He was technically arrested. The ticket and court date he received is called a Notice to Appear (NTA). In Florida that ticket acts as a physical arrest. He must go to court and is facing a 1st degree misdemeanor of Possession of MJ
John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.
I would certainly advise against entering a quick guilty plea, and without the assistance of counsel. Have an attorney review the police report. It was a traffic stop and the circumstances of the stop sound somewhat strange ("could have got a DUI and didn't?), so there may be a Motion to Suppress the stop. Also were the drugs actually on your brother or somewhere in the jointly occupied vehicle? There may be some defenses here, and if not, at least your attorney can advocate for the best possible resolution rather than the first one offered by the State.
I agree with the others in advising that your brother should consult with an attorney. Your brother needs to know all of the consequences of a plea prior to accepting any offer from the prosecution. If your brother is convicted, then his driving privilege will be suspended for two years by the State of Florida. Further, a conviction will be a permanent mark on his record.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will investigate the case, research the legal issues surrounding any search and seizure, and negotiate with the prosecution.
Every situation is different and no one should rely solely on information received from the internet. If you have any questions about your legal rights, you should consult with an attorney that practices in that area of law.
In Florida possession of under 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense. An officer, when making a misdemeanor "arrest," can choose to take the suspect to jail, or issue a Notice to Appear in Court. Your brother is going to be charged with a misdemeanor drug case. He should not walk in and plead guilty. He should talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
Just because it is a misdemeanor does not mean it is not serious. I am sure your brother would prefer not to have a drug conviction on his record for the rest of his life. Also, a plea to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana could cost him his driver's license for two years. Have him call a local attorney right away. If the case occurred anywhere near Tallahassee, have him contact my office using the contact information below for a free consultation.