Marijuana use is illegal in Virginia and it is still treated very seriously by law enforcement. Simple possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana are prosecuted vigorously in Northern Virginia. It is a felony to possess with intent to distribute more than half an ounce of marijuana, which is a very small amount to rise to a felony level.
Fredericksburg marijuana DUI lawyers can do to help those who are being prosecuted for simple possession or possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Contact a proficient driving under the influence attorney about possible defenses and how local law may influence the outcome of your case.
Someone who is caught driving under the influence of marijuana would certainly be likely to face the charge of driving under the influence. They would also be very likely to face a possession of marijuana charge and possible possession of paraphernalia, as well as any other charges that are possible with any DUI case.
If there are children involved, someone could be charged with contributing to their delinquency or endangering children. If a car accident is involved, someone could be charged with destruction of property or more if they have caused harm to another person.
Any range of things can be charged if there is an accident that causes serious damage. In most cases, when someone is charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, they will be charged with driving under the influence of marijuana and possession of marijuana.
Even if marijuana were completely decriminalized, people would still be charged with marijuana DUI if the officer pulling them over suspected that they were driving impaired. Even if marijuana is legal in all 50 states, police officers will likely enforce the law against the driving impaired. A Fredericksburg marijuana DUI lawyer can help the accused understand how changing cannabis laws could impact their case.
If a person has a valid prescription for marijuana in Virginia, that would be a defense to the possession of marijuana charge, but not to the defense of driving under the influence of marijuana. However, someone who routinely uses marijuana and has evidence that they are legally able to use marijuana on a regular basis would have a much clearer argument why the marijuana in their blood content is high.
When a blood test is positive for marijuana, someone with a valid prescription could say that they routinely smoke marijuana, but someone without that valid prescription does not have the same level of defense. Even in a case where someone has a valid prescription, that does not enable them to drive under the influence of marijuana; the police and the prosecutors in Northern Virginia will vigorously prosecute cases where someone is driving under the influence.
It is uncommon for people charged with a first offense of a DUI or marijuana DUI to receive a full year in jail. This would only happen under extraordinary circumstances, e.g., if someone had a very bad driving record; was involved in a very bad accident where more serious charges were dropped in exchange for that person pleading guilty to a less serious charges. More often, someone with marijuana DUI is not looking at an initial offer of more than a couple of weekends of time in jail.
The way that prosecutors and police officers handle marijuana-related DUIs in most counties in Northern Virginia is very similar to the way they handle alcohol-related DUI’s, as far as punishment is concerned. There are different elements of proof that they need to bring to the table for a marijuana-related DUI, but they are almost always looking for the same type of punishment that is required of someone who is charged with an alcohol-related DUI.
Although there are some experts who will testify that someone is intoxicated because of the level of marijuana in their blood, that evidence should not be relied on by the court. The court should only hear evidence of intoxication if an expert is actually qualified to discuss whether something rises to the level of intoxication. In a case where blood is being analyzed for marijuana, there simply may not be any experts who are capable of testifying to that; they can make guesses as to how someone may be affected, but if they cannot testify in court as to someone’s level of impairment; there is only the positive test for marijuana.
Someone who is charged with a DUI, related to marijuana, needs to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Having an attorney’s help from the very beginning can prove invaluable in preparing a defense for a case, especially something as complicated as possession of marijuana and driving under the influence. When someone is accused of driving under the influence and marijuana, the prosecution has to prove that the person’s ability to drive was impaired, which is very difficult to do because a blood test will show perhaps the level of marijuana in someone’s blood but it does not indicate whether an individual is intoxicated or not.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.