Marijuana Cultivation “Grow Houses”
Marijuana grow houses can be a lucrative business, and are seen as a growing problem in Florida. Citizens are converting bedrooms, up to entire houses into grow houses. Grow houses are sophisticated operations; these hydroponic labs are modified in ways for the marijuana plants to be able to grow indoors. Watering systems, certain types of lighting, special air conditioning systems, and an electrical system, must be installed before the growing operation can begin.
Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act
The Florida legislature passed the Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act in 2009; this was aimed towards strengthening Florida’s, grow house laws. Grow houses in Florida increased significantly with the large amount of foreclosures due to the recession. The housing market collapsed, leaving inexpensive real estate along with a ton of abandoned and vacant residential properties. The new laws make it a second degree felony to grow 25 or more plants, regardless of plant size. Second degree felonies are punishable up to 15 years in prison. When a minor is present in the home, the crime becomes a first degree felony, which carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.
The possession of 25 or more plants, is prima facie evidence that the marijuana is intended for sale or distribution. A defendant can provide evidence to show that the marijuana was intended for medical use, or personal consumption. This may be able to overcome the presumption that the marijuana was intended for sale or distribution.
Other Charges Associated with Marijuana Cultivation
The marijuana cultivation is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential charges associated with grow houses. An array of charges such as possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute, possession of over 20 grams of marijuana, and trafficking can be charged to anyone involved in a grow house.
Florida’s Grow House Laws
Florida laws concerning grow houses are very broad, and are not just confined to houses and ownership. A grow house can include any place, whether the defendant owns or leases. The property also does not have to be a house. Trailers, apartments, and structures that are capable of cultivating 25 or more marijuana plants are all considered grow houses, and those are also susceptible to prosecution. Landlords may become liable, if they knowingly lease a property with to an individual who has the intent to grow marijuana
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney
Broward Criminal Lawyer Kenneth Padowitz Provides A Strategic Criminal Defense
If you have been charged with maintaining or cultivating a grow house, or believe you may be charged sometime in the near future, give Kenneth Padowitz a call to discuss your situation. At Kenneth Padowitz, P.A., we specialize in high-profile criminal cases. Being aware of relevant psychological information aids us in our design, and implementation of the strategic criminal defense that we offer. An excellent criminal attorney is not only knowledgeable in criminal procedure, but they must understand how people process and interpret information to effectively communicate to a jury. Broward criminal lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz, has an impressive history of defending search & seizure, and arrests cases at both the State and Federal level, involving marijuana cultivation throughout South Florida, including: Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Weston, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and Parkland. Contact our firm today for a free consultation to discuss this important matter.