Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

Florida’s New Hemp Law Has Completely Transformed Marijuana-Related Arrests & Prosecutions


While Florida’s new hemp law that recently went into effect technically made possession of hemp legal up to .3 percent THC, according to the latest reports, because there is no way for police to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, this is affecting arrests, seizures, and criminal prosecutions throughout the state.

Specifically, some county state attorneys are instructing their offices to not file charges at all in cases involving suspected marijuana until there is a lab test done to prove the THC level on the item in question. Because certified field tests cannot do this, and hemp looks and smells just like marijuana, this has created an issue for Florida law-enforcement, where there is significant confusion as to who they can target and what they can seize when it comes to drug crimes, including DUI arrests.

How It Is Affecting Probable Cause & Related Criminal Prosecutions

According to some sources, this change also makes it difficult to establish probable cause and search for items incident to suspicions of marijuana that can lead to additional criminal charges, such as weapons charges. Because proof beyond a reasonable doubt requires that the state prove the THC content of the substance (due to the new law), this is going to completely change criminal prosecutions for marijuana crimes, and it will also likely decrease charges for a number of other crimes that police would pursue in connection with marijuana arrests, crimes and charges. According to the message that was sent to law-enforcement agencies, state labs are not able to test the percentage of THC in a sample and therefore there is no current plan to do so.

Arrests Only OK In Some Counties For Suspects Who Admit To Having Illegal Marijuana After Being Read Their Miranda Rights

Indeed, a number of counties have followed suit, whereby deputies have been told not to make any arrests for possession of hemp or marijuana, and to, instead, file a capias request. In fact, some directives have instructed officers to order arrests only if a suspect admits that they are in possession of illegal marijuana after they have been read their Miranda rights. However, note that if officers notice other issues–such as impairment–they can make an arrest, it is the actual prosecution of the marijuana charge that will now be challenging because of the lab test obstacle.  In Orlando, for example, police have been informed that they can still search people and their cars if they believe marijuana is present, but that they need to let a suspect go if they are unsure that what they are seizing is, in fact, illegal marijuana.

Contact Our Drug Crime Attorneys

If you have any questions about how Florida’s new hemp law affects marijuana-related arrests and prosecutions, contact our experienced Miami and Orlando criminal attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today for assistance.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab