Marijuana grow houses have been popping up throughout Jacksonville and other parts of the state as local law enforcement and even Florida Highway Patrol troopers have used resources to try to cut down on these operations.
In a recent local case, a 30-year-old man faces charges of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana, evidence tampering, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police received a call from neighbors alleging that the house on Iowa Avenue was being used to grow and cultivate marijuana.
Drug charges in Jacksonville are serious and bring steep penalties in Florida. And therefore, these charges require an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney who can aggressively defend these clients in court.
According to the news report, when police got to the house, they spoke with the owner of the house and the man, his son, brought with him a bag of marijuana, telling officers he brought the drugs with him to the house. With the owner’s consent, however, they were allowed in and searched the house.
Upstairs, they found loose marijuana in the bathroom, marijuana stalks and leaves scattered in the bedroom and another bedroom with lights shining on eight plants, including more in the closet. Police destroyed the lighting system and confiscated the drugs and several guns.
If several rooms were being used, everyone in the house would likely know about it, thus making pinpointing one person as responsible difficult. Everyone could face charges. Further, a defense lawyer should question whether the owners really permitted law enforcement to enter the house — apparently knowing of the grow operation.
The search of the house is worrisome. It’s unclear what was said to the man’s father, the owner of the house, and why he allowed the search of the house. In cases where a house, car or person is illegally searched by law enforcement officers, an experienced defense attorney can get the evidence collected suppressed, or kept out, of the proceedings.
Under Florida Statute 893.13, someone who cultivates, produces, sells or possesses marijuana can be charged with a third-degree felony. In Florida, a third-degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison.
And as is the case with the Jacksonville man and many other defendants who face drug charges, law enforcement has levied several charges against him, so the penalties can stack up. This is why it’s even more critical to entrust your case to an experienced lawyer who has been fighting these charges for more than a decade. Lawmakers are always trying to show they are fighting “the war on drugs” and prosecutors like to do the same. But this requires proof and not just circumstances and a defense attorney should be able to cut through the hype and get to the facts.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide constitutionally required criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
Marijuana growth operation cut in Jacksonville, by Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union