Seminole County Cannabis Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of cannabis charge in Seminole County please contact Chris S. Boatright, P.A. at 407-740-8300 to discuss what options may be available to get your cannabis charge dismissed or reduced.  One way to get your cannabis charge dismissed is by completing a Pre-Trial Diversion program.  Not every cannabis case is eligible for a Pre-Trial Diversion program.  

Mandatory 1 Year Driver License Revocation

A conviction for any type of  misdemeanor or felony cannabis charge causes a mandatory 1 year driver license revocation.  It does not matter if a car was involved in the incident that lead to the cannabis charge, the one year driver license revocation will still be imposed as a result of the conviction.  If you would like to know what can be done to avoid the 1 year driver license revocation call Chris at 407-740-8300 to discuss your Seminole County cannabis case. 

Former Cannabis Prosecutor

As a former cannabis prosecutor Chris has an understanding of what can be important to the prosecutor in your Seminole County cannabis case.  It is important to understand how the other side works.  Chris uses this understanding to determine what needs to be done to get the best possible outcome in your cannabis case.  

Seminole County Cannabis Defense Lawyer Since 1999

Chris has been defending individuals in Seminole County charged with all types of cannabis charges since 1999.  Being an Seminole County cannabis defense lawyer for so long has given Chris the opportunity to spend a lot of time working with the judges and prosecutors in Seminole County that handle cannabis cases like yours.  Experience dealing with those judges and prosecutors is important in achieving the best results in your cannabis case.  

Different Seminole County Cannabis Defense Lawyers Get Different Results

When you have been charged with any type of cannabis charge in Seminole County you need an aggressive, experienced, and knowledgeable lawyer like Chris to defend you.  A cannabis conviction will stay on your record forever, therefore, it is important to be represented by the right lawyer.  The better prepared you are for your court appearance the more likely it is you will get a favorable outcome.  The best results possible are rarely obtained by just hoping for them.  Get the help you need at Chris S. Boatright, P.A. to get the best results possible.  

Information About Seminole County Cannabis Charges

Definition of Possession

Possession may be actual or constructive.  Actual possession means the cannabis is in the hand of or on the person, or the cannabis is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or the cannabis is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.  Mere proximity to the cannabis is not sufficient to establish control over that cannabis when the cannabis is not in a place over which the person has control.  Constructive possession means the cannabis is in a place over which the person has control, or in which the person has concealed it.  If the cannabis is in a place over which the person does not have control, in order to establish constructive possession the State must prove the person’s control over the cannabis, knowledge that the cannabis was within the person’s presence and knowledge of the illicit nature of the cannabis.

POSSESSION OF UNDER 20 GRAMS OF CANNABIS

Possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is considered a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or 1 year on probation and/or a $1,000 fine.

POSSESSION OF 20 GRAMS OR OVER OF CANNABIS 

Possession of 20 grams or more but less than 25 pounds of cannabis is considered a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO SELL OR DELIVER CANNABIS

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.  Sell means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value.  Deliver or delivery means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03. Possession with intent to sell or deliver is considered a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

PURCHASE OF CANNABIS

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to purchase or possess with intent to purchase a controlled substance.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03. Purchase of cannabis is considered a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

SALE OR DELIVERY OF CANNABIS

Unless legally authorized, it is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.  Sell means to transfer or deliver something to another person in exchange for money or something of value or a promise of money or something of value.  Deliver or delivery means the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer from one person to another of a controlled substance, whether or not there is an agency relationship.  Controlled substance means any substance named or described in Schedules I-V of Florida Statute section 893.03. Sale or delivery of cannabis is considered a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or 5 years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.

Evidence

In order for the State of Florida to prove you committed a crime, the State need’s evidence.  Normally, the law enforcement officer’s report contains a statement of the evidence against you.  However, there may be other evidence in your case which the law enforcement officer failed to document in the report.  It is essential for you and your attorney to review all of the evidence in your case before preparing your defense.  Some important questions are:

  • Where was the cannabis located?
  • How many people had access to where the cannabis was located?
  • Was the cannabis weighed properly?

