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Drug Possession

Jacksonville Drug Possession Lawyers

Experienced Representation to Fight Serious Charges

Florida has some of the toughest drug possession laws in the country. Even a misdemeanor drug possession has very serious penalties and can lead to a criminal record. More importantly, a conviction for possession of marijuana (even under 20 grams) can have a very serious effect on your life, because it carries a mandatory two-year driver license suspension.

When you've been arrested, trust our Jacksonville drug crime attorneys at The Law Offices of Kate Mesic for the aggressive defense strategies you need. Call (904) 615-8950 today.

Understanding the Consequences of Drug Possession

Being charged with drug possession can have serious consequences in the state of Florida. It is important to understand the potential penalties and how they can impact your life. Our experienced drug possession lawyers at The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A. are here to provide you with the guidance and representation you need.

Penalties for drug possession in Florida can vary depending on several factors, including the type and amount of drugs involved, prior convictions, and the intent of the possession. These penalties can range from fines and probation to imprisonment and mandatory drug treatment programs.

In drug possession cases, the prosecution must prove that you had actual or constructive possession of the drugs. Actual possession means that the drugs were found on your person, while constructive possession means that the drugs were found in an area under your control. Our skilled attorneys can evaluate the evidence against you and challenge the prosecutor's case.

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, there are several defenses that may be available to you. These can include challenging the legality of the search and seizure, proving that the drugs did not belong to you, or demonstrating that you had a valid prescription for medical marijuana.

A possession of marijuana charge can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life. It can affect your employment opportunities, housing options, and even your ability to obtain financial aid for education. Our dedicated team will work tirelessly to protect your rights and minimize the consequences of the charge.


When it comes to drug possession charges, you need a law firm you can trust. Contact The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A. today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with our experienced attorneys.

What Are the Penalties for Drug Possession in Florida?

*This is a basic chart of maximum penalties, please note every case is different, and you need a Jacksonville drug crime attorney to fully understand what you are facing.

OffenseLevelMax. Jail TimeMax. Fine    
Possession of Marijuana       
20 grams or less1st degree misdemeanor1 year$ 1,000    
More than 20 grams3rd degree felony5 years$ 5,000    
Less than 25 plants3rd degree felony5 years$ 5,000    
25 plants2nd degree felony15 years$ 10,000    
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia1st degree misdemeanor1 year$ 1,000    


In Florida, most drug arrests are made for possession of marijuana (also known as cannabis) in the amount of 20 grams or less, leading to a charge of 1st degree misdemeanor. A lot of people don’t realize the important of having a good Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer by your side at such a difficult time. Marijuana is a wide spread drug and many young people are charged with this offense. Arrests are also made for other illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and ecstasy and will lead to a 3rd degree felony charge.

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

It is important to understand what "possession" is under Florida law. Possession is defined as a person having control or person exercising the rights of ownership over an item.

Actual possession is when the person has physical possession of the controlled substance and has knowledge of the physical possession. For example, a person would have a baggy of marijuana in his pocket, and he put it there. Constructive possession comes into play when the drugs are in close proximity to the person and are under the person’s authority or control. This situation arises when the drugs are found in a person’s car.

If you are arrested for possession of marijuana, or any other illegal drug, you should be aware that just because you are close to the drugs without more evidence, it is not enough for a charge of possession. This is why when you are charged with a constructive possession case, you need a criminal defense lawyer to carefully analyze the facts of your case and figure out if it a Motion to Dismiss should be filed.

How Does a Prosecutor Prove Possession of Marijuana?

Florida law requires prosecutors to prove all crimes beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, this includes the crime of possession of marijuana or any other controlled substance.

The prosecutor must prove:

  • That the accused person possessed a illegal drug on his person (actual possession);
  • Must have evidence proving that the controlled substance was the specific drug alleged to be in the possession of the defendant; or
  • The prosecutor must prove the defendant had knowledge of the presence of the drug that was within his control (constructive possession) GG v. State, 84 So. 3d 1162 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2012.

Although the prosecutor does not have to show that the individual knew what kind of drug was in his or her possession, the prosecutor must prove that the individual knew the illicit nature of the item in his possession (that it was illegal). If you invoke your right to remain silent when asked about the item found on you or in your car, you have a better chance of avoiding a conviction. If you did speak to the police, your Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer will review your case to see if a motion to suppress the statements can be filed.

Defenses to Possession of Marijuana

  • Constructive possession – as discussed above, it would apply when the drugs are found in a place where several people had access to it. One example where the prosecutor did not meet his burden of proof in a constructive Possession of Marijuana case is when a person was pulled over while driving someone else’s car (friend’s for example) and the police officer found marijuana in the glove compartment. The prosecutor cannot prove his or her case unless the prosecutor can show that the person knew of the marijuana in the car.
  • Lack of knowledge – under Florida Statute 893.101, there is an affirmative defense to the crime of Possession of Marijuana if the person can prove that he or she did not know that what you had was marijuana. Please note that this defense requires the accused person testify to the lack of knowledge that the substance was illegal.
  • Overdose defense – under Florida Statute 893.21, if the accused person has a drug-related overdose and needs medical assistance, or a person who is assisting the person that needs medical assistance, is immune from prosecution for Possession of Marijuana, but it must be shown that the evidence was obtained as a result of the overdose and need for medical assistance.

The Impact of a Possession of Marijuana Charge

For maximum penalties associated with the charge of possession of marijuana please see the table above. A Jacksonville drug crime lawyer can help you fight this charge and in some cases avoid the severe penalties associated with Florida drug possession charges.

When you cannot avoid a conviction, it can have a serious impact on your life and the life of your family. A consequence of any conviction is a criminal record and it will appear on any background check that is done for potential employment, rental applications, and many others. Another very serious consequence is the potential loss of your driver license that will take place if you convicted of possession of marijuana. This is why it is critical that you are represented by a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who can help you figure out your option and reduce the maximum penalties when you are facing a possession of marijuana charge.

If you already entered a plea to a possession of marijuana under 20 grams or possession of drug paraphernalia (or both), and adjudication was withheld, The Law Offices of Kate Mesic can help you evaluate your options to see if you qualify for a sealing of your criminal record.

Call us today at (904) 615-8950 to schedule your free initial consultation.

Our Settlements & Verdicts

Our top priority is to devise customized legal strategies that are tailored to the unique legal needs of our clients, no matter how simple or complicated their situations, might be.

  • Charges dropped Accident-Failed to Give Information and Improper Backing
  • Dismissed Accident-Leaving the Scene, Careless Driving
  • Expunged Allow Minor Alcohol at Open House Party.
  • Charges Dropped Allow Minor Alcohol ot Drugs at Open House Party
  • 1 count of battery amended, others dropped Battery
  • Reduced to municipal ordinance charge Battery

Contact The Law Offices of Kate Mesic, P.A. Today!

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