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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

What to Do if You are Arrested Because Your Tenants Were Growing Weed

O.K. So you are a landlord and your tenants just got busted for growing marijuana plants in the place they were renting from you. But then, the cops come along and arrest you because they say that you knew what they were doing, so you are going to be charged with cultivating marijuana too.

Cultivating marijuana is definitely still a serious crime in Florida, despite some signs that the state may come into line with other states where weed has been decriminalized in the future. Just maybe, anyway!

What does ‘serious crime’ mean?

Just how serious a crime cultivation of marijuana is depends on how many plants are growing and whether minors were living in the place where the plants were growing.

If the number of marijuana plants was less than 25 and there were no minors living there, then the crime is categorized as a third degree felony. This could mean anything up to 5 years behind bars and a fine of up to $5,000.

If the number of plants was 25 plus, then this is what is the criteria for what the law calls a ‘grow house’. In other words, the number of plants suggests strongly that the plants are not for personal consumption alone, but to produce enough marijuana to sell to others. This is categorized as a second degree felony and this bumps up the maximum prison sentence to 15 years and up to $10,000 in fines.

If a minor or minors are present where the plants are growing, then this may become a first degree felony which could mean a sentence of up to 30 years in prison together with a maximum fine of $10,000.

Unlike a conviction for possession or sale of cannabis, a conviction for cultivation can never be expunged or sealed, which means it can affect your future life and that of your family much more severely.

Prosecutors must be able to prove that you knew about the cultivation

Just like when any other crime has taken place at a place you own and rent out, it doesn’t automatically mean that you were guilty of that crime. If you are a landlord and tenants committed a crime, then you cannot be convicted of the same crime simply because you owned the abode you rented out. It stands to reason that if a murder took place in your property, you, as the landlord, cannot automatically be implicated in the crime.

The situation with any kind of drug offense that has allegedly taken place at a place you rent out to tenants is that you must have been aware of / knew about the potential crime and did nothing about it for you to be arrested for the same crime as your tenants.

Prosecutors must be able to prove to a jury that the evidence that you knew about the cultivation of marijuana at your rental property was ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. Police officers cannot just charge you with any cannabis offense just because you happened to be the landlord.

Here’s a tip: If you did know about the cultivation and warned your tenants that they could be busted, but didn’t act further (e.g. tell the cops), then you are on shaky ground as this could be grounds for an arrest.

What to do if you are arrested for anything that you didn’t do

If you have been arrested for any type of drug offense, including cultivation of marijuana, contact “Albert Quirantes Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers” in Miami, as their experienced legal team may just get your charge dismissed or reduced.

Contact Albert Quirantes, Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers
(305) 644-1800.


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