Sale of Delivery of Cannabis in Florida – Leppard Law: Orlando’s Top Criminal Defense Attorney
What Constitutes the Offense?
Under Section 893.13 of the Florida Statutes, the crime of Sale or Delivery of Cannabis is committed when an individual engages in one of the following activities:
Selling Cannabis: The direct exchange of cannabis for money or other goods.
Manufacturing Cannabis: The process of growing or producing cannabis with the intent to distribute it.
Delivering Cannabis: The act of transferring cannabis from one person to another, regardless of whether money or goods are exchanged.
Possessing Cannabis with Intent: Having cannabis in your possession with the clear intention to sell, manufacture, or deliver it. This is often determined through circumstantial evidence, such as the presence of scales, baggies, or large amounts of cash.
Being charged under Sec. 893.13 is a serious matter that can have long-lasting implications:
Criminal Record: A conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect employment opportunities, housing applications, and even the ability to travel internationally.
Financial Penalties: Fines can be substantial, often reaching into the thousands of dollars.
Incarceration: Depending on the severity of the offense and prior criminal history, jail or prison time is a real possibility.
Loss of Civil Liberties: Convictions may result in the loss of certain civil liberties, including the right to vote or possess a firearm.
Probation or Parole: Even if you avoid jail time, you may be subjected to a period of probation or parole, which comes with its own set of restrictions and requirements.
The Role of an Experienced Attorney
If you find yourself charged under this statute, the assistance of an experienced attorney is crucial for several reasons:
Legal Strategy: An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy, which may include challenging the legality of the search that led to your arrest, questioning the evidence, or negotiating a plea deal.
Court Representation: Having a legal expert to represent you in court can make a significant difference in how your case is presented and argued, thereby affecting the outcome.
Understanding of the Law: Laws and regulations surrounding cannabis are complex and ever-changing. An attorney who specializes in this area will be up-to-date on the latest legal developments.
Mitigation and Sentencing: If a conviction is unavoidable, an experienced attorney can argue for a more lenient sentence or alternative penalties, such as drug treatment programs.
Emotional Support: Facing criminal charges is a stressful experience. An attorney can provide not just legal expertise but also emotional support throughout the process.
In summary, being charged under Sec. 893.13 of the Florida Statutes for Sale or Delivery of Cannabis is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. Legal representation is not just advisable; it’s essential for anyone facing these charges.
Penalties for Sale or Delivery of Cannabis in Florida
Understanding the penalties for the sale or delivery of cannabis in Florida is crucial for anyone facing these charges. The consequences are severe and can have a lasting impact on your life. Below is a detailed breakdown of the penalties and their implications.
Classification and Severity Level
In Florida, the sale or delivery of cannabis is classified as a third-degree felony. According to the Criminal Punishment Code, it falls under a level 3 offense, which equates to 16 points on the severity scale. This classification is significant because it guides the court in determining the appropriate sentence.
Penalties at a Glance
- Third-degree felony: Conviction can result in up to 5 years of prison or probation, along with a fine of up to $5,000.
- First-degree misdemeanor: This lesser charge can still result in up to 1 year of jail or probation and a $1,000 fine.
No Minimum Mandatory Sentence
It’s important to note that, barring any aggravating circumstances like prior criminal convictions, there is no minimum mandatory sentence for a third-degree felony related to cannabis sale or delivery. This means that while the judge has the discretion to sentence you to the maximum allowed, they are not required to impose any specific amount of prison time. This flexibility can be both an opportunity and a risk, making the role of an experienced attorney even more critical.
Driver’s License Suspension
Under Sec. 322.055 of the Florida Statutes, a conviction for the sale or delivery of cannabis also carries a mandatory 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. This can have a ripple effect on your life, affecting your ability to work, attend school, or fulfill other responsibilities.
Restricted Business-Purposes-Only License
However, the court may grant some leniency under “compelling circumstances,” allowing you to obtain a restricted business-purposes-only license. This would enable you to drive for specific reasons, such as work or medical appointments, but it’s not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the court.
Beyond the legal penalties, a conviction can have other long-lasting effects:
Criminal Record: A felony conviction will appear on your criminal record, affecting future employment opportunities, housing applications, and more.
Loss of Civil Liberties: You may lose certain rights, such as the right to vote or possess a firearm.
Social Stigma: The social implications of a drug-related felony can be significant, affecting personal relationships and community standing.
The penalties for the sale or delivery of cannabis in Florida are severe and multi-faceted, affecting not just your freedom but also your future opportunities and quality of life. If you find yourself facing such charges, it’s imperative to consult an experienced attorney immediately to navigate the complexities of the legal system and advocate for the best possible outcome.
||Up to 5 years of prison or probation, and a $5,000 fine.
||Up to 1 year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.
Moreover, under Sec. 322.055, Florida Statutes, the court is required to suspend your driver’s license for 6 months if you are convicted of Sale or Delivery of Cannabis. However, the court may allow you to obtain a restricted business-purposes-only license if warranted by a “compelling circumstance.”
Fighting a Charge of Sale or Delivery of Cannabis in Florida
Being charged with the sale or delivery of cannabis in Florida is a serious legal matter that requires a robust defense strategy. The state must prove more than just possession to secure a conviction; they must also demonstrate intent to sell or distribute. Here’s a deeper look into the elements involved in fighting such a charge.
