I am sometimes contacted by individuals who have been charged with the crime of possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana. In Florida, that crime is a misdemeanor. Often these individuals ask me if they can resolve their case quickly by simply going to court and pleading guilty. I explain to them that although they may do that, it is probably not a good idea since their driver’s license will be suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for 2 years if they are convicted of that particular offense.
If the case cannot be won at trial or at the pretrial stage (by, for example, filing a motion to suppress evidence), then it is essential that a person facing such a charge not be convicted. Instead, his or her lawyer should try to get the prosecutor or judge to withhold adjudication or else try to get his client accepted into a pretrial diversion program so that the charge will eventually be dropped by the prosecutor’s office.