Orlando Importation of Cannabis Defense Attorneys
Bringing any amount of cannabis (marijuana) into Florida is a criminal offense when the defendant lacks a state-issued importation license under Florida Statute 893.13(5)(1)(c) . While a handful of U.S. states have relaxed laws related to the personal, recreational or medical use of marijuana, Florida is not one of them. Marijuana is technically considered cannabis according to Florida statutes, and is considered illegal as it is officially listed as Tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) under Schedule One drugs on the drug schedule. A third-degree felony, importation of cannabis is a serious drug crime that requires the legal support and guidance of a skilled Orlando drug crimes defense attorney. At Adams & Luka, we give every client the personal attention and dedication essential to reaching the best possible results.Importation of Cannabis Penalties
Those who are convicted (found guilty of) importation of cannabis in Florida will face serious penalties that include:
- A maximum of five (5) years in prison
- Five (5) years of probation
- Fine of $5,000
A judge may sentence an offender to any or a combination of the above. It is important to understand that a felony conviction will remain on your criminal record which will likely impact employment and housing opportunities, as well as the ability to obtain a student loan and more. Individuals convicted of this level 3 offense will also have their driving privilege revoked by the Florida DHSMV for a period of one year.
Importing cannabis or marijuana into Florida for the purpose of selling or distributing is considered trafficking when the offense involves amounts greater than 25 pounds or 300 plants. In this situation the penalties for a trafficking conviction would be far more severe as it becomes a first-degree felony.Possible Defenses to Importation of Cannabis
There are various defenses that may prove effective depending on the facts of each individual case. It is vital to work with an Orlando criminal defense attorney who will analyze your case thoroughly, review the evidence and explore all possible legal options in order to secure the best outcome. Some common defenses to allegations of importation of cannabis include:
- Lack of knowledge
- Illegal search and seizure
- Constructive possession
Lack of knowledge means that you did not know you had cannabis in your possession. While you did possess a substance, you were unaware it was cannabis. This situation could occur if you were to have a package in your possession that belonged to someone else and did not know what the package contained. In using this defense, you would have to testify that you did not know you possessed an illegal substance, because it is an affirmative defense.
Illegal search and seizure are unfortunately somethings that occurs all too often in drug cases and violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In any criminal case it is vital to determine whether police may have obtained evidence by performing an illegal search and seizure, as evidence confiscated unlawfully may not be admissible in court. Police may only search your person, house or other property if you consent to a search, they have a legitimate warrant, or the circumstances justify searching without a warrant. This may also be a sound defense if a warrant to search was obtained in bad faith or there was no probable cause for your arrest.Constructive Possession Defense
With the defense of constructive possession, the prosecutor must prove two elements in order for the defendant to be found guilty, as this defense may be used in circumstances where more than one individual had access to the location where the cannabis was discovered. The elements that must be proven include:
- You had knowledge that cannabis was present; and
- You had control and dominion over the cannabis; in other words, you had more than the simple ability to reach out and touch the substance
When constructive possession is the defense, the burden of proof lies with the state. Prosecutors must prove that the cannabis was within your control, that you knew the drugs were in a car, house, or other area where someone else could have had access to the drugs, and that you knew the cannabis was illegal. Concrete evidence must be presented that proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.Contact Adams & Luka Now
Importation of cannabis is a serious drug offense that could impact your freedom, reputation and other aspects of your life if found guilty. As with all crimes, there are legal defenses and options available that can improve the outcome of your case and minimize the seriousness of punishment you may face. Ultimately, you want to have the charges dismissed; when this is not possible, you may choose to accept a plea agreement or go forth with trial depending on the circumstances of your case. At Adams & Luka our Orlando drug crimes lawyers are skilled, aggressive and dedicated to securing positive results in every case. Contact us now for a free consultation.