Proving Intent to Sell
In Florida, to secure a conviction for possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver, the State must go beyond proving mere possession. While possession alone is a criminal offense, the charge of intent to sell is more severe and requires additional evidence. This evidence could include:
- Large quantities of the substance, beyond what would be considered for personal use
- Presence of paraphernalia such as scales, baggies, or large amounts of cash
- Communications or messages related to buying or selling the substance
- Testimonies from witnesses or informants
Actual or Constructive Possession
The State must also establish that you had either actual or constructive possession of the cannabis.
- Actual Possession: This means the cannabis was found on your person, such as in your hand, pockets, or within your immediate reach.
- Constructive Possession: This implies that you had control over the location where the cannabis was found and were aware of its presence. For example, if cannabis is found in a locked drawer of your desk, that could be considered constructive possession.
If the State fails to prove either type of possession, then the charge could be dismissed or reduced.
Legal Disposal Defense: Citing the case of Stanton v. State, 746 So. 2d 1229 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999), Florida law allows for a “legal disposal” defense. This means that if you were in temporary possession of the substance solely for the purpose of disposing of it or turning it over to law enforcement, you could be acquitted.
Motion to Suppress: This legal maneuver aims to exclude evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, such as during an unlawful search. If successful, this could significantly weaken the State’s case against you.
Alibi Defense: Providing evidence that you were elsewhere when the alleged crime occurred could exonerate you completely.
Lack of Evidence or Control: Demonstrating that there is insufficient evidence to support the charge or that the substance was not within your control or knowledge can also be effective defenses.
The Importance of Experienced Counsel
Given the complexities of these defenses and the severe consequences of a conviction, it’s crucial to have experienced legal representation. Firms like Leppard Law can employ various strategies, such as:
- Arguing that the substance was for personal use only
- Challenging the legitimacy of the initial traffic stop or search
- Negotiating plea deals to reduce charges or penalties
By employing these and other strategies, experienced attorneys can fight for a reduction or dismissal of your charges, thereby minimizing the impact on your life.
In summary, fighting a charge of sale or delivery of cannabis in Florida is a complex process that requires a nuanced understanding of the law and a well-planned defense strategy. Legal representation is not just advisable; it’s essential for anyone facing these serious charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
What additional evidence is usually required to prove intent to sell?
To prove intent to sell, law enforcement often looks for evidence such as digital communications about sales, surveillance of transactions, or testimonies from undercover officers or informants.
How often are motions to suppress successful?
The success of a motion to suppress varies depending on the specifics of the case and the skill of the defense attorney. However, they can be a powerful tool when constitutional rights have been clearly violated.
What types of evidence are commonly used in an alibi defense?
Common types of evidence for an alibi defense include surveillance footage, time-stamped transactions, GPS data, and eyewitness accounts that can corroborate the defendant’s claimed location.
Yes, Leppard Law offers specialized services for drug-related charges, including expert consultation on drug laws, negotiation with prosecutors for plea deals, and representation in court for drug trials.
What long-term consequences can result from a sale or delivery of cannabis charge?
Long-term consequences can include difficulty finding employment, loss of educational opportunities, and social stigma. Additionally, a conviction can result in a permanent criminal record, which may affect your ability to travel internationally.
If you find yourself arrested for selling marijuana or any other controlled substances in the Central Florida regions of Orlando, Orange County, Seminole County, Brevard County, Lake County, Volusia County, and Osceola County, time is of the essence. The sooner you secure legal representation, the better your chances of building a strong defense. Early intervention can also potentially prevent charges from being formally filed against you, or at least put you in a better position for negotiating plea deals or reduced charges.
For specialized and immediate legal assistance, contact Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC. Our firm has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against drug-related charges, including those involving marijuana and other controlled substances.
How to Reach Us
You can reach us by calling 407-476-4111. Our lines are open 24/7, and we offer free initial consultations to discuss the specifics of your case and outline potential defense strategies.
What to Expect
Initial Consultation: During this free consultation, we will assess the details of your case, inform you of your rights, and discuss potential defense strategies.
Case Review: Our team will thoroughly review all evidence, police reports, and witness statements to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Legal Strategy: Based on our findings, we will develop a tailored legal strategy aimed at either dismissing the charges or reducing the penalties.
Court Representation: We will represent you at all court proceedings, from arraignment to trial, ensuring that your rights are protected at every stage.
Ongoing Communication: You will be kept informed of all developments in your case, and we will be available to answer any questions you may have.
Why Choose Leppard Law
Expertise: Our attorneys specialize in DUI and criminal defense, including drug-related charges.
Experience: With years of experience in Florida’s legal system, we understand the nuances of drug laws and how to navigate the complexities of your case.
Client-Centric: We prioritize your needs and work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Accessibility: Our 24/7 availability ensures that you can reach us whenever you need legal advice or updates on your case.
Facing charges for selling marijuana or other controlled substances is a serious matter that can have life-altering consequences. Don’t leave your future to chance; secure experienced legal representation as soon as possible. If you’re in Central Florida, contact Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC at 407-476-4111 to get the expert legal assistance you need.