, the suspension of your driver’s license and a fine of $1,000
- Felony charge: This includes possessing at least 20 grams of the drug; it can lead to five years behind jail bars, the suspension of your driver’s license and a fine of $5,000
If you are facing a marijuana possession charge, you may proceed to trial to fight this charge, or you may seek to strike a plea deal with the prosecution. The benefit of a plea agreement is that it may result in a lighter charge and thus a more lenient sentence than what you may receive at trial if found guilty.
The strength of the evidence that the prosecution plans to offer to support its allegations can help you to determine whether to pursue trial or a plea deal. Either way, it is within your rights to fight for the most personally favorable outcome, considering the circumstances surrounding your case involving possessing a drug in Florida.