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2 Florida teenagers arrested for drug possession crimes

Two Florida residents from Punta Gorda were arrested on drug charges on a recent Monday in Charlotte County after a routine traffic stop. According to sheriff’s deputies, they discovered a large amount of marijuana in the vehicle of the suspects’ car. They have been charged with drug possession with intent to distribute.

Allegedly, authorities saw the 18-year-old man and 18-year-old woman in their vehicle engaging in suspicious activity just prior to their arrest. Police followed the vehicle, which was allegedly speeding. Later, police pulled the car over for a speeding violation and allegedly discovered a bag of marijuana inside the vehicle.

The teenagers were immediately arrested. After searching the car, authorities say they found marijuana weighing in excess of 220 grams. Due to the teens’ alleged possession of such a large amount of marijuana, police charged them with possession with the intention to distribute.

In the state of Florida, a simple marijuana possession charge involving less than 20 grams of pot is considered a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of one year in prison. When a marijuana possession crime involves more than 20 grams, though, it is a third degree felony that is punishable with up to five years in prison. Marijuana drug possession with the intent to sell is also a third degree felony that is punishable with up to five years in jail.

Nevertheless, simply being arrested for an alleged drug possession crime is not enough to secure a conviction. The prosecution will have to prove that an individual committed the crime beyond reasonable doubt before a Florida court of law. Barring the prosecution's ability to satisfy this burden of proof, no conviction will occur and an accused individual will receive a verdict of not guilty at the end of his or her criminal proceedings.

Source: jrn.com, "Traffic stop leads to Charlotte County drug arrests", , July 1, 2014

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Ian F. Mann PA

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