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Marijuana Defense 

James Coulter Marijuana Defense Attorney

Cannabis is one of the most commonly used controlled substances in Florida and throughout the United States. Also more commonly known as pot, weed, or chronic, buds, green, or kind, this drug has been the subject of a growing political debate as several states and jurisdictions have made efforts to either decriminalize or flat-out legalize the substance in recent years.

That being so stated, cannabis remains illegal in the Sunshine State despite so many efforts on behalf of Mr. Coulter, his firm, and  many others in the legal community that believe the law is a refection of archaic ideas and desperately needs to be changed. Around the City of Melbourne and Brevard County Florida, a person faces very serious penalties if he or she possesses, sells, or cultivates marijuana. Regardless of whether the person charged with a cannabis offense is a resident of Brevard County  or was simply visiting Melbourne while on vacation, any crime of this nature needs to be taken seriously.   The state of Florida has found many creative ways over time to not only find and arrest marijuana users but also to punish those accused in ways that have a profound and lasting collateral effect that is often times unbeknownst to those defendants that represent themselves or in the alternative hire an attorney that is not competent.  

Melbourne Marijuana Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with possessing, selling, cultivating, trafficking, or some other sort of cannabis crime in Florida, you should immediately seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. James Coulter is a member of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML) Legal Committee, is an activist in the the national efforts to legalize both medical and municipal marijuana, and is an experienced advocate for clients who are in the State of Florida, County of Brevard, and are facing criminal cannabis charges.  

The Law Offices of James B. Coulter represents clients throughout Melbourne, Rockledge, Mims, Titusville, Satellite Beach, Melbourne Beach, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, Merritt Island, Cape Canavarel, Malabar, Barefoot Bay, Indialantic Beach, West Melbourne, and Indian Harbour Beach. as well as residents throughout the state of Florida and or visiting the state of Florida who have been charged with cannabis crimes. We can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (321) 586-9944 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

Florida Marijuana Charges Overview

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Types of Marijuana Charges in Brevard County

Cannabis is listed as a Schedule I drug under Florida Statute § 893.03. This means that marijuana is legally considered to be among the most dangerous class of drugs with “a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and in its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards.”

Some of the most common cannabis charges people face in Palm Bay include:

  • Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession
  • Felony Marijuana Possession
  • Marijuana Distribution
  • Marijuana Cultivation
  • Trafficking in Marijuana
  • Federal Marijuana Charges

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Medical Marijuana in Brevard County Florida

There have been attempts to legalize medical marijuana in Florida, but the progress has still been relatively minimal. In June 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that legalized the strain of cannabis known as “Charlotte’s Web” for patients with cancer, chronic seizures, Parkinson’s Disease, or a limited number of other debilitating illnesses. The bill legalized strains of marijuana that contained 10 percent or more cannabidiol (CBD) but 0.8 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that produces a high.

However, patients could only be administered the medicine through pills, oils, or vaporization. The bill prohibited this form of cannabis from being smoked. Additionally, the Florida Department of Health has encountered numerous difficulties implementing the rules for “Charlotte’s Web,” making it unclear when the program would actually begin.

In November 2014, 58 percent of Florida voters supported Amendment 2 (also known as the “Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative”) which would have allowed doctors to prescribe other kinds of cannabis—including the form that is smoked—to treat an even wider range of conditions, but that number fell short of the 60 percent that was required to pass the constitutional amendment.

Despite these obstacles, Melbourne residents, as well as visitors and tourists, should understand that medical marijuana necessity still exists as a defense in certain cases. This means that if you were legally prescribed cannabis in another state for a medical condition, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to demonstrate that your treatment should exempt you from criminal charges.

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Brevard County Penalties for Marijuana Charges

The classification of a cannabis (also knows as Marijuana) crime largely depends on the amount of the drug involved. Depending on the specific criminal offense, an alleged offender possibly faces the following consequences:

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Jail sentence of up to one year and $1,000 maximum fine
  • Third-Degree Felony — Prison sentence of up to five years and $5,000 maximum fine
  • Second-Degree Felony — Prison sentence of up to 15 and $10,000 maximum fine
  • First-Degree Felony — Prison sentence of up to 30 years and $10,000 maximum fine

One of the most unfortunate and unknown collateral consequences of being found guilty of a Marijuana offense in the state of Florida, whether sale or simple possession, is the fact that a Defendant who is adjudicated guilty of the offense by the cournt can and will lose their privledge to drive a motor vehicle in the state of Florida for 2 YEARS based simply on the fact that they have been found guilty of a crime involving drugs.  