Constitutional Rights

The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both guarantee that people be free from unreasonable seizures and searches.  An unlawful stop and/or seizure may cause evidence in your case to be inadmissible.  An unlawful search in your case may cause evidence to be inadmissible.  The United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution both also guarantee that people be free from self-incrimination.  If your privilege against self-incrimination was violated evidence in your case may be inadmissible.  Some important questions to consider are:

  • Were you stopped and/or seized for a lawful reason?
  • Did the police officer have the right to search your person, property or vehicle?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights?

Seminole County Cannabis Penalties

A conviction for a cannabis charge can result in many different penalties.  It is important for you to know what penalties you may be facing.  Some of the penalties for a possession of cannabis conviction may include:

  • Time in Jail or Prison
  • Probation
  • Mandatory 1 year loss of your driving privileges
  • Drug Counseling
  • Random Drug Testing
  • Community Service
  • Fines
  • Cost of Investigation
  • Cost of Prosecution
  • Court Costs

Pretrial Diversion

In Seminole County, Florida there is one pretrial diversion program for misdemeanor cannabis charges.  In Seminole County, Florida there are two pretrial diversion programs for felony cannabis charges.  Each pretrial diversion program has its own specific eligibility requirements.  

Seminole County Pretrial Diversion Program For Misdemeanor Cannabis Charges

Seminole County Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program

There is a deferred prosecution program for selected misdemeanor charges and for selected individuals.  This program is offered by the Office of the State Attorney and supervised by the Seminole County Probation Department.  Successful completion of the Seminole County Misdemeanor Pretrial Diversion Program will result in the dismissal of your charge(s) by the Office of the State Attorney.

Program Details

The program length is 9 months.

You shall report to the diversion office on a monthly basis at a predetermined time set by the pretrial diversion counselor.

You shall refrain from violation of any law (Federal, State or Local).  In the event of a criminal arrest while in the pretrial diversion program you are subject to automatic dismissal from the pretrial diversion program.

You shall associate only with law abiding persons.

You shall work regularly at a lawful occupation; and/or pursue a course of studies as a full-time student.

You shall complete 20 hours of community service.

You shall pay a $3.95 insurance fee to B.O.C.C. prior to coming into community service intake.

You will pay a total program fee of $450.00.  Payments can be made in monthly payments.  The balance due must be paid in full prior to the diversion program date.

You will take an active part in any evaluations and recommended counseling and cooperate and attend all scheduled appointments and cooperate with any referrals your counselor recommends.

You will be responsible for any additional costs for any evaluations, counseling and classes.

You will submit to random drug testing at your expense.

You will immediately inform the pretrial diversion program of any change in residence or employment.

You will cooperate in verifying any information requested by the pretrial diversion program.  You will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed to you by the Court or the pretrial diversion officer and allow the pretrial diversion officer to visit your home, employment site, or elsewhere and you will comply with all instructions your pretrial diversion officer may give you.

You will not possess, carry, or own any weapons without first procuring the consent of your pretrial diversion officer.

You will pay cost of investigation

You will pay $50.00 cost of prosecution to The Office of the State Attorney.

You will complete any other special conditions as required by the pretrial diversion program.

The State Attorney may during the period of deferred prosecution, revoke or modify the conditions of your deferred prosecution by:

Changing the period of deferred prosecution.

Prosecuting you for this offense if you violate any of these conditions.

Voiding this agreement should it be determined you have a prior record of adult criminal conviction(s), or criminal involvement, or that you have given false information to the pretrial diversion program staff.

*Please note all program costs and fees are subject to change without notice.*

Seminole County Drug Court Program For Felony Cannabis Charges

If you successfully complete the Seminole County Drug Court Program the charge(s) you were placed in the program for will be dismissed.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE REGULAR ADULT DRUG COURT PROGRAM (for defendants will significant substance abuse issues):

  • The defendant must have a serious substance abuse problem requiring treatment. A substance abuse assessment by the program’s authorized evaluator is required.
  • Must be a Seminole County resident, have a drug-free stable place to reside, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be mentally capable of benefiting from the Adult Drug Court and possess the motivation to complete the program.
  • All cases must be approved by the State Attorney’s Office. Individuals charged with first time possession or purchase of a controlled substance are eligible to apply for acceptance into the program.
  • Individuals who are charged with, or who have a prior record of, sale or delivery of a controlled substance or possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance are not eligible for Adult Drug Court.
  • Individuals who are charged with any other 2nd or 3rd degree felony may request the State Attorney review their case for consideration for the program. Factors which will be used to determine acceptance include the facts of the current case, victim consent, and prior record.
  • Violation of Probation or Community Control cases are eligible for acceptance.
  • Participants are required to pay the program fee of $1,000.00, any restitution applicable, any cost of investigation applicable, and $100.00 per case cost of prosecution.

