Attorneys Defending Marijuana Possession in Orlando

Attorneys Defending Marijuana Possession in Orlando

Hiring a lawyer that is an experienced former prosecutor to defend your Orlando marijuana possession charge could mean the difference in a dismissal or conviction in your marijuana possession case. Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden is a former Central Florida Prosecutor with over 20 years experience in successfully defending and beating marijuana possession charges. Contact Tilden Law today for a free initial case evaluation to determine your best defense.

What is “Possession” of Marijuana

Under current Florida drug possession laws, “possession” can take two forms: “Actual” possession and “Constructive” possession. Actual possession means marijuana (also known as cannabis, pot and weed) is found on the person, i.e., in hand, pocket, mouth or in a handbag carried by the person. Constructive possession means marijuana that is found in an area where the person can easily access it, i.e., under a car seat or on a table close to where the person is sitting. Because the cannabis is not “on” the person, constructive possession is significantly more difficult to prove.

How Tilden Law Defends Your Marijuana Possession Charge

Thoroughly investigating every aspect of your case is the cornerstone to mounting a viable defense to your charge(s). Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden handles every aspect of your case personally to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome. Listed below are some of the

  • Was the encounter with police lawful or did law enforcement illegally detain you
  • Was a search warrant used to your case and if so was it executed properly
  • Was the Cannabis/Marijuana in plain view of the of the officer
  • Did you give consent to be searched or your did you give consent to search your vehicle
  • Was a drug sniff dog used and if so, was that search lawful
  • Were you aware of the presence of the marijuana
  • Were you read your rights before or during questioning
  • Was the marijuana found near enough to you to charge constructive possession
  • Was your car stopped by law enforcement legally
  • Does the pot belong to another passenger in the car
  • Is there sufficient evidence to arrest you for possession

 

Non-Criminal Penalties for Marijuana Possession Conviction

While it is obvious that there are legal punishments handed down by the court for anyone convicted of possessing cannabis, most people are unaware of what could be the greater downside to being convicted of marijuana possession. These penalties can include:

  • Disqualified for State of Florida Financial Aid
  • Rejected for housing or apartment application
  • Suspension/Expulsion or probation by college for violation of policy
  • No longer qualified for Bright Future Scholarships
  • Permanent criminal record appearing on Employment background checks
  • Loss or restriction on Professional Licenses
  • Deportation for immigrants
  • Mug shot posted on the Internet


Criminal Penalties if Convicted of Possession of Marijuana?

First offense possession of under 20 grams of marijuana is a first degree misdemeanor. The sentence can include:

  • Withholding of adjudication (non-conviction) or Adjudication of guilt (conviction)
  • 1 year supervised county probation
  • $1,000.00 fine plus court costs
  • Community service hours
  • Random urine tests at individuals expense
  • Drug evaluation to determine dependency
  • Mandatory counseling if recommended
  • Permanent criminal record if Adjudicated guilty
  • 2 years mandatory driver license suspension

Possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is considered a felony. Depending upon the amount of cannabis will dictate the level of offense. Typically, these cases are considered 3rd degree felony charges which are punishable by up to:

  • Withholding of adjudication (non-conviction) or Adjudication of guilt (conviction)
  • 5 year supervised state probation
  • $5,000.00 fine plus court costs
  • Community service
  • Drug dependency evaluation
  • Drug Counseling
  • 2 year driver license revocation


Driver License Suspension for Marijuana Possession

Florida’s legislature has imposed a one (1) year driver license suspension as an additional penalty for anyone convicted of any drug charge, including pot possession, regardless of whether the underlying charge was driving related. Drug paraphernalia charges are excluded from this sanction. This suspension is at the direction of the judge who requires the clerk to send a copy of the conviction to the DHSMV in Tallahassee who in turn issues the driver license suspension. While the suspension/revocation lasts for a full year, the individual can petition to for a hardship driver license after six (6) months once all requirements are met.

Can I Expunge or Seal a Marijuana Possession Charge

For obvious reasons, clearing a criminal record is important. Marijuana possession charges can in many cases be either sealed or expunged from your record. To initially qualify for a expungement of a marijuana possession charge, the case itself must be dismissed by the Court or the State Attorney. If your possession of pot case was not dismissed, but court withheld adjudication, your case may qualify to be sealed. Contact our office today to see if your possession of marijuana case qualifies to either be expunged or sealed.

Link to FDLE site for requirements

Pre-Trial Diversion for Marijuana Possession Charges

Some Florida courts may offer a Pretrial Diversion program for first time marijuana possession offenses. Pretrial Diversion is a differed prosecution program created by State Attorney’s office and managed by the probation department for each individual county.   The Orange County diversion program for cannabis possession charges typically consists of:

  • 12 months supervision
  • $600.00 program cost
  • random drug testing at individuals expense
  • minimum of 40 community service hours
  • drug dependency evaluation with treatment if indicated
  • Costs to State Attorney, Intake, and phone reporting

Once all the program conditions have been successfully completed and the supervision time has expired, the probation department will send a letter to the State Attorney’s office indicating successful completion. The State Attorney will then file a dismissal of your marijuana possession case.

What if my college finds out

Tilden Law represents Central Florida college students on a wide range of criminal charges including cannabis possession. What every college student should know is that apart from criminal consequences, every college has student code of conduct requirements. Each college or university is unique in its requirements but it is recommended that students who have been arrested on a criminal drug charge be well acquainted with their school’s policy. The links below will take you to the various university or college student conduct code.

Rollins College

University of Central Florida (UCF)

Seminole State College

Full Sale

Valencia Community College

Links to various college code of conduct

 

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney N. Fleetwood Tilden – Free Initial Consultation

Criminal Defense Lawyer N. Fleetwood Tilden fights for clients in Orange County and Seminole County.

Call 407.599.1234 to speak with a highly experienced Central Florida attorney.