In Mecklenburg County, marijuana is strictly prohibited, meaning it is against the law to possess or consume it. If you have been arrested for a DUI and the police suspect you were under the influence of cannabis, it is imperative that you call a Mecklenburg County marijuana DUI lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. To
While decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is a national trend, it has not reached Virginia yet. Virginia’s attorney general has called for decriminalization, but the General Assembly has not passed any legislation to this. So as of now, marijuana is still very much illegal with serious consequences for possession or use. If you have used marijuana even once in the last three weeks, you may still test positive for THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis), potentially leading to a driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) charge, regardless of whether or not you consumed marijuana the day you were caught.
A lawyer could help you fight DUID charges and protect your rights during the investigation. The sooner you hire a seasoned criminal defense attorney, the more effectively they may be able to fight for you.
Medical marijuana is generally not an exception to DUID charges. Driving while impaired in any situation whether it is medical marijuana, or prescription painkillers is a crime. While a medical marijuana prescription cannot excuse the act of driving while intoxicated, it may in rare occasions refute marijuana possession charges.
Using this defense against possession charges requires a person to have a certificate signed by their physician certifying that they are using marijuana for a specific medical purpose. Furthermore, marijuana must have been grown from seed sourced from one of Virginia’s few suppliers. All these factors mean that being a medical marijuana user has no real effect on DUID charges in Mecklenburg County.
When marijuana is involved with a traffic stop or suspected in a DUI, drivers may not only face the DUI charge but a drug possession charge as well. If an officer is able to find the remnants of marijuana use, an actual possessed amount of plant, or even residue of the drug, they could issue possession charges.
A marijuana DUI carries penalties of up to a year in jail, fines, an automatic license suspension, and a restricted license even after restoration. If the driver is also charged with marijuana possession, they may face longer license suspension and revocation.
The prosecution must prove that the accused was operating the vehicle consistent with Virginia law, which means that the key merely needs to be in the ignition even if the vehicle is turned off. They must also prove that the accused was impaired by marijuana that was in their system beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard of proof is quite high and a Mecklenburg County marijuana DUI lawyer may be able to make a strong defense for these cases.
The main difference in marijuana cases versus alcohol is that a marijuana case will require blood analysis, which takes longer than alcohol testing. So, a marijuana DUI case might take up to six months before the blood analysis is returned and the trial can begin.
The limit for alcohol in the blood is 0.08, universally applied to all drivers, but for a marijuana blood analysis, the THC content in the blood does not determine how impaired a driver may be. A daily heavy user might have a high level of THC in their blood, but may not feel the same effects as somebody who has only used it once or twice in their life, then smoked recently prior to driving. A toxicologist will be required to testify in any marijuana DUI case to speak to whatever degree is possible about what the possible effects of that THC level in the blood might be depending on the individual’s specific circumstances.
Mecklenburg County marijuana DUIs are often complicated cases because there is no set limit for marijuana in the bloodstream. It is essential to have representation with experience cross-examining a toxicologist, the potential intoxication levels of THC, and how it might apply to your blood test. If you need legal assistance with a cannabis DUI case, call a seasoned Mecklenburg County DUI attorney today for a consultation.
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