Tampa Marijuana Possession & Distribution Attorney
The federal law on marijuana possession is largely misunderstood. This is largely due to the fact that many states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana use. Possessing any amount of marijuana is still illegal under federal law. When state law and federal law contradict each other, it is federal law that applies. Distributing marijuana, on the other hand, is against the law in all states and under federal law. Being convicted of federal charges will result in some of the harshest penalties. Our Tampa marijuana possession & distribution attorney can prepare a defense that can help you avoid those consequences.
When is Marijuana Possession and Distribution a Federal Offense?
Although many marijuana possession charges are laid at the state level, there are several instances that can result in federal charges. If a marijuana possession or distribution crime took place on federal property, it is considered a federal offense. Additionally, if a crime crosses state lines, it is also considered a federal offense. This is one reason so many marijuana distribution offenses are charged at the federal level. Lastly, if a crime is investigated by federal law enforcement agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), federal charges will apply.
Penalties for Possessing and Distributing Marijuana
Even simple possession of marijuana can result in very harsh consequences for those convicted. A first offense is classified as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second offense is also classified as a misdemeanor, but the penalties increase to a maximum two years in federal prison and a fine up to $2,500. It is important to note that a second offense has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days.
A third offense for marijuana possession can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction for a felony marijuana possession charge can result in up to three years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. A third or subsequent offense also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days in prison.
Distributing marijuana is considered more serious than simple possession. In most cases, a person will face up to three years in prison. As with simple possession, penalties will increase with each subsequent offense. Distributing marijuana to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a youth center, school, or other protected area will result in the penalties being doubled.
Unlike with many state laws, possessing marijuana paraphernalia is not against federal law. However, if a federal agency seizes the paraphernalia, they may test it for marijuana residue, which could result in charges being laid.
Our Marijuana Possession and Distribution Attorney Can Provide the Defense You Need
If you have been charged with a federal drug crime, you need sound legal help. At OA Law Firm, our Tampa marijuana possession and distribution attorney can provide the strong legal defense you need to beat the charges and retain your freedom. Call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.