Persons entering the program are required to enter a plea and their sentences are deferred until the completion of the program. Upon entering the program each individual is placed under the supervision of the Department of Corrections/State Probation, for a period of 12 to 18 months in order to monitor them while in the program.

All Adult Drug Court participants must complete substance abuse treatment that will be delivered in the following four drug court program phases. The length of program phases will vary depending on individual progress. The below guidelines are the minimum requirements:

Phase 1: Stabilization Phase lasts a minimum of 1 month:

  • Mandatory drug testing on Mondays and Fridays with random urinalysis on all other days
  • Attend 3 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend court sessions bi-weekly
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an initial understanding of substance abuse treatment
  • Enroll and attend 4 self-help or NA/AA programs per week (NA=Narcotics Anonymous, AA=Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • 20 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 2: Intensive Treatment usually lasts a minimum of 3 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 2 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend court sessions bi-weekly
  • Locate/maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Begin paying towards program fees
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of recovery principles
  • Enroll and attend 3 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • 45 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 3: Relapse Prevention usually lasts a minimum of 6 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 1 group therapy sessions per week
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend 1 court session per month
  • Maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Complete payment of program fees in full
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of a recovery lifestyle
  • Attend a 3 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • 120 consecutive clean urine days needed before consideration for promotion to the next phase

Phase 4: Community Transition period usually lasts a minimum of 2 months:

  • Weekly random urinalysis
  • Attend 1 group therapy sessions per month
  • Attend 1 monthly individual session with assigned Substance Abuse Treatment Counselor
  • Attend 1 court session per month
  • Maintain court-approved employment, training and/or education
  • Maintain court-approved housing
  • Attend 1 monthly office meeting with Probation Officer
  • Indicate an appropriate understanding of community transition
  • Attend 2 self-help or NA/AA programs per week
  • Continue clean urine days until graduation

Once completion has taken place, the plea is withdrawn and the charges are Nolle Prossed by the State Attorney, which states that they are essentially, dismissed.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR TIER-ONE/FIRST-TIME OFFENDERS PROGRAM includes the following criteria:

  • Must not have significant addiction issues. A substance abuse assessment by the program’s authorized evaluator is required.
  • Must be a Seminole County resident, have a drug-free stable place to reside, and reliable transportation.
  • Must be mentally capable of benefiting from the Tier One program and possess the motivation to complete its requirements.
  • Charged with a third degree felony for possession of a controlled substance or a 2nd felony purchase of a controlled substance under Chapter 893.
  • No previous felony convictions.
  • No previous admission to a felony pretrial program.
  • No more than one prior misdemeanor conviction.
  • No violation of probation cases are accepted
  • No evidence of sale of controlled substance in current case or prior felony criminal conviction.
  • No DUI charges may be diverted through this program.

All Tier-One participants must complete the following components:

  • 6-week Drug Education Class
  • STD Awareness Class
  • Life Skills Assessment and any recommended training
  • Case Management
  • Monthly Probation Supervision
  • Random Urinalysis
  • Mandatory Court Appearance
  • Pay all program fees:
  • $1,000.00 Tier One Program Fee
  • $100.00 Cost of Prosecution
  • Four (4) percent surcharge to the Department of Corrections
  • Twenty-five (25) hours Community Service.
  • Pay cost of investigation, if any
  • Restitution is required, if applicable.

Upon full completion of the 6-12 month Tier One Drug Court program, the felony charge(s) will be dismissed by the State of Florida. ​

 

*Please note all program costs and fees are subject to change without notice.*

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