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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27479
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX am 54 a drywall contractor. i was arrested

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Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX am 54 a drywall contractor. i was arrested for the first time for under 20 grams. because of my business i have back pain and the doctors will not prescribe the medicine i need because they said it was a strong narcotic.which i would never taking a few puffs on a joint controls my lower back pain.I know it's not legal here in fl.I have a court date next month and was wondering what the outcome would be and should I have a attorney with me? john

Hi John and thanks for requesting me.

Yes, I'd have a lawyer. While the trend is towards the legalization of marijuana at least for medicinal purposes, your state and mine haven't joined the bandwagon. Possession of less than 20 grams in Florida is a misdemeanor with a maximum possible penalty of a year in jail and/or $1,000. Additionally a conviction will give you a criminal record, not the world's biggest problem if you are self-employed, but plenty inconvenient anyhow.

So you should have a lawyer when you come to court. If it's your first offense, he can likely negotiate something for you which could keep this off of your record -- a diversion or deferred adjudication, for example. These are special forms of supervision which consist of fines, community service, anti-drug counseling and probation. After you complete the program your case would be dismissed, which is good news, but you would be required to give up marijuana and remain drug free during the course of the probation, which may be difficult for you.

If you're not yet working with a pain management clinic, you should be, because repeated arrests for this will eventually subject you to jail where you will be involuntarily detoxed whether you like it or not.

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