possession of marijuana floridaThe criminal defense lawyers at Arnesen Law represent clients charged with a multitude of drug-related offenses, ranging from possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia to drug trafficking. These skilled legal practitioners appear regularly in courts throughout South Florida in towns including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Wellington, focusing specifically on clients charged with criminal and DUI offenses.

Having participated in the investigation and prosecution of countless drug cases during his work as a former police officer, founding partner Jay Arnesen is uniquely qualified to evaluate cases involving alleged drug offenses. In fact, his extensive credentials include certification through The John Jay University School of Criminal Justice’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Advanced Training Narcotics Course. This highly regarded program certification is achieved by law enforcement officials serving a variety of distinguished agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, and US Customs Enforcement Bureau.

With the professionalism, compassion, and expertise to address drug charges from both sides of the law, the attorneys at The Arnesen Law Firm are available anytime at 561-419-9630 to provide free legal consultations.

As a former police officer, I used to help prosecute these charges for the State. Now, let me use my training and experience to combat these charges for you in court.” Jay Arnesen, Esq., Criminal Defense Attorney

Possession of Marijuana – Florida Statutes Section 893.13

Under Florida Law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, indicating that it is associated with a high potential for abuse and is not currently accepted for medical purposes. As a result, simply being in possession of marijuana is considered a criminal offense in Florida, with the degree of the charges determined based on the quantity of the substance involved in the alleged offense. Specifically, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana entails a first degree misdemeanor charge, while offenses involving the possession of over 20 grams of marijuana are graded as third degree felonies.

Criminal charges involving the possession, distribution, and/or cultivation (manufacture) of marijuana are detailed in Chapter 893, Section 13 of the Florida Statutes. With regard to offenses involving the possession of marijuana, 893.13(6) provides:

(6)    (a)   A person may not be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance unless such controlled substance was lawfully obtained from a practitioner or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of a practitioner while acting in the course of his or her professional practice or to be in actual or constructive possession of a controlled substance except as otherwise authorized by this chapter. A person who violates this provision commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

        (b) If the offense is the possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis, as defined in this chapter, or 3 grams or less of a controlled substance described in s. 893.03(1)(c)46.-50., 114.-142., 151.-159., or 166.-173., the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. As used in this subsection, the term “cannabis” does not include the resin extracted from the plants of the genus Cannabis, or any compound manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such resin, and a controlled substance described in s. 893.03(1)(c)46.-50., 114.-142., 151.-159., or 166.-173. does not include the substance in a powdered form.

Possession of Marijuana – Potential Penalties

In addition to the penalties listed below, a conviction for possession of marijuana in Florida entails a mandatory 2-year driver’s license suspension, as required by Florida Statute 322.055.

Third Degree Felony Possession of Marijuana: maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and fines not to exceed $5,000

First Degree Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana: maximum term of 1 year in the county jail and fines not to exceed $1,000

Possession of Marijuana – The Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program

Certain defendants charged with first degree misdemeanor possession of marijuana may be eligible for enrollment in Florida’s Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program. Individuals seeking acceptance into the program must meet the criteria below and receive approval from the State’s Attorney’s Office. If a person is accepted into the program, he or she will begin a 6 or 12-month period of probation, during which the charges are suspended. Those who complete all of the program’s requirements during the aforementioned period can successfully achieve the dismissal of the original charges, avoiding a conviction, as well as the inevitable criminal record charge that follows.

In order to qualify for the Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program, a defendant must meet the following criteria:

  • No prior felony convictions
  • No more than 2 prior misdemeanor convictions
  • Sign a deferred prosecution agreement

Possible conditions of the program may include:

  • Community service
  • Program fees
  • Restitution payments to the victim (if applicable)
  • Reporting to a Criminal Justice Officer (at least once per month)
  • Random drug/alcohol testing (if applicable)

Contact Our Palm Beach County Possession of Marijuana Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of marijuana in South Florida, the attorneys at Arnesen Law can provide the legal resources you need to fight these charges. Contact their offices anytime at 561-419-9630 for a free consultation about your case.

Tell Us About Your Case

Jay Arnesen is a retired police officer turned criminal defense attorney who now defends clients charged with criminal and traffic (DUI) offenses in South Florida. With offices conveniently located in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, Mr. Arnesen appears in courts throughout South Florida on a regular basis. Protect your rights, contact experienced criminal defense lawyer Jay Arnesen anytime for a free initial consultation at 866-347-6296.

Arnesen Law, P.A.

Areas We Serve

Palm Beach County, Atlantis, Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Briny Breezes, Cloud Lake, Delray Beach. Glen Ridge, Greenacres, Gulf Stream, Haverhill, Highland Beach, Juno Beach, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Manalapan, North Palm Beach, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, West Palm Beach


Boca Raton

1825 NW Corporate Blvd. Suite 110

Boca Raton, FL 33431

  (201) 556-1570  

Fort Lauderdale

633 South Andrews Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

  (866) 317-5164