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Florida residents are not likely to benefit any time soon from the leniency toward marijuana that some other states, and even whole countries are beginning to show. Despite these steps toward legalization of marijuana use and possession that are popping up in certain parts of the country in recent years, Florida is not showing any signs of taking part. As a result, Florida residents who are arrested for marijuana-related charges will still need to take the time to start carefully planning a defense strategy.

Fortunately, there may be a variety of options available to those who are facing marijuana drug crime charges. The most useful option gets its roots from one of the founding documents of our country: the Constitution.

Under the rights granted to United States citizens in the Constitution, everyone has the right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures, as delineated by the Fourth Amendment. If, in the course of an investigation into potential marijuana-related crimes, a law enforcement officer violates this fundamental right, any evidence that was obtained in the course of the illegal search and seizure might be “suppressed” — which means that it cannot be used in any attempts to convict the arrestee of the crime charged.

Another criminal defense option may be to hold the prosecution and law enforcement to a simple standard: prove that the alleged illegal substance that was obtained is actually marijuana, and not some other plant. Or, perhaps, the substance in question really is marijuana, but it does not belong to the arrestee — it belongs to someone else.

There are many options available when planning a criminal defense strategy, but it will come down to the specific facts of any given case. Florida residents who are facing marijuana-related charges will want to get more information about the options in their own specific case.