Any amount under 20 grams is a misdemeanor amount. Any amount over 20 grams or if there is intent to sell, the charge is a felony.
If you are a first-time offender, you may be eligible for Pretrial Diversion (PTD). Pretrial Diversion permits you to maintain your plea of not guilty, all while agreeing to certain conditions that, if completed, will result in the dismissal of your charges. If you are otherwise eligible, you may then have your arrest expunged.
Pretrial Diversion (PTD) is a program that only the State Attorney's Office can offer. The judge cannot. That means your South Florida criminal defense attorney will have to negotiate for PTD on your behalf.
In Miami-Dade County, Pretrial Diversion is available for offenders charged with possession of marijuana, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia (another misdemeanor offense). In Miami-Dade, PTD is run by private companies, either The Advocate Program, or Court Options. In Broward County, PTD is run by the Broward Sheriff's Office.
In Miami-Dade County, it may be possible to get minimal PTD conditions. These conditions may include completion of an online drug course (4 hours), and $250 in payment. Of that $250, $50 is usually a donation, and $200 is the program fee.
PTD keeps a case open for 6 months, but with a little work, your criminal lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed in 30 days time. Contact me for more details.
In Broward, PTD is a bit more complicated, but the end result is the same: dismissal of the charges.
I personally believe that possession of marijuana should not be a crime. But it is, and until our legislature wises up, we must abide by the law as it stands regardless of how we feel.
I represent clients charged with possession of marijuana in Broward and Miami-Dade. I have been successful in getting my clients into PTD, and then expunging their criminal records. I always offer the expungement service when accepting a first-time offender as a client because I know the consequences of having a criminal record.
Call me today to discuss whether PTD is an option for your case.