Defenses to a Marijuana Possession Charge
Despite the trend of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational purposes that is currently sweeping across the nation, marijuana is still federally classified as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance. This means that it is illegal to grow, transport, possess, sell, distribute, or consume cannabis unless you are specifically licensed to do so. In Florida, there is a medical marijuana program in place and those in the program may possess the plant in accordance with their treatment plans, but possession of cannabis is otherwise illegal.
If you have been charged with possession of marijuana in Florida, do not write it off as a minor issue. Having a drug possession charge on your record can become an obstacle for you later in life, and a conviction of marijuana possession can lead to fines and other penalties. If you have been charged with marijuana possession, work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charge. The legal strategy your lawyer uses to defend your case may incorporate one or more of the following defenses.
You were Stopped or Searched Illegally
If the police stopped your car or searched the vehicle without a justifiable reason to do so, such as the suspicion that you violated a traffic law due to being under the influence of drugs or because you are a suspect to a crime, any evidence they recover during the search may be suppressed. In other words, this evidence is inadmissible in court.
The Warrant Used to Search your Vehicle or Home was Invalid
Even when a warrant exists, it is not always able to be used in good faith. A warrant may be deemed to be invalid if it was created based on incorrect information, there was a lack of probable cause to search your home or vehicle, or the warrant was “stale,” which means that it expired before law enforcement could use it. You can also defend your case by claiming that the police’s search went beyond the scope of what was permitted by the warrant, if the warrant only allowed them to search within a specified area.
The Marijuana Was Not yours; you Did Not Know About It
Say you share a car or an apartment with another individual, and police search that car or apartment and find marijuana that belongs to the person with whom you share the apartment or car. If you are charged with possession of the drug, you can potentially defend your case by proving that the marijuana did not belong to you and that you were not aware that it was in the shared space.
Work with a Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with marijuana possession or any other type of illegal drug possession, work with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney who can determine the right legal strategy for you. Contact our team at Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC today to schedule your initial legal consultation with us.