As seen on:
1610 Southern Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL
Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist
Marijuana Lawyer, Grow House Attorney,
NORML Pot Lawyer, Marijuana Trafficking Attorney
Government drops all felony marijuana charges at motion to suppress.
I filed a motion to suppress based on an illegal seizure. The client was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of marijuana over 20 grams. The government lawyer dropped all charges right before we started the motion to suppress. The client was a college student with good grades. He is now eligible to get his case sealed or expunged because he has no prior convictions.
FEDERAL MARIJUANA GROW HOUSE – All felony charges dropped
I filed a motion to suppress in a federal drug case involving two separate grow houses for marijuana in South Florida. My client was facing up to 160 years in prison. Federal agents and police entered into a house just after midnight without a search warrant. The issue was whether consent was freely and voluntarily given by a Spanish speaking couple who did not understand English. The client was initially charged by indictment with:
- Conspiracy to maintain a place to manufacture or distribute marijuana, facing 20 years, $500,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
- Maintaining a place to manufacture or distribute marijuana, facing 20 years, $500,000 fine and 3 years supervised release
- Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and dispense 100 or more marijuana plants, 5 year minimum mandatory prison sentence, 40 year maximum, $2,000,000 fine, 5 years supervised release and last, but not least,
- Possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, and dispense 100 or more marijuana plants, 5 year minimum mandatory prison sentence, 40 year maximum, $2,000,000 fine, 5 years supervised release.
After the motion to suppress was heard, I negotiated a plea deal for the Federal government to drop all counts (maximum of 160 years in prison). In exchange, my client pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor possession of marijuana with no jail time.
TRAFFICKING IN COCAINE AND MARIJUANA – Conviction & 20 year sentence Reversed based on my special requested jury instruction
On appeal, the client claimed that the trial court erred in refusing to give the special jury instruction written by me, his trial lawyer. The instruction more accurately stated the law to be applied in his constructive possession of cocaine case.
At trial, I requested a special jury instruction on constructive possession where the contraband (cocaine and marijuana) is found on jointly possessed premises. The trial court denied the request and read the jury the standard jury instruction on possession.
The Fourth District Court of Appeal (the appellate court) determined that in cases of joint possession of the premises, the standard jury instruction is confusing. The instruction discusses joint possession of the article but does not discuss joint possession of the premises upon which the article is found. Further, the appellate court stated that The standard jury instruction does not explain what must be proved where possession of the premises is in joint rather than exclusive possession of the defendant. The specially-requested instruction, unlike the standard instruction, instructs the jury that the elements of knowledge and ability to control may not be inferred from the mere fact of joint possession of premises where contraband is found, but must be established by independent proof. Therefore, in this case [Grey Tesh's requested] special jury instruction was necessary in order to present [his] theory of defense. (Emphasis added).
My client’s conviction and sentence were reversed as a result of the appellate courts’ determination. Also, as a result of my efforts on his behalf, in creating a special instruction, the appellate court recommended that the standard jury instruction be modified to include my special instruction. They said “We also recommend to the Criminal Standard Jury Instruction Committee that it review the standard instruction for modification in cases where an issue at trial involves the joint possession of the premises on which contraband is found.”
Cultivation Marijuana Grow House Trafficking
If you get caught with 25 (it used to be 300 plants before July 1, 2008) or more cannabis plants, in Florida State court, that is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or distribute, a second degree felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years prison and $10,000 fine. As a practical matter, in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Broward and Dade counties, the Feds (federal government) will charge you with growing marijuana if you grow more than 100 plants. You may also be charged in State court with the same plants. This, ironically, does not violate double jeopardy. There are minimum mandatory prison sentences and fines depending on the amount of pot you are caught with.
For the purpose of this paragraph, a plant, including, but not limited to, a seedling or cutting, is a “cannabis plant” if it has some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. To determine if a piece or part of a cannabis plant severed from the cannabis plant is itself a cannabis plant, the severed piece or part must have some readily observable evidence of root formation, such as root hairs. Callous tissue is not readily observable evidence of root formation. The viability and sex of a plant and the fact that the plant may or may not be a dead harvested plant are not relevant in determining if the plant is a “cannabis plant” or in the charging of an offense under this paragraph. Upon conviction, the court shall impose the longest term of imprisonment provided for in this paragraph.
- A former “friend” ratted them out to reduce their own sentence.
