I am assuming that your son has no prior criminal record
, or they would not have given him a ticket but would have arrested him.
Possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Florida with a maximum possible sentence
of a year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000 and a 2 year suspension of his driver's license. That said, he would be looking at worst at a fine or probation (unless convicted after trial
) and as a best case scenario is eligible for a pre-trial diversion program.
If he is not looking to fight the case, pre-trial diversion is a special form of supervision which consists of fines, community service, drug classes/counseling and random drug tests. If your son finishes the program successfully, the matter against him would be dismissed and he would not have a criminal record to carry around for the rest of his life.
The DA picks and chooses who gets diversion, and it is not an automatic that it will be offered to your son. On the other hand, it is a fairly common disposition for a first marijuana arrest. Tell him to get a criminal
lawyer and have him negotiate with the DA to make this come about. If he's unable to afford an attorney, he can plead not guilty at his arraignment and ask for a public defender.