  • Under Florida Statutes Section 322.055 a judge is OBLIGATED to direct the Florida Department of Highway and Safety and Motor Vehicles (the Department) to suspend the driver's license of a person who has been convicted (adjudicated guilty) of possession, sale of, trafficking in, or conspiracy to posess, sell, or traffic in a controlled substance.  The suspension period is two (2) years. Marijuana also known as Cannabis, is according the Florida Statutes classified a "controlled substance."  While the Law Offices of James b Coulter and several other leading Cannabis Defense firms throughout the state of Flordia continue to lobby for this drug to be declassified as a "controlled substance" the fact remains that an adjudication of Guilt of a simple posession charge will result in a two year revocation of ones driving privledges untill our legislatures decide to change their stance on the issue.  
  • Unfortunately and all too often defendants walk into court and think that  because it is "just a marijuana charge" they do not need an attoreny and they enter a plea of no contest on their own.  They later find themselves receiving notice from the state of Florida months later imforming them that their driving privledges have been suspended.    
  • The most common controlled substance violations that people are charged with are marijuana, cocain, and prescription medication posessions.   These charges can range from misdemeanor charges carrying a jail sentence of up to one year to first degree felony charges with prison sentences up to 30 years and possibly life depending on aggrevating and addittional circumstances.
  • For a further in depth review of Florida statutes 322.055 please follow the following link that will take you to the official internet site for the FLorida legislature and the applicable aformentioned statute

Brevard County does have a Pretrial Diversion (PTD) program for drug-related charges that can result in deferred prosecution, meaning that an alleged offender can avoid criminal prosecution and a conviction. Those charged or arrested with cannabis in Melbourne Florida and Brevard County Florida, as  may be eligible for the PTD if approved by a State Attorney.

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Marijuana Defense for those charged or arrested in Melbourne and Brevard County Florida  

If you live in Melbourne or were here visiting the Melbourne area and were arrested for any type of cannabis offense, do not assume that the incident was meaningless and will be forgotten because you do not live here.  The laws in Florida are still behind most of the nation with regards to their reformation.  When it comes to marijuana, in the state of Florida, sentences for crimes involving marijuana are still somewhat draconian.   There can be enormous ramifications for people who fail to appear in court on criminal charges—residents or not—including warrants being issued for their arrests. Even if you were in possession of cannabis legally obtained in your home state, you may face criminal charges.

There may be any number of issues that a knowledgeable attorney could discover in your case while representing you in court so you do not have to make repeated return visits to Brevard County for any court appearances.

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Florida Marijuana Defense Attorney Resources

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) at University of Central Florida (UCF) — The Central Florida chapter of this national nonprofit organization at UCF has weekly meetings, information sessions, and special events on and around campus. You can find contact information for the UCF chapter as well as links to volunteer opportunities, legal issues, and news releases on this website.

Florida Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) — The Florida page for this national nonprofit organization contains information about pending legislation, recent news, and policy alerts. There are also links to news releases, the organization’s strategic plan, and upcoming events.

United For Care: People United for Medical Marijuana (PUFMM) — PUFMM was founded by Kim Russell, a woman whose grandmother suffered from glaucoma but refused to break the law even though marijuana offered medical benefits for her condition. This website contains news about the campaign, answers to frequently asked questions, and a fact sheet about medical marijuana.

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Find A Marijuana Defense Lawyer in Brevard County, Melbourne Florida

Were you arrested for any type of cannabis crime in Brevard County? The Law Offices of James B. Coulter has experience handling all sorts of drug cases, and he can thoroughly investigate your arrest to develop the strongest possible defense. James Coulter is not only a criminal defense attorney, but he is a former state prosecutor and a college adjunct professor or Criminal Law, Evidence, and Constitutional Law. James Coulter is also a very involved player in the efforts to reform marijuana laws in the State of Florida and is an active Member of NORML.    

The Law Offices of James B. Coulter serves criminal defendants throughout the Melbourne Florida and Brevard County Florida, who were charged or arrested with marijuana crimes.  Call (321) 586-9944 right now to have our firm review your case during a free consultation.

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Our Office Location
Law Offices of James B. Coulter
1402 Highway A1A, Ste A Satellite Beach , FL 32937
American Bar Association
Florida Justice Association
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity
Brevard County Bar Association

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Notable Achievements
2013 Avvo Client's Choice in Car Accident Attorneys
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys 10 Best 2015

American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys 10 Best 2015
The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. The legal information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult a criminal defense lawyer in Orlando, FL, for advice regarding your own individual situation.
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