Marijuana Possession in Duval County Florida
Penalties for marijuana possession are among the strictest in the U.S. There are currently 16 states and the District of Columbia that have passed laws legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes. Eighteen other states have pending legislation involving this issue. Possession of one oz. of marijuana is not a crime in Alaska, and possession of small amounts of marijuana incurs a fine only in 8 other states. It is still a crime to possess or grow any amount of marijuana. The attorneys at The Dick Law Firm have years of experience dealing with all types of drug crimes, including possession, cultivation and distribution in Duval County.
Cite and Release Laws
House Bill 2391 enacted in 2007 offers police a choice. They may issue a citation in lieu of taking someone to jail for offenders of seven misdemeanor crimes, including Class A and B Possession of Marijuana, Graffiti, Theft of Service, Driving While License Invalid, Criminal Mischief, or Theft and Contraband in a Correctional Facility.
The citation option, sometimes reffered to as Cite and Release, doesn’t change the charge or the possibility of eventual conviction and sentencing to jail time, but it does eliminate pre-conviction arrest and jail time – a strategy intended to cut costs directly associated with the booking process, and manpower costs, leaving more officers on the streets at any given time.
Under the law, only those who are arrested and have proper identification have committed the offense in the county in which they live, and are not also facing more serious criminal charges are eligible for cite-and-release.
In any case the police officer still retains the discretion to arrest for any of the listed offenses.
Cite and Release Offenses
- Possession of marijuana, up to four ounces
- Criminal mischief where damage is up to 500 dollars
- Graffiti, where pecuniary loss is up to 500 dollars
- Theft up to 500 dollars
- Theft of service up to 500 dollars
- Providing contraband to a person in jail
- Operating a motor vehicle with an invalid license
Medical Marijuana in Florida
Two bills were recently brought before the legislature concerning marijuana possession reforms. HG 548 would have reduced the penalty for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana from a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000) to a Class C misdemeanor (punishable by a fine of up to $500). Another bill, HB 1491, would have given medical marijuana patients an “affirmative defense” against prosecution for possession of small amounts of marijuana if their doctor has recommended marijuana as a treatment option. Neither of these bills was given a hearing.
Medical marijuana HB 594 was recently introduced into legislature. The summary of HB 594: “An Act relating to the medical use of marihuana: It is an affirmative defense to prosecution… that the person possessed the marihuana as a patient of a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state pursuant to the recommendation of that physician for the amelioration of the symptoms or effects of a bona fide medical condition.” It died when the legislative session ended on May 27, 2013
Marijuana Possession Penalties
- Two ounces or less include a fine up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail or both
- More than two ounces, but less than four ounces. Penalties include a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
- Four ounces or more, up to and including five pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between 180 days and two years in prison, or both.
- More than five pounds, up to and including 50 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and ten years in prison, or both.
- More than 50 pounds, up to and including 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $10,000, between two and 20 years in prison, or both.
- More than 2,000 pounds. Penalties include a fine of up to $50,000, between five and 99 years in prison, or both.
Duval County Drug Possession Attorneys
Before someone can be convicted of marijuana possession in Duval County the state must prove that the accused actually had possession or took action to control the drug. Drug possession cases are complicated and depend the police’s adherence to strict guidelines concerning search and seizure of the drug.
The attorneys at The Dick Law Firm have years of experience dealing with all types of drug possession, cultivation and distribution in Duval County. Their goal is to get the best possible results that the situation of your case allows. If you or someone you know if facing marijuana possession charges call us anytime day or night to discuss your options or contact us for a private consultation concerning an accusation or arrest. The attorneys handle only criminal cases and have experience on both sides of the justice system as prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys.