SARASOTA DABS ATTORNEY
POSSESSION OF A CANNABIS CONCENTRATE
(AKA DABS - BUTANE HASH OIL - WAX)
What is a Dab, Wax, or Cannabis Concentrate?
“Dab” or “marijuana wax” are common terms for concentrated butane hash oil (or BHO). A dab or marijuana wax is a highly potent THC concentrate mass that sometimes can look like honey or butter. It is commonly smoked in a glass marijuana pipe or bong but can also be vaporized and inhaled in a vaporizer like an electronic cigarette.
What is the punishment for possession?
In Florida, it is charged as “possession of a controlled substance” or “possession of a cannabis concentrate” which is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation or a combination of jail/prison and probation not to exceed 5 years. There is also a statutorily imposed $5000 fine and a six months driver’s license suspension.
We can get you the best deal possible
It is the criminal defense attorney’s job to do what is in your best interest. That may mean taking your case to trial (If when, after assessing all the options with your attorney, you believe it is the best move).
If trial is not a good option, a good defense attorney will expose any possible weaknesses in the state’s case to the defendant’s advantage. This could result in charges being completely dropped. In particularly difficult cases, it may be best for the attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor to get the best deal possible, which may mean getting rid of all jail.
Oftentimes the best deal possible will depend on the skill of the defense attorney in evaluating the case for weaknesses and possible defenses and then convincing the prosecutor to agree to a deal that is favorable to you.
Should I hire an attorney?
When I get a case involving any drug possession including possession of butane hash oil, one of the first things I do is look for constitutional violations. Law enforcement is supposed to play by the rules, they are supposed to do things legally and constitutionally.
Criminal cases involving drug possession are sometimes filled with potential issues—things that law enforcement perhaps did wrong—such as, illegal stops and detentions, illegal searches and seizures, and coerced statements and admissions.
Sometimes when one of these issues is found, it can result in the entire case being thrown out because important evidence that the state would need to prove the case is suppressed and the case can no longer be proven.
Defenses to possession of dabs or butane hash oil?
Constructive possession is often a big issue in drug possession cases. Many people charged with possession of drugs have no idea about constructive possession and the cop investigating your case is under no obligation to tell you if this issue exists.
Basically, constructive possession is when a controlled substance (illegal drug or substance-- such as dabs or marijuana wax) is found somewhere other than on the defendant’s person and there are multiple people present (typically in a car or house). Law enforcement will oftentimes arrest everyone present. However, and this is very important, it does not mean that everyone charged and arrested can later be successfully prosecuted.
Prosecutors sometimes cannot prove constructive possession cases!
There are two additional things that a prosecutor needs to be able to prove in order to successfully prosecute a constructive possession case:
(1) That the person had dominion and control over the contraband, and
(2) that the person had knowledge it was there.
It is not enough that the person was simply close in proximity to the drugs.
There need to be specific facts to indicate that they knew it was there (assuming it was not in plain view) and had the ability to control it (essentially it was theirs to do what they please with).
Do not admit anything.
Oftentimes in constructive possession cases, absent an admission or confession of some sort, the state does not have ample evidence to successfully convict the person. These are extremely fact specific cases (they often turn on the unique facts in your case). This is one reason why it is important to have a criminal defense lawyer evaluate your case to determine whether there is a constructive possession issue present.
It is not a dab and not illegal!
I have had several cases where law enforcement made an arrest and claimed something was a marijuana wax derivative when it simply was not. In one of the cases it turned out to be legal CBD oil. Because these products vary greatly in appearance, law enforcement will sometimes mistake perfectly legal CBD oil for an illegal marijuana derivative.
Illegal search and seizure
The law on what constitutes an illegal search and seizure is vast and complicated and only an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to tell if you, in fact, were illegally searched or detained.
Some issues commonly seen are:
Bad vehicular stops
Such as when a car is stopped for a wrong reason or for a made-up reason.
These are very common and often involve a person stopped and detained when law enforcement does not have the necessary reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop and detain the person.
When an individual’s person, belongings, vehicle, and/or home is searched illegally and without the necessary reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
It takes a skilled criminal defense attorney who is up on the current state of the law to determine whether you were, given the specific facts of your case, illegally detained and searched.
Because marijuana flower and derivative products can be legally prescribed in Florida, I have dealt with several cases where a person had a valid prescription but was still arrested and charged. In one case this was because law enforcement didn’t want to take the time to determine whether or not the person was prescribed marijuana and arrested him anyway, in another it was because the client did not have the physical card in his possession, but had complied with Florida law and technically had a doctor’s prescription.
Law enforcement is sometimes quick to arrest or charge a person without, in my opinion, doing an adequate investigation to determine whether the person is in legal possession of marijuana derivatives.
Also, in Florida, it is not necessarily illegal for a person to hold a prescribed substance for someone else. This commonly occurs in a caregiver situation, when it may be necessary for a person to hold a prescribed substance for someone else or to transport it from one place to another.
There are many other defenses available
Whether a defense is available to you will often turn on the unique facts of your specific case. Please contact me and I will take the time to evaluate your case and determine what possible defenses are available.