Jacksonville police have arrested a former NFL player from Jacksonville on a marijuana drug charge and on a warrant for violation of injunction. Jabar Gaffney, according to an article in the Florida Times Union, was arrested for possession of less than twenty grams of marijuana after police claim he was smoking in a parking lot. Police say an officer was approached by a citizen claiming a man was smoking pot in a car. The officer then went up to the car and claimed he smelled marijuana emitting from the vehicle and from the man’s clothes, according to the report. The police allege they saw a joint in the center console which led them to search his car. Two other joints were found, according to the article. Once Gaffney was under arrest, an outstanding warrant for violation of injunction in Duval County was found in the system. He was arrested on the warrant and the two Jacksonville misdemeanors are pending.
Possession of less than twenty grams of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. If you are issued a notice to appear or are arrested for this misdemeanor drug charge, you are most likely not facing any jail time. A person with no record is eligible for pretrial diversion programs and other options when facing this crime. One big issue that is not widely known is that if convicted of a possession of marijuana, even a misdemeanor, you will lose your driver’s license for two years. In Gaffney’s case, the police approached his car and claimed to smell the odor of burnt marijuana. This observation allows police to search the car they believe the smell is coming from. Even if no pot is found, the police will claim the person must have thrown the marijuana out before they got there.
A violation of injunction charge is also a first degree misdemeanor in Florida. If an injunction is signed by a judge, whether temporary or permanent, and that injunction has been served on the respondent, each violation is considered a new charge. Injunctions usually prevent a respondent from going within 500 feet of the petitioner’s person, home and place of work. Injunctions also prevent the respondent from possessing any firearms and may require the respondent to take anger management or domestic battery classes. In Gaffney’s case, the petitioner had a temporary injunction on him and a hearing on making it permanent has not yet occurred.