120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Marijuana Possession, Charges and Drug Tests

A town police officer who reportedly damaged a police vehicle while on duty and then failed a drug test was fired today, Palm Beach officials said. Officer Levente Henter, who had been with the department since 2004, was dismissed because of a June 24 incident on Via Bellaria, the town said.

According to the termination notice released today, Henter was involved in an accident while responding to an alarm call in the 200 block of the street, which is on the Intracoastal Waterway side of the island north of Southern Boulevard.

Henter failed to see a metal chain as he pulled into a driveway, causing more than $1,800 in damage to his police car, including a cracked windshield, a broken side view mirror and multiple scratches across the hood, department investigators said. He was required to take a drug test shortly after the accident, and the test came back positive for marijuana, the town said.

Henter hired a company to conduct an independent drug test, which came back negative for marijuana. However, town and police department officials determined the test was administered at a later date and could not verify his condition on the date of the accident.

Henter can appeal the firing, the termination notice said.

Florida Marijuana Possession Laws

Florida marijuana possession laws are among the toughest in the county, and the penalties the most severe. There is a nationwide trend to decriminalize possession of pot. Unfortunately Florida has not caught up to this trend to lay off the harmless pot smokers. Simple possession of marijuana is still a seriously prosecuted misdemeanor criminal offense.

Possession of marijuana can lead to jail time, even for small amounts. The risk of jail time, even thought a small one can make most people nervous. You need an experienced and knowledgeable defense attorney on your side who can help you figure out what you are facing, and prepare solid defense.

Marijuana Possession Charges
  • Possession of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • Possession of more than 20 grams is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Possession of 25 or more plants is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail and a fine of $10,000. Possession of less than 25 plant is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Please see: Florida Criminal Code 893.13, Florida Criminal Code § 893.03(c)(35), Florida Criminal Code § 893.and Florida Criminal Code § 775.082(a)

Florida’s Supreme Court Ruling

In July 2012, by a 4-3 vote, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that people may be convicted of drug possession even if authorities cannot prove that the person knew that the drugs they were carrying were illegal.

In doing so, it rejected the argument that allowing such convictions without proving “intent” is unconstitutional.

Florida is one of only two states in the country that don’t require a person to know they are carrying illegal drugs in order to be convicted of doing so.

Critics say that leaving out that component makes it too easy for people to be convicted even if they didn’t realize they were carrying illegal drugs.

Marijuana Drug Charges Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know were charged with possession of marijuana, you need an experience lawyer on your side to get the best results. The law office of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., is committed to representing those charged with growing marijuana and other drug crimes. We have extensive experience representing clients with drug charges and know what it takes to form an effective defense.

Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.

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