Across the nation, marijuana is the center of a debate disputing its illegality. Some marijuana proponents claim that the medical benefits of marijuana and the compound THC found in it is sufficient evidence to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. Other proponents claim that cannabis is no more harmful than alcohol and should be legalized across the board in a similar fashion.
While politicians and legislators are embroiled in this debate, Florida remains staunch on its classification of marijuana as an illicit substance. Unfortunately, marijuana – also known as pot, weed, ganja, bud, hydro, and chronic – is also Florida's top drug of choice and results in many arrests every year. To begin your defense against your Hernando County marijuana charge, contact an experienced Brooksville criminal defense lawyer.
Brooksville Defense Attorney for Marijuana Charges
Florida is known for its punitive stance on drugs, and marijuana-related crimes can come with severe penalties that will affect the rest of your life. If you have been arrested on a marijuana charge in Spring Hill, Brooksville, Homosassa Springs, Wildwood, or anywhere else in Hernando, Citrus, or Sumter County, experienced criminal attorney Ashley Aulls can help you fight the infringement of these charges on your rights and your future.
Ashley Aulls has over 15 years of experience fighting for criminal defense clients like you. Thanks to a family background of successful legal professionals, he knows that keeping open communication and educating the client on the process is important, two principles Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. is founded on. To schedule your case consultation on what Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. can do for you and your marijuana charges case, call (352) 593-4115 today.
Hernando County Marijuana Information Center
- Types of Marijuana Charges in Florida
- Florida Marijuana Crime Penalties
- Resources for Hernando County Marijuana Charges
Types of Marijuana Charges in Florida
Despite the debate over the usefulness and/or harmlessness of marijuana, Fla. Stat. § 893.03(1)(c)7 specifically defines cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Therefore, all activities involving the substance are generally a type of illegal offense. Some of the marijuana offenses that can be charged in Hernando County and the surrounding areas include:
- Possession of Marijuana: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.13(6)(a)- 893.13(6)(b) – Simple possession of marijuana is either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of cannabis present. For up to 20 grams of pot, possession is a misdemeanor, while 20 grams up to 25 pounds is a felony. Possession can mean actual possession, as in on your person, or constructive possession, as in you know the substance within your reach is cannabis and you intended to take actual possession of it
- Distribution of Marijuana: Fla. Stat. § 893.13 – The Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act makes it unlawful to sell, manufacture, deliver marijuana or possess cannabis with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver. This includes the distribution of weed. Distribution of marijuana becomes marijuana trafficking at more than 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 cannabis plants.
- Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.145 & 893.147 – Marijuana paraphernalia, which is drug paraphernalia, is any equipment, products, or materials which are used or intended for use in the planting, propagating, cultivation, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, storing, containing, concealing, or transporting a controlled substance, and/or injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance. It is an offense to use or possess with intent to use marijuana paraphernalia for its respective purpose.
- Marijuana Cultivation: Fla. Stat. §§ 893.13, 893.135, & 893.1351 – Marijuana cultivation is not a specific offense in Florida law, rather the "manufacture" of marijuana is, which is the same as cultivation. Cultivation of cannabis in Florida is either a sell/manufacture/deliver offense or a trafficking offense. For cultivation or manufacture of marijuana up to 25 pounds or 300 cannabis plants, it's a felony of the third degree. Marijuana cultivation in excess of 25 pounds or 300 plants is a trafficking offense. It is also an offense to own, lease, or rent any place, structure, trailer, conveyance, or part thereof a grow house for trafficking in marijuana. For the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act, indication of trafficking for grow houses was reduced from 300 plants to 25.
- Marijuana Trafficking: Fla. Stat. § 893.135 – Marijuana trafficking in Florida has just as much to do with the amount of cannabis present as the purpose. According to the drug trafficking statute, it is illegal to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture (including cultivation), bring into Florida, or be in possession more than 25 pounds of marijuana, or more than 300 plants.
The penalties for marijuana crimes in Florida depend on whether the charge is directly related to an amount of marijuana found or whether it in regard to related property like paraphernalia. When the charge is directly related to an amount found, the amount is critical in determining both the charge and the penalties. For instance, possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, while possession of 20 grams up to 25 pounds is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of $5,000 and prison for five years.
Marijuana distribution and cannabis cultivation up to 25 pounds or 300 plants is also a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. For marijuana cultivation and trafficking charges in excess of the 25 pound or 300 plant limit, which is a first degree felony, the penalties vary according to amount as follows:
- 25-2,000 pounds of marijuana or 300-2,000 cannabis plants
- First-degree felony
- 3-30 years or life in prison
- Up to $25,000 fine
- 2,000-10,000 pounds of marijuana or 2,000-10,000 cannabis plants
- First-degree felony
- 7-30 years or life in prison
- Up to $50,000 fine
- 10,000 pounds or more of marijuana or 10,000 or more cannabis plants
- First-degree felony
- 15-30 years or life in prison
- Up to $200,000 fine
The other marijuana crimes not directly related to an amount found are possession of cannabis paraphernalia, which is a first-degree misdemeanor, and possession of a marijuana cultivation or grow house, which is a third-degree felony. They are punishable by a maximum of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine or five years and a $5,000 fine, respectively.
It is important to note that all possession of marijuana convictions include a two-year driver's license suspension per Fla. Stat. § 322.055. If you are considering fighting these marijuana conviction penalties with a qualified defense attorney, it is best to contact one as soon as possible after your arrest. For Hernando County marijuana arrests, an experienced Brooksville marijuana crime defense lawyer can help you fight the charges.
United for Care: People United for Medical Marijuana - United for Care is a non-profit organization that fights for the legalization of medical marijuana use in Florida. The group is currently working to create a massive petition for a constitutional ammendment to legalize cannabis use for medical purposes.
Hernando County Drug Court – The Hernando County Drug Court is a treatment program designed to stop the root cause of offenders of certain drug-related crimes. The defendant pleads guilty and if he or she completes the program successfully, the charges may be dismissed. Follow this link for more information.
Alternative Courts Coordinator
20 N Main Street, Room 242
Brooksville, FL 34601
(352) 540 - 6279
NORML - National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws – Follow this link to more in-depth information on marijuana from NORML's webpage. NORML is a national organization committed to changing public opinion about marijuana, and the laws that criminalize it.
DEA - Drug Enforcement Administration – Since marijuana is a controlled substance in federal law as well, it is important to understand the organization that enforces the federal drug laws. This links to the DEA's fact sheet concerning the organization as a federal agency.
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Marijuana Crime Defense Lawyer in Hernando County
If you are facing marijuana charges in the Brooksville area, including Weeki Wachee, High Point, Hernando Beach, Hill 'n Dale, Inverness Highlands, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto, Wildwood, Lake Panasoffkee, and Bushnell, Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. wants to fight to protect your rights and future. With a client-oriented approach that includes open communication, Ashley Aulls will treat you with respect while using his 15 years of experience to form an educated defense. Call (352) 593-4115 today to schedule your marijuana case consultation and find out what Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. can do for you.