According to the Drug Policy Alliance, a national organization dedicated to drug legislation reformation, 700,993 arrests were made nationally for marijuana law violations. Eighty-eight percent or 619, 809 of those arrests were for possession of marijuana only.
Possession of 20 or fewer grams of marijuana in the state of Florida is considered a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. A conviction for misdemeanor drug possession—even marijuana possession, can have serious consequences, including but not limited to:
- Expulsion from school or university
- Loss or disqualification from scholarships
- Bar of employment in certain fields
- Bar from certain professional licensures
The aforementioned consequences can complicate any person’s life. However, for a teenager, especially an individual with graduation impending or just beginning college, these consequences can be devastating.
To shield young persons, who have made the mistake of possession small quantities of marijuana, Florida legislators have created diversion programs. Diversion programs allow juveniles under the age of 17 to avoid a misdemeanor conviction upon the completion of certain program requirements, including community service, counseling, and random urinalysis testing.
There are several juvenile diversion programs available in Florida. Every diversion program is not right for every child. For juveniles convicted of a misdemeanor in Sumter County, Citrus County, or Hernando County the following diversion programs are available:
- Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program
- Teen Court
- Alternative to Expulsion Diversion
Each of the aforementioned diversion programs have different eligibility criteria and fulfillment requirements. However, the courts generally consider the same factors to determine whether juvenile diversion is appropriate, including:
- History of delinquency;
- Risk to reoffend;
- Current offense; and
- Court ordered assessment
If your minor child has been charged with a misdemeanor offense, such as possession of marijuana, it is crucial to contact an experienced marijuana defense immediately. An experienced marijuana defense attorney will have the knowledge and skill to successfully prove your child deserves to avoid a criminal conviction through a juvenile diversion program.
Ashley Aulls of The Law Office of Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense attorney. He aggressively defends juveniles faced with criminal charges, including marijuana possession, possession of alcohol, and other related offenses. If you or your loved one has been charged with any criminal offense, contact attorney Ashley Aulls at (352) 593-4115 to schedule a confidential review of your case.
He proudly represents clients throughout Florida, including Hernando County, Sumter County, Citrus County and the surrounding areas. Contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls for a confidential consultation.