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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    Hello,
    I was recently arrested with 27 grams of weed, a scale, and 275$ that was next to the weed. I was released on pretrial release im guessing because it was my first ever arrest. The charges that they gave me were:

    Possession with intent (third degree felony)
    Possession >20 grams (mism)
    Possession of paraphanelia (mism)

    Through the entire process the cops in jail were actually suprised that they brought me in for such charges, which confused me. But everyone i hear from tells me that most of the charges will be dropped but im still not sure.

    Can anyone help me? Should i plea guilty or not guilty? Should i expect jail time? Probation? Should i get a lawyer or public defendant (i dont have much money for a lawyer)?

    Its my first time ever offense im just hoping this will go away and i can put all this behind me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,637

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    You should definitely get a lawyer, whether you retain one or request a public defender.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    I am planning on getting a public defendant, but everyone i have talked to have made me scared of getting one, are they really that bad?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    Quote Quoting Kemp_justin
    View Post
    I am planning on getting a public defendant, but everyone i have talked to have made me scared of getting one, are they really that bad?
    It's a public defender; they are experts in criminal law.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    Quote Quoting Kemp_justin
    View Post
    I am planning on getting a public defendant, but everyone i have talked to have made me scared of getting one, are they really that bad?
    Yes. You're better off throwing yourself at the mercy of the courts (inside joke courts have no mercy) You MUST hire a private lawyer if you want to stay out of prison. Do whatever it takes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,006

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    Florida Laws:
    Under the new law, possession of 25 or more plants (formerly 300 plants) is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute, and is a second degree felony carrying a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

    Possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of greater than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

    The delivery of 20 grams or less of marijuana for no consideration is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Sale, delivery or cultivation of any other amount up to 25 pounds is a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

    Sale, delivery or cultivation of greater than 25 pounds is considered trafficking, and all trafficking offenses have mandatory minimum sentences. For less than 2,000 pounds or less than 2,000 plants, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of three years and a fine of $25,000. For less than 10,000 pounds or less than 10,000 plants there is a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a fine of $50,000. For 10,000 pounds or 10,000 plants or greater, the mandatory minimum sentence is 15 years in prison and a fine of $200,000.

    Any sale or delivery occurring within 1,000 feet of a school, college, public park, public housing, daycare center, or church is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

    The possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

    Conviction of a drug related offense also requires suspension of the offender's driver's license for at least six months but not longer than two years.


    Mandatory minimum sentence: When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.
    You said you were caught with > 20gms which is a felony...do you mean <20gms?
    Get a lawyer and a good one!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Universal Jurisprudence
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    Well, that sucks, but try not to be scared and hold your guns. You are not required to participate in your prosecution. I don't smoke, but I have two scales, they're for weighing postage, and I'm pretty sure I have a couple three hundred laying around and where I keep it is no one's business.

    Tell them you're going the distance, probably get the intent dropped. Even if you're willing to plea, the candy is always cheaper the week AFTER Halloween, so try to coordinate it around the time of jury selection. Stats show that over 50% of the population smokes or has smoked. Everyone on the jury is going to be thinking of their Mom or brother being in this situation. Make them spend some money, it's not a murder trial. You might be surprised. Public defenders certainly know their stuff, but they have outrageous case loads and generally want to reserve trials for very large cases. You can expect the DA has at least a similar attitude about taking it the distance. Whatever you think it will cost you for a private attorney, compare that to the cost of a lifetime of lost wages only getting jobs you have to jump into the back of a pickup at slow speed to get to.

    As always, no bold solution is without significant risk.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Caught With Marijuana and a Scale, First Offense

    I'm really just planning to get the felony dropped and i will be alot less scared about the consequences, most people i have talked have told me that since it was my first offense that most likely it will. I plan on pleaing NOT guilty to the possession of paraphenilia due to the fact that when the house was raided the only things in the house that belonged to me was the weed and the scale and money (would the scale count as paraphenilia?) and a backpack full of my clothes. No pipes or bongs or blunt papers were mine at all.

    So im hoping that the only charge that will stick is the possession of over 20 grams, if i can get away with only that i will be very happy and grateful.

    Also i just paid for my tution and books for my next semester of college, this is my second semester and i get very good grades i have a GPA of 3.53. Im hoping that the fact that i have good grades and am a full time student will help my cause.

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