While many states have relaxed marijuana laws, Florida has not. Marijuana trafficking still carries severe mandatory minimum prison sentences, which depend on the number of plants or amount of marijuana involved.
Trafficking marijuana is still considered a serious crime in the Florida criminal justice system and can result in lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentences. A successful defense against any marijuana trafficking charge requires someone with in-depth knowledge of the Florida justice system and marijuana trafficking laws.
Attorneys for Marijuana Trafficking in West Palm Beach, FL
If you have been arrested for marijuana trafficking in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, or Jupiter, take the crucial first step of your Palm Beach County marijuana trafficking defense strategy and immediately contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
Our skilled and knowledgeable West Palm Beach marijuana trafficking defense lawyers have over two decades of combined experience helping clients like you. To learn more about what Meltzer & Bell, P.A. can do for your marijuana trafficking case in Palm Beach County, call (561) 557-8686 today to schedule your initial case consultation free of charge.
Overview of Marijuana Trafficking Charges in Florida
- How long might a person be sentenced to prison if convicted?
- What are the mandatory minimum sentences?
- Where can I learn more about marijuana issues?
Marijuana Trafficking Charges in Palm Beach County
Marijuana trafficking is covered by Fla. Stat. § 893.13 which bans the sale, manufacture, delivery; or possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver marijuana. Marijuana, or “cannabis” as it is referred to in the Florida statutes, is banned as a “controlled substance” by Fla. Stat. § 893.03(1)(c). Trafficking in any form, or possession with intent to distribute, can result in a third-degree felony conviction under Fla. Stat. § 893.13(1)(a). If convicted of marijuana trafficking as a third-degree felony you face:
- Up to five years in prison; and/or
- Up to $5,000 in fines.
Fla. Stat. § 893.135 makes it a first-degree felony to knowingly sell, purchase, manufacture, deliver, bring into Florida, or to knowingly be in actual or constructive possession of more than 25 pounds of cannabis, or 300 or more cannabis plants. A first-degree felony conviction for marijuana trafficking can lead to:
- Up to 30 years in prison; and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Marijuana Trafficking in Palm Beach
Harsh mandatory minimum sentencing penalties apply in these cases, and the severity varies depending on the amount of marijuana.
If the amount involved is between 25 and 2,000 pounds, or 300-2,000 plants, the mandatory minimum penalties are:
- Three years in prison; and/or
- $25,000 in fines.
If the amount of marijuana involved is 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds, or is 2,000 or more plants but not more than 10,000 plants, the mandatory minimum penalties are:
- Seven years in prison; and/or
- $50,000 in fines.
If the amount of marijuana involved is 10,000 or more pounds or individual plants, the mandatory minimum penalties are:
- 15 years in prison; and/or
- $200,000 in fines.
For purposes of determining the number of “plants” involved, Fla. Stat. § 893.135(1)(a) defines a “plant” as including, but not limited to, seedlings and cuttings. It is counted as a separate individual “cannabis plant” under Florida law if it has some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs.
For a piece or part of a cannabis plant severed from another cannabis plant to count as a separate cannabis plant, the severed piece or part must have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. Other factors, such as the viability and sex of a plant and whether a plant may or may not be a dead harvested plant are not relevant to the determination of whether a “cannabis plant” counts as a separate plant.
Florida Resources for Marijuana Trafficking
Regulate Florida — This group has a mission to create a practical and enforceable framework for adult use of marijuana. On the website, you can learn more about the organization, its Board of Directors, and ways to get involved. You can also download petitions.
United for Care — This campaign is run by People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM). You can get facts, find stories of care, and learn answers to frequently asked questions on this website. There are also sections dedicated to news, videos, and a calendar of upcoming events.
Florida NORML Chapters — The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is an American non-profit organization. This website lists the different chapters the organization has in Florida. You can learn more about current legal issues, news releases, and ways to take action.
Finding a Marijuana Trafficking Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you have been arrested for marijuana trafficking anywhere in Palm Beach County, including Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, or any surrounding areas, contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. If you are considering the assistance of an attorney as a part of your defense strategy against marijuana trafficking charges in the West Palm Beach area, it is best to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the first chance after you are arrested.
Lawrence Meltzer is a former felony special unit prosecutor and Steven Bell is a former major crimes public defender. Your first consultation with Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is free, so call (561) 557-8686 today and schedule your appointment.
This article was last updated on Monday, October 24, 2016.