Possession of Marijuana in Florida of 20 grams or less is a 1st Degree Misdemeanor and punishable for a maximum of a year in the county jail. In order for the government to successfully prove a Possession of Marijuana case against an individual they must prove two elements, 1) Possession of the Marijuana 2) Knowledge of the Presence of the Marijuana. The government can prove the first element by proof of actual or constructive possession.
Knowledge of the illicit nature of marijuana is not an element that the government must prove, however it is an affirmative defense. In Florida, a jury may presume knowledge of the illicit knowledge of the marijuana/cannabis if the jury finds that the accused was in actual or constructive possession.
Some cases present a problem for the government in instances where the police obtained the marijuana as a result of a 4th amendment violation of the US Constitution. If an illegal search, detention, arrest, or confession resulted in law enforcement seizing evidence of marijuana, the case may be challenged in court.
If you have been arrested or charged with marijuana possession in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, Orange, Polk, Sarasota, or Manatee County, please call to obtain a free initial consultation in order to discuss your case fully and be advised of your rights and any potential defenses.
Attorney Oropesa has been practicing criminal defense in the Tampa Bay area for over 14 years and can be directly reached at 800-774-9883.