Disclaimer: Before you read any further, let me get this out of the way. Flaherty & Merrifield does not represent snitches. If your plan is to work for the police to get other people in trouble, we are not the attorneys for you.
If you have been arrested for a marijuana charge in Destin, it is important that you get help from an experienced criminal defense attorney who will always have your best interest in mind.
My name is Tim Flaherty. I’ve been a Destin marijuana possession lawyer throughout Okaloosa County since 2001. I am also a lifetime member of NORML. My partner, Brandy Merrifield, has worked with me since 2007.
If you are a college student, or you are planning on joining the military, a marijuana conviction could cost you your scholarships and financial aid for college. A conviction could affect job opportunities in the future and prevent you from joining the military. Don’t let this happen to you. Whether you are a local resident of Destin, or here on summer vacation or spring break, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 460-7470 to discuss how we can keep a marijuana conviction off your record.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Destin
Most people who are busted for weed possession in Destin were carrying a small amount. If the amount was under 20 grams, the charge is a misdemeanor offense with a maximum sentence of one year in jail, or one year probation and up to a $1000.00 fine.
If you were caught with more than 20 grams of marijuana, the State will charge you with felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. This is a third degree felony with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine.
No matter how small the amount of weed you possessed, if the police believe that you were intending to sell or distribute the marijuana, they will charge you with Possession with Intent to Distribute. This is also a third degree felony.
Regardless of the amount, if you are convicted of possession of marijuana anywhere in Florida, you will face a 6 month mandatory suspension of your driver’s license.
Possession of THC Oil or Vape Pens in Destin
If you have been charged with Possession of THC Oil, you might be confused about why you’re being charged with a felony, since possession of less than 20 grams is a misdemeanor. Usually, there is way less than 20 grams of oil in a cartridge. It is only the possession of less than 20 grams of the plant form of marijuana that is a misdemeanor. Possession of even 1 gram of THC oil in a cartridge, vape pen, dab, etc is a felony. Florida law treats THC oil the same as possessing heroin, cocaine, or any other controlled substance.
Florida Statute 893.003 is the statute that lists controlled substances schedules under Florida law. THC oil, or any other marijuana derivative, is a Schedule I controlled substance. A Schedule I controlled substance is defined as, “a substance that has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and in its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards.”
Obviously, that law is absurd. We now have medical marijuana laws throughout the United States, including Florida. But the controlled substance schedules are set under Federal law and then adopted by the states. So, until they change the Federal law, marijuana will remain a Schedule I controlled substance.
Under section 893.13, possession of THC oil is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Other possible penalties include a felony conviction, a lengthy probation term, community service hours, substance abuse courses and random urinalysis.
Defending your Destin Marijuana Case
At Flaherty & Merrifield, we believe that it should be legal to possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. That is why we are lifetime members of the NORML legal committee. NORML is a very powerful organization that is fighting to legalize the safe and responsible use of marijuana.
Unfortunately, the law still prohibits the possession of marijuana. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you have been charged with marijuana possession in Destin, we will be your advocates. We will use every option available to try and make sure your case gets dismissed.
The most common two ways to successfully resolve a possession of marijuana case are:
- File a Motion to Suppress Evidence. We will carefully review the reports and statements in your case to see if the police violated any of your rights during the traffic stop, or during the search of your vehicle, home, or person. If so, we will file a motion in court asking the judge to suppress, or throw out, the evidence against you.
- Negotiate a Pretrial Diversion agreement. If this is your first offense, we will work to convince the prosecutor that you deserve a second chance. If the prosecutor agrees to pretrial diversion, your case will be dismissed if you complete the required conditions.
When we meet to talk about your case, we’ll review whether either of those two options will apply. We will also tell you what other options might be available to accomplish the goal of getting your marijuana possession charge dismissed.
Contact a Destin Marijuana Possession Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with marijuana possession in Destin, Florida, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.