Convictions for Cultivation of Cannabis and Trafficking in Cannabis Violated Double Jeopardy Principles

In Gonzalez v. State, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D2212a (Fla. 4th DCA 2013), Gonzalez pled guilty to cultivation of cannabis for count one and trafficking in cannabis over twenty-five pounds for count two. Gonzalez was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to sixty months in prison on each count, the sentences to run concurrently.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal found that Gonzalez's dual convictions violated double jeopardy. The Appellate Court reversed the cultivation charge and remanded the case for resentencing, finding that dual convictions for sale or delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance and the trafficking of that controlled substance in the same quantity and under the same conduct violate double jeopardy.

The Court reasoned that the trafficking conduct was the same conduct constituting the lesser offense, rendering Gonzaelz's conviction under both counts violative of double jeopardy. The Appellate Court reversed his conviction and sentence for cultivation of cannabis and remanded for the circuit court to vacate that conviction and sentence and to resentence Gonzalez based on the trafficking count alone.

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