Drug crimes are serious offenses. Even when it comes to a drug that individuals in Florida and elsewhere do not view as serious, such as marijuana, this substance is still illegal and carries with it harsh penalties. Being accused of a drug charge involving marijuana could significantly impact the life of the accused, making it important that they understand the charge, what evidence was collected and what defense options may b available.
According to Florida statute 893.135, any person that knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers or brings into the state of Florida in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis or 300 or more cannabis plants, has committed a first-degree felony. This crime is labeled trafficking cannabis.
With regards to the penalties one could face, this is dependent on the quantity. For example, if the quantity involved is in excess of 25 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds or is more than 300 cannabis plants but less than 2,000 plants, the accused shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of 3 years and a fine of $25,000.
If the accused is found with between 2,000 and 10,000 pounds of cannabis or 2,000 or more cannabis plants, the mandatory minimum sentence is 7 years of imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. For a defendant accused of trafficking 10,000 pounds or more cannabis or 10,000 or more cannabis plants, he or she shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum imprisonment term of 15 years and pay a fine of $200,000.
Because the penalties are harsh, it is important to consider the defense options available to those accused of this drug crime. By initiating a defense strategy, the accused could work towards clearing their name, even reducing or dismissing the charges against them.