Marijuana Crimes in Polk County
What happens if you are caught with weed in Polk County, FL? Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months on probation (or in jail) and a $1,000 fine.
For misdemeanor marijuana charges in Polk County, FL, the officer can either formally arrest you or issue a notice to appear in court at a later date. After the arrest or issuance of a “notice to appear,” the assistant state attorney in Polk County, FL, reviews the case to see whether charges should be filed.
If so, the assistant state attorney will file a “direct information” which is a formal charging document. The filing of the direct information triggers an arraignment hearing being scheduled.
At the arraignment, the judge will read the charges, ask for a guilty or not guilty plea, and inquiry about whether you want a public defender assigned or intend to hire a private attorney. If you waive your right to an attorney and just plead guilty, you will likely receive a harsher penalty than people represented by counsel.
The court can then sentence you to 12 months probation (or jail) to complete special conditions such as paying a fine, court costs, costs of supervision, costs of investigation, costs of prosecution, counseling, drug testing, and community service.
For a first offense, some people are offered a diversion program that requires them to be on supervision to pay a supervision fee of $70 a month, pay most of the same expenses, attend drug counseling, and submit to random drug testing.
If the person failed to comply with the program, then the docket will show a notation that says “diversion breached” and a new court date will be set.
Attorney for Marijuana Crimes in Polk County, FL
Most of our clients don’t want to enter a diversion program for marijuana charges in Polk County, FL. Many of these cases involving an illegal stop or prolonged detention.
If the marijuana was seized without a warrant, then the attorney can file a motion to suppress. In other cases, the attorney can file a motion to dismiss the charges if the prosecutor is without sufficient evidence to show actual or constructive possession.
Read more about how our attorneys fight possession of marijuana charges in the courtrooms throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including in Winter Haven and Bartow in Polk County.
For people who “breached” diversion, we can help you resolve the underlying cases by fighting the charges on the merits.
When it comes to fighting drug crime charges in Polk County, FL, experience matters. Let us put our experience to work for you.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, December 2, 2020.