Florida Man Accused of Assault with Marijuana Plant
In one of Florida’s stranger news stories, the Huffington Post recently reported on a man who was arrested on allegations of beating his brother with a marijuana plant that stood about three feet tall. According to the report, police were called out to the house of one brother on accusations of assault. When the officers arrived at the residence, they found that the alleged assailant was the brother of the complainant. Once the complainant gave his version of the incident, the police learned that the alleged weapon of choice was a considerably large marijuana plant. The allegations also resulted in a search of the home. According to the article, several illegal marijuana plants were found. The defendant was arrested and charged with domestic battery, marijuana cultivation and possession of marijuana over 20 grams. He is currently out on bond.
Domestic Violence Laws in Florida
The Florida statute defines domestic violence as violence committed against family or members of the household. Specifically, domestic violence charges can occur within the following relationships:
- Spouse or ex-spouse;
- Couples with a child in common;
- Relative of blood or marriage relation; or
- Parties who currently live together or lived together in the past.
Once a relevant relationship is determined, the court then looks at the type of violent behavior that is alleged. The following charges can constitute domestic violence:
- Assault or aggravated assault;
- Battery or aggravated battery;
- Sexual assault or battery;
- Stalking; and
Domestic violence charges carry their own set of challenges and worries. Aside from the concern over incarceration, you may also be experiencing stress about issues within your family. The state of Florida also treats domestic violence charges with a higher level of severity. From the time of your arrest, until you first see the judge, you are held without bond. Bonds for these charges are also considerably higher than other crimes. If you are charged with domestic violence, self-defense is a viable defense to put forward.
Cultivation of Marijuana Laws in Florida
Under Florida law Section 893.13(1)(a), Florida Statutes, “it is unlawful for any person to … manufacture… or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.” These charges are characterized as a third degree felony, punishable by a maximum of five years imprisonment and $5,000 in fines. Manufacturing includes:
- Production and preparation of the substance;
- Packaging and labeling; and
- Cultivating and growing.
In a cultivation of marijuana case, the prosecution has the burden of proving that the plants are actually marijuana. They must also prove that you had knowledge of the cultivation and participated in the manufacturing. If the state cannot prove these elements, it cannot gain a conviction under the statute. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the most viable defense to a cultivation of marijuana charge. While you can put forth various defenses to assert your innocence, you can also challenge the search that resulted in your arrest.
If you or a loved one is facing cultivation of marijuana charges, contact the Miami based lawyers of Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today at 305-600-3519 for a confidential and free consultation.