In the State of Florida possession of less than 20 grams marijuana, also called cannabis, is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail or a year of probation. As a criminal defense attorney in Miami, I regularly meet with clients facing their first marijuana arrest. All too often, my client is facing a second or third marijuana arrest.
Whenever I meet with clients, it is my responsibility to explain their case will end in one of three ways: 1) a dismissal of the charges; 2) a plea; or 3) a trial. If the charges are not dismissed by the prosecutor, it is the client that gets to choose whether they want a plea or a trial. A criminal defense attorney should never force a client towards an option. Instead, our job as a criminal defense attorney is to advise and strategize with our clients to achieve their goals.
For a first time marijuana arrest, when the State’s evidence against my client is strong, the option of Pre-Trial Diversion for marijuana can be a good choice for some clients. In Miami, the Pre-Trial Diversion or “PTD” program is managed by two private companies, Court Options and The Advocate Program. Different Judges use different programs.
Pre-Trial Diversion Program Conditions
In Miami Dade the conditions of PTD are a 3-6 month observation period, an online 4 hour drug course, and a $250 payment.
At the end of the pre-trial diversion program observation period, if you have successfully completed the conditions, your case is dismissed. In layman’s terms, the charges are dropped!
If you have further questions about pre-trial diversion, also called PTD, or marijuana charges, call our office at 305-615-1285. If you need a criminal defense lawyer, contact Pagan & Stroleny, P.L. for your free consultation and meet with one of our attorneys.