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The Florida Bar

Michael Phelps

Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore regularly represents clients charged with possession of marijuana. Florida, like some other states, penalizes the possession of even very small amounts severely. While a number of states have moved toward decriminalization (despite conflicting federal criminal law) over the past few years, Florida has retained its law making possession of 20 grams or less of the substance a first-degree misdemeanor. criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale at William Moore, P.A.”>Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer William Moore always advises his clients that possession of marijuana in that amount is punishable by up to one year in prison, in addition to probation, fines, court costs, driver’s license revocation, and other penalties.

Recently, Michael Phelps discovered that South Carolina takes illegal drugs seriously, as well. The 23-year-old superstar Olympic athlete is known for his record-shattering swimming feats and has enjoyed tremendous popularity following his successful appearance at the 2008 summer games. Last week, an incriminating photograph of the swimmer surfaced. Phelps was shown smoking a bong at a house party in South Carolina, where he was visiting a girlfriend in Columbia. The Olympian has earned millions of dollars in endorsements, but the continuing negative press coverage is costing him, as at least one company has dropped him following the bong incident.

Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore thinks it is best for most drug users to keep their mouths shut if they appear to have been caught red-handed smoking a bong, but Phelps and his publicist decided to opt for an honorable admission. After the photo was published, Phelps immediately apologized for his actions and made no attempt to conceal the truth. He said, “I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I’m 23 years old and despite the successes I’ve had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.” The International Olympic Committee chastised Phelps, but later accepted his apology.

The Associated Press has covered the Michael Phelps saga and a video of their report can be found here:

After his debut Olympic appearance in 2004, Phelps was arrested and convicted of underage DUI. He was forced to apologize after that incident, as well, but has not been in trouble since then.

There is growing concern that law enforcement officials in Columbia, South Carolina plan to file criminal charges against Michael Phelps. Two of the college students who resided at the home where Phelps smoked a bong have been arrested. Their criminal defense lawyers have reported to the press that the main goal seems to be to gather evidence for a high-profile case against Phelps. Under South Carolina law, Phelps could go to jail for 30 days and pay a $200 fine if convicted for possession of marijuana. Possession of drug paraphernalia, like a water pipe or bong, carries a $500 fine in that state, but is punished more severely in Florida. If you have been arrested for the possession of marijuana, other drugs, or drug paraphernalia in the Broward County area, contact criminal defense attorney William Moore as soon as possible.

Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in all kinds of criminal defense, including DUI and marijuana possession. A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor can have permanent consequences concerning your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., which is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

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