Grandma Arrested for Possession of CBD
Disney World is everyone’s idea of a dream vacation. Awesome roller coasters, exciting attractions, and endless fun—it’s a must-experience trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime … kind of like the way a trip to jail is an experience that stays with you forever. But don’t ask us; ask Hester Burkhalter. What started as a fun-filled journey through Magic Kingdom turned into a one-way ride to jail, where the 69-year-old grandmother was booked on charges of marijuana possession.
Hester Burkhalter’s ordeal was captured on police body-worn camera, the type issued to a growing number of law enforcement agencies around the country. The footage shows a deputy from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office asking Burkhalter to surrender her purse so the deputy could search it.
What the deputy discovered was a small bottle of liquid—the kind often sold at holistic health shops—labeled, “Select CBD.” CBD Oil is a derivative of hemp, and has a list of holistic benefits.
A native of North Carolina, Burkhalter told deputies it was legal in her state and she used it for pain relief. In the state of Florida, possession of THC (which the deputies claim her bottle tested positive for) is a third-degree felony, meaning they had to arrest her on the spot. After 12 hours in jail, the charges were dropped, and Burkhalter has since hired an attorney. Which raises the question: who was in the wrong?
A Deeper Look into This Arrest
This case clearly demonstrates the importance of having an experienced drug possession lawyer. While the legality of CBD Oil remains a controversial topic in some states, it’s important to note that it doesn’t contain THC, which is a controlled substance in Florida. While possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor, meaning law enforcement officers have discretion on whether to make an arrest, CBD Oil is legal to possess as long as it contains no more than 0.3% THC.
The Orange County Sheriff’s deputies at the scene determined there was enough probable cause to arrest Burkhalter, but after she was booked, the state attorney’s office decided to drop the charges.
So were the deputies in the wrong?
Until the police report is made public, it’s not clear whether the deputies actually found trace amounts of THC in the oil that got tested. While it’s possible the bottle of “pure CBD oil” was tainted with trace amounts of THC, it hasn’t been established there was any in the bottle. If it’s proven the deputies didn’t have justification in making the arrest as they allege, this case would be a prime example of why having a competent criminal defense attorney is paramount.
Don’t Let Grandma Go to Jail
Whether it’s your grandmother or someone else you care about—or even yourself—don’t let the police take you to jail over phony drug possession charges. And don’t let injustice prevail. At the Umansky Law Firm, we know what it takes to defend those wrongfully arrested on spurious drug charges. We have defended countless clients who were wrongfully arrested, and we can do the same for you.
Led by the husband-and-wife team of Zahra and William D. Umansky, our legal team brings more than 100 years of criminal defense experience to the table. William Umansky is a current member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and sit on the Executive Council for the Orange County Bar Association. No matter what kind of charges you’re facing, we provide a thorough defense and personalized attention to each and every case. Give us a call 24/7 or complete our online contact form today.