West Palm Beach Marijuana Lawyer
The lawyers at Prestia Holtz P.A. are committed to the highest professional standards which includes keeping current with changes to existing laws and learning about new laws. Many people may be under the mistaken assumption that law enforcement efforts aimed at marijuana grow houses and farming operations will decrease or stop because of the recent passage of laws legalizing special low-THC strains of marijuana for medical use (“Charlotte’s Web”) and the highly publicized attempt to fully legalize medical marijuana via constitutional amendment (Amendment 2). It is important to stress that it is still unlawful for anyone without a license to manufacture or possess with the intent to manufacture any controlled substance, including marijuana. Manufacturing is defined by law as: the preparation, production, propagation, cultivation, processing, conversion and packaging of any controlled substance. Manufacturing can include natural cultivation or the chemical synthesis of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or any cannibinol or substance found in marijuana. If you are currently facing charges for such a crime, contact our firm.
However, the passage of “Charlotte’s Web” has undeniably changed the legal landscape in Florida, and recent discussion about the potential for full legalization of medical marijuana raises the possibility of even greater changes to come. Our team of lawyers at Prestia Holtz P.A is on top of the latest developments in administrative rules and legislation to ensure that they will be able to help you from the application process through operational compliance to ensure that you comply with all of the relevant laws and regulations that will apply to legal marijuana cultivation once they become effective.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR GROWING MARIJUANA?
The penalties for illegally growing marijuana can depend on the total weight of the marijuana grown or the number of plants.
- The minimum for such a charge is a 3rd degree felony, which can mean imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of up to $5,000.00.
- If there are 25 plants or more involved, you can be charged with a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine greater than $5,000.00.
- The seriousness of the crime rises to a 1st degree felony if there are minor children residing at the location where the plants were being grown.
As criminal defense lawyers, we are concerned with what the government must prove in order to convict an individual of illegally growing marijuana. Each thing that the government must prove is called an element of that crime. In order to convict an individual, the government must prove every element of the crime accused beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt.
The government must prove three elements to convict someone of growing marijuana:
- That the accused was the person who engaged in manufacturing
- That the manufacturing was of a controlled substance (such as marijuana)
- That the defendant had actual knowledge of the presence of the marijuana
HOW WE CAN DEFEND AGAINST MARIJUANA GROWING CHARGES?
As former prosecutors, who have handled hundreds of drug cases, we are fully aware of the defenses that could be used against drug charges, as we are very familiar with motions to suppress based on Fourth Amendment concepts of search and seizure, such as:
- The absence of a warrant
- A defect in the warrant
- The unlawful or improper execution of the search warrant
- The police or the courts using stale information to form the basis of the warrant
- Invalid consents to searching the defendant’s premises
- The failure to recite the defendant their Miranda warning
Can I be criminally charged if a tenant is growing Marijuana in a house I own?
Yes, you may be criminally charged even if you are not the person involved in growing marijuana. If you own a property and your tenants are engaged in a grow operation. It is extremely important to immediately speak with one of our experienced lawyers who may be able to help you avoid criminal liability.
Prosecutors will often seek lengthy prison sentences against marijuana growers because they want to make examples of them and because they feel like they are targeting drug use in the community by reducing supply. Take advantage of our knowledge, legal skills, and experience as former prosecutors to protect yourself against the aggressive prosecutors on your case who may be looking for you to serve a long prison sentence.
If you have been charged or are currently under investigation for growing marijuana, please do not wait to call us at Prestia Holtz P.A. so that we can bring our knowledge, skills, and experience to your defense. We are prepared to act immediately on your behalf.
Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. Prestia Holtz P.A. is ready to fight for you.