Despite the recent laws passed last April, you can still be arrested for possession of marijuana in small amounts (up to 20 grams) in the city of Tampa, Florida. Small marijuana possession of under 20 grams was decriminalized in the city of Tampa in April, and the new law allows for the use of civil citations in place of arrest.
However, this does not mean that you cannot be arrested for marijuana in Tampa.
How Can You Be Arrested for Marijuana Possession in Florida?
There are a number of factors that influence whether or not an officer will make an arrest, but even if you meet these so-called requirements, a police officer may still arrest you for marijuana possession in Tampa.
The law does not bar an officer from arresting someone found in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, but it still gives the officer the option of making this decision.
According to News Channel 8, anyone found in possession of a small amount to of marijuana (cannabis/weed/pot) in Hillsborough County by a police officer or the Sheriff’s Office could be held to the state statute rather than city, which requires the officer to charge the person found in possession with a misdemeanor with the option of arrest. This also goes for officers of the Florida Highway Patrol as Sgt. Steve Gaskins stated, “20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor… whether or not a notice to appear or physical arrest occurs is officer discretion.”
What Should I Do If Arrested for 20 grams of Marijuana in Tampa?
Despite the city of Tampa passing laws to decriminalize marijuana jail time with just a fine, state troopers or the local sheriff’s office have made it quite clear that they still intend to issue charges and possibly make arrests. What happens if you are arrested for marijuana in Tampa? You should immediately seek a criminal defense attorney to get a better understanding of your defenses. If you were previously arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for marijuana, then there is absolutely no guarantee you won’t be also stuck with the highest penalties when you are made to appear in court.
What Happens If You Don’t Hire A Lawyer When Arrested for Marijuana?
There are a number of penalties that may affect you if you’ve been arrested for small marijuana possession. Even if marijuana citations are permitted to be issued in Tampa, the state of Florida considers possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana a criminal offense. The penalties for misdemeanor marijuana possession in Florida still include supervised/unsupervised probation, a fine of up to $1,000, criminal conviction, and a jail sentence of up to 1 year. If you’ve been arrested for marijuana in Tampa, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Having representation with you when appearing in court could help you reduce the severity of penalties greatly.
Have you been arrested for small marijuana possession in Tampa?
Seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney. Dean Tsourakis has experience representing clients’ rights after being charged with marijuana possession. Call for a free consultation today.
SOURCES:on Jun 29, 2016