The Miami-Dade County Commission is proposing a civil citation program where police officers could essentially write tickets for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana.
Unlike a PTA (promise to appear), which generates a case in the county’s criminal court database, will leave the offender with an arrest on their record, and require the offender to go to court; a civil citation is tantamount to a traffic infraction. As long as you pay the fine (the proposed amount is $100), no criminal case would be generated and there would be no court.
There would literally be no record of the incident.
This is a move in the right direction. Something as a minor as a gram of marijuana in your pocket can generate an arrest record and mugshot on the Internet that employers will be able to see for years to come.
The resolution has to pass the County Commission and then be signed into law by the county mayor. If adopted, officers will not be required to issue these citations in lieu of a PTA or physical arrest but they will have the option.
Presently in Miami-Dade County, the juvenile court system uses civil citations for first-time petty offenses such as misdemeanor shoplifting, trespassing, and possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Eric Matheny is a Miami possession of marijuana lawyer and Broward possession of marijuana lawyer who assists clients with both misdemeanor and felony marijuana charges.