What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Florida?
Slowly throughout the country marijuana laws are being relaxed and in more and more locations recreational marijuana is becoming legal. Also, in many states, including Florida, medical marijuana is legal. However, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in Florida and in order to use it legally people need to have a valid prescription. There are many people who still use it for recreational purposes without a prescription though.
When people do this they may not think it is that big of a deal but if they are caught possessing it, they can still be charged with marijuana possession crimes. The crimes can also result in serious punishments which can affect people’s lives moving forward.
Potential penalties for marijuana possession
The punishments people may face depends on the amount of marijuana they have in their possession when they are caught.
- Up to 20 grams – possessing this amount can result in a first-degree misdemeanor. This means that people could be sent to jail for up to a year and also pay fines.
- Between 20 grams and 25 pounds – This could result in a third-degree felony. People may be sentenced up to five years in prison and pay fines as well.
- More than 25 pounds – This could result in a first-degree felony. This is the most serious level of offense and people could have a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
While it may be relatively common for people to use marijuana in Florida, it is still illegal without a valid prescription. The penalties are also not very lenient. Even people possessing a relatively small amount of marijuana could face serious consequences including jail time. However, people may have defenses available to them depending on the circumstances. Experienced attorneys understand these defenses and may be able to help protect one’s rights after being charged with marijuana possession.