My client was a freshman at USF St. Petersburg. He had never been in trouble before and was a good student. He lived in the dorms with a group of other young men. There was a common area and each boy had his own room. When my client was out of town, a dorm inspection took place. When his bedroom was searched, they found THC oil cartridges, a bong, a marijuana pipe, and other paraphernalia. He did not have a medical marijuana card, so it was illegal. The situation was turned over to the USF St. Pete Police Department for investigation. They did not arrest our client, but sent the drugs off to the lab for testing. They also informed USF of the disciplinary issue.
While the Charges Were Pending:
My client was very concerned because possessing THC oil is a felony in Florida. The other charges were misdemeanors. I had our client go out and get a medical marijuana card. While it did not mean that the THC oil was legal at the time, it makes prosecution make less sense. I also had my client pull together all of his academic records. He had been a great scholar athlete in high school, so I gathered all of that information.
Aside from the criminal charges, my client had to appear before the student discipline board at USF. He was not expelled from the school, but was no longer allowed to live in the dorms.
Eventually, the USFSP police turned the case over to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution. I was ready. I presented all of the background information on my client, the USF discipline, and the proof of the medical marijuana card. I also argued to the prosecutor that there was no way that the drugs could be proven to be my client’s. He was out of town at the time of the incident and his roommates could have very easily stashed their own drugs in his room when they saw the inspection coming. I was successful and the prosecutor agreed not to file any charges.
My client was thrilled that the charges were dismissed. His record will stay clean and this incident will not affect his schooling or future at all.