- The cops searched through their trash, commonly called a “trash pull.” You have no reasonable expectation of privacy in your trash. If the cops find baggies with shake, weed, seeds or paraphernalia in your trash, they may be able to get a search warrant.
- Their electric bills were extremely high or they stole electricity from a neighbor.
- A neighbor suspected criminal activity and called the cops.
Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana & Delivery of Marijuana
It is a crime in Florida to knowingly possess marijuana. The key in Florida State court is whether the pot weighs less than 20 grams. If it does, then the charge will be a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine and 2 year revocation of your driver’s license. Delivery of less than 20 grams carries the same penalty as simple possession. There are no guarantees as to any outcome. However, most misdemeanor possession of marijuana cases I handle end up being dropped. That means no conviction, you keep your license, and you may be able to get your case sealed or expunged.
Felony Possession of Marijuana
If the cannabis weighs more than 20 grams, you will probably be charged with felony possession of marijuana. The maximum you are facing is 5 years prison and a $5,000 fine on felony possession of marijuana, and a 2 year driver’s license suspension. However, when retained early, I always write the filing assistant state attorney a letter explaining the weaknesses of their case (if any) and why they should file misdemeanor charges or no charges at all. Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana is a deportable offense.
Defenses to Marijuana Possession
A great criminal lawyer is your best defense to pot charges. Defenses include whether the cops violated your rights under the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the Constitution. Also, the pot may not have been found on your person. This is called constructive possession. Constructive possession cases are much harder for the State to prove beyond every reasonable doubt. There may be problems with the search warrant. Your statements might be suppressed if they were obtained in violation of your Miranda rights. You have the right to take the case to trial and make the State prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Many of my clients get their pot possession cases dismissed.
Possession with intent to sell Marijuana
The State of Florida sometimes charges possession with intent to sell marijuana if the pot is individually packaged. e.g., nickel bags, dime bags, etc. This is so even if the amount of cannabis is less than 20 grams. Other factors the State considers: whether they found a scale, accounting ledgers showing sales, etc.
Sale of Cannabis within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park
It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed, whatever you want to call it) within 1,000 feet of a child care facility (day care), school, church, park, college, university, church, convenience store, or public housing. One of the most common drug sale crimes in Palm Beach county is sale within 1,000 feet of a church. The information, or charging document, will reclassify the sale to one level above what it normally would be. For instance, if the allegation was sale of marijuana, the charge would go from a third degree felony to a second degree felony. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to 5 years prison. Second degree felonies are punishable by up to 15 years prison.
Violation of Probation for testing positive for Marijuana
Ahhh the pee test. Did it come up dirty? Testing positive for pot is a very common allegation. If you are a light user, pot will show up on a urine test for up to 5 days. If you are a chronic smoker, pot may stay in your system about a month. You are entitled to a final violation of probation hearing for testing positive for pot. You are facing the maximum for whatever you were initially put on probation for. Violations of probation are much easier for the State to prove because the burden of proof is lower. The burden of proof is a preponderance of evidence, which means you probably violated your probation. This is much less than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard in substantive criminal trials.
Asset Forfeiture of Property from Pot Charges
The Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act allows the government to seize your property in relation to pot charges. For instance, if they find even a joint in your car, they could seize your car and auction it off. You are entitled to notice and a hearing. Houses that are not protected by homestead in Florida may also be taken if you’re growing or selling weed out of the house.
If you are facing marijuana trafficking, grow house or possession charges and need a Florida marijuana lawyer who is a member of NORML, call me.
Contact Grey Tesh
West Palm Beach Marijuana Lawyer
Marijuana Trafficking Defense Attorney
Florida Marijuana Grow House Lawyer
I represent peaceful pot smokers charged with marijuana possession, trafficking, sale, maintaining a grow house and other serious pot charges before state and federal criminal courts in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Stuart, Martin County, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Tallahassee, and all federal courts throughout the United States of America.
Marijuana lawyer, marijuana grow house lawyer, pot attorney, marihuana trafficking lawyer, palm beach marijuana lawyer, florida pot attorney, caught with pot lawyer, growing pot attorney, weed trafficking attorney, defenses to marijuana charges, defenses to weed charges, defenses to pot charges, marijuana lawyers, marijuana attorneys, norml lawyers, norml attorneys, If convicted, you have only ten (10) days in Federal Court, as opposed to thirty (30) days in Florida, to file a notice of appeal in a marijuana case. If you want to appeal a marijuana conviction, you must contact a marijuana appeals attorney immediately as time is of the essence.