New Florida Marijuana Laws Aimed at Seizure and Forfeiture of Marijuana Grow Houses


Tampa Marjuana Attorney

Tampa Attorney for Marijuana

WARNING!

Under Florida law, if you are convicted of any drug crime, including possession of cannabis, then your driver's license will be suspended for a period of two (2) years regardless of whether you driving or not when the possession occurred.

Our attorneys are both members of the NORML Legal Committee. NORML stands for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Being on the NORML Legal Committee allows us to focus on recent changes in marijuana laws.

We understand that your arrest and prosecution for possession or sale of marijuana is serious. If you need a Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney experienced in defending marijuana cases, contact us today to discuss the best strategy for fighting your cannabis charges throughout the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Hernando County or Manatee County.

Any charge involving marijuana can have serious direct and collateral consequences, even if you are just charged with simple possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor offense under Florida law.

Florida has some of the harshest laws in the nation dealing with marijuana offenses. In 2008 the Florida Legislature lowered the threshold amount of marijuana plants required to prove "intent to sell or distribute cannabis"- a second degree felony offense. Florida law had previously set 300 plants as the minimum for a second degree felony charge which targeted the cultivation of marijuana. Federal law sets 100 plants as the threshold amount for intent to sell charges which makes Florida's laws even harsher than the federal legislation.

The new Florida legislation allows law enforcement to target marijuana grow houses for forfeiture. The home owner would have to establish that he had no knowledge that pot was being grown in the home to avoid Florida forfeiture laws. Under the new law, the owner of the cannabis grow house can also be arrested and prosecuted for a third degree felony if it can be shown that he knew the house was used to cultivate cannabis.

Florida also broadly defines a marijuana plant to include a cutting or seedling if any roots are present, even a few hair-like strands. So even an individual growing a small amount of marijuana in his own for personal consumption could be targeted under the new Florida marijuana laws.

Fighting Your Marijuana Case

In any drug case, including possession of marijuana, important defense can be raised in a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress. Call us to discuss ways to defend your case.

Issues Leading to the Suppression or Exclusion of Evidence:

  • Was the search of your person, vehicle or home legally conducted or did the police violate your rights under the Fourth Amendment?
  • If the drugs were found in a vehicle, can the prosecutor prove that the drugs belonged to you, or does the case involve constructive possession through insufficient circumstantial evidence?
  • Was the marijuana found within plain view or was it hidden?
  • Did you or any co-defendant make any statement admitting ownership of the drugs?
  • Did anyone else have access to the drugs if they were hidden in your home or vehicle?
  • Did law enforcement read your Miranda warnings to you before asking you questions?

Possible Indirect Consequences of a Marijuana Conviction:

  • Losing your eligibility for a Bright Futures Scholarship in Florida;
  • Losing your eligibility for Financial Aid;
  • A ban on your eligibility to become a foster parent or adopt a child under Florida law for at least five years after a misdemeanor or felony marijuana conviction;
  • A possible ban for three years which would prevent you from moving into public housing;
  • Not being eligible for public employment with the state or federal government without seeking intensive drug treatment;
  • Not being eligible for certain state certifications, licenses, or permits without seeking intensive drug treatment;
  • Ineligibility for state licenses, permits or certifications without enrolling in a drug treatment program for any felony conviction;
  • Lifetime ban on the right to possess a firearm under Florida Statute Section 790.23 for any felony conviction.
Misdemeanor offenses:
  • Possession of Marijuana (less than 20 grams);
  • Delivery of Marijuana / Cannabis Less than 20 grams (without monetary exchange); and
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Felony offenses:

  • Possession of Marijuana (more than 20 grams);
  • Cultivation or Manufacture of Marijuana;
  • Trafficking in Marijuana;
  • Owning a Marijuana Grow House;
  • Living or Working in a Marijuana Grow House; and
  • Living or Working in a Marijuana Grow House with Minor Children.
Contact a Tampa Marijuana Attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss the best way to fight the charges against you for possession, cultivation, delivery, manufacture or trafficking in marijuana for any case in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Bartow, Polk County, Dade City or New Port Richey, Pasco County, St. Petersburg or Clearwater, FL.



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Sammis Law Firm
1005 N. Marion St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 250-0500