While many arrests relating to marijuana in Florida are misdemeanor offenses involving so-called “simple possession,” cases involving larger amounts usually result in more serious criminal charges. Contrary to popular belief, drug trafficking crimes in Florida are based entirely on the amount of a controlled substance involved, regardless of an alleged offender’s intent to sell or distribute it.
People who possess more than 25 pounds of marijuana or 300 cannabis plants can be charged with trafficking in cannabis. Marijuana trafficking is a felony offense that carries steep penalties, including possible mandatory minimum prison sentences.Attorney for Marijuana Trafficking Arrests in Miami-Dade County, FL
If you think that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested for allegedly trafficking in cannabis anywhere in South Florida, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm aggressively defends clients accused of marijuana crimes in communities all over Miami-Dade County, including Hialeah, North Miami, Aventura, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and many others.
Miami criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman knows what kinds of weaknesses to look for in a prosecutor’s case because of his prior experience as an Assistant State Attorney. He can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (305) 249-0090 to receive a free, confidential consultation.
Overview of Marijuana Trafficking in North Miami
- What are the mandatory minimum sentences people can receive if convicted?
- Can people face criminal charges for allowing their property to be used for trafficking cannabis?
- Where can I learn more about marijuana trafficking in Miami-Dade County?
Florida Marijuana Trafficking Penalties
Florida Statute § 893.135 establishes that a person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into Florida, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of, in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis, or 300 or more cannabis plants, commits the crime of trafficking in cannabis. Trafficking in cannabis is a first-degree felony that is punishable as follows, depending on the amount involved:
- More than 25 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds, or 300 or more cannabis plants but not more than 2,000 cannabis plants — Mandatory minimum of three years up to 30 years in prison and fine of $25,000;
- 2,000 pounds or more but less than 10,000 pounds, or 2,000 or more cannabis plants but not more than 10,000 cannabis plants — Mandatory minimum of seven years up to 30 years in prison and fine of $50,000;
- 10,000 pounds or more, or 10,000 or more cannabis plants — Mandatory minimum of 15 years up to 30 years in prison and fine of $200,000.
Related Marijuana Trafficking Penalties in Miami
The Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act amended Florida Statute § 893.1351 in 2008 to prohibit people from owning or possessing places, structures, trailers, or other described places with knowledge that the places will be used to traffic in cannabis. Under Florida Statute § 893.1351(4), possession of 25 or more cannabis plants constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute—regardless of the stage of growth of those plants.
Individuals who own property utilized for marijuana trafficking could face the following criminal charges:
- Owning, leasing, or renting any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in cannabis is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000;
- Knowingly being in actual or constructive possession of any place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or other conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, or part thereof, trailer, or conveyance will be used for the purpose of trafficking in cannabis is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
- Being in actual or constructive possession of a place, structure, trailer, or conveyance with the knowledge that the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance is being used to manufacture cannabis intended for sale or distribution to another and knowing or having should have known that a minor is present or resides in the place, structure, trailer, or conveyance is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Florida Resources for Marijuana Trafficking Offenses
Chapter 25 | Florida Standard Jury Instructions — Standard jury instructions for criminal cases are provided in Rich Text Format (RTF) on this section of the Florida Supreme Court website. Chapter 25 concerns criminal offenses relating to drug abuse and contraband in facilities, and instructions for trafficking in cannabis offenses can be founder Chapter 25.9. Standard jury instructions are adopted verbatim to the extent that a court deems them applicable.
Sobrino v. State, 471 So.2d 1333 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1985) — On January 13, 1984, two police officers met Luis Sobrino and Oscar E. Diaz and Diaz at a Wendy's restaurant where Sobrino and Diaz showed the officers a money-filled shoebox before proceeding to a warehouse where Sobrino and Diaz inspected four bales of marijuana in the trunk of an unmarked police vehicle. After Diaz placed the shoebox on the hood of the vehicle, opened it, and began counting the money, surveillance units moved in and arrested Sobrino and Diaz. The state attorney's office charged Sobrino and Diaz with trafficking in cannabis, a violation of Florida Statute §893.135(1)(a), by alleging that they "did knowingly take or accept delivery for compensation and aided, abetted, couseled, [sic] and procured the delivery, in excess of 100 pounds but less than 2,000 pounds of CANNABIS." Sobrino and Diaz’s motions for judgment of acquittal were denied and the jury convicted them of trafficking in cannabis, but the Third District Court of Appeal concluded that the state “failed to present a prima facie case showing that the defendants came within the statutory provisions under which they were charged” and reversed the convictions.
Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation in South Florida for allegedly trafficking in cannabis? Do not say anything to authorities without first contacting The Hoffman Firm.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who represents individuals in Opa-locka, South Miami, Doral, Homestead, Key Biscayne, Miami, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County. Call (305) 249-0090 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.