As a Jacksonville Marijuana Attorney, I have represented hundreds, if not thousands, of people charged with pot possession in Duval County. As views are changing about this minor drug, laws are still on the books outlawing possession of marijuana, cocaine, etc. The state of New York may soon join several other states in stopping police from arresting people for marijuana possession under a certain amount. According to an article in the NY Times, the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is supporting a proposed law that will make possession of less than 25 grams of pot a civil violation, not a misdemeanor. Practically, this means that NY police will no longer arrest people for having less than this amount of marijuana. In addition to having the mayor’s endorsement, the city’s state attorneys also back the change to the law.
If you are caught possessing marijuana in Duval, Clay or Nassau Counties, you will be arrested in some form. If you have no prior arrest or criminal history and the amount you possess is less than 20 grams, the police can issue you a “Notice to Appear”. This is a document that acts as an arrest without you physically being taken downtown to the police station. You or your Jacksonville drug attorney will have to make a court date and fight this drug arrest. The police also have the discretion to arrest you, even if you possess a very small amount of pot. Often times, Jacksonville possession of pot charges are accompanied by a possession of drug paraphernalia charge.
When you possess marijuana in Florida, the crimes you can be arrested for vary based on several factors. You can be charged with misdemeanor possession of less than 20 grams of pot. This is a first degree misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is one year in jail. If you possess over 20 grams, the Jacksonville drug crime becomes a third degree felony. If you attempt or actually sell pot in Duval, Clay or Nassau Counties, this drug crime is also a third degree felony. Believe it or not, you can also possess a “trafficking” amount of pot in Florida. If you are caught with over 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 or more plants, the crime becomes a first degree felony in Florida. If the amount you possess is more than 25 pounds, but under 2,000 pounds, there is a three year minimum mandatory sentence, which means if convicted, a defendant will serve three years day for day. If the amount of pot possessed is between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds, there is a seven year minimum prison term that has to be imposed. if the amount of marijuana exceeds 10,000 pounds, there is a fifteen year minimum sentence that must be imposed.
If you are arrested for drug charges in the Jacksonville, Clay County or Nassau County areas, you should contact a Jacksonville Drug Attorney immediately to discuss your case. Having a drug charge not only carries jail or prison time, but could scar your record for the rest of your life. Call Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, our Northeast Florida Criminal Attorney, at (904) 365-5200. The Mussallem Law Firm is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.