Monday, October 18, 2010

Marijuana DUI Charges: What to Expect

Despite the fact that there is no accurate chemical test to prove that you were under the influence of marijuana while driving, you can still be accused of a marijuana DUI. When this occurs, the penalties are similar to those of a DUI involving alcohol. They vary from state to state, but in most cases, it is a misdemeanor charge with several possible penalties.

What To Expect When You Are Pulled Over

In most cases, you will be initially targeted by police purely by your driving pattern, just like with a DUI that involves alcohol. Another factor that will enter into the decision to charge you with marijuana DUI is your appearance, such as whether you have bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, an abnormally relaxed attitude, and the smell of marijuana.

You will likely be given a field sobriety test, and will also need to submit to a chemical test using either urine or blood. However, such tests can only reveal whether you have used marijuana in the recent past since it stays in your system for days. Therefore, all of these factors must be used together in order to accuse you of marijuana DUI since a chemical test alone does not usually mean much in a court of law.

Penalties for Marijuana DUI

The consequences of receiving a marijuana DUI may sound familiar, as they are nearly the same as if you had received a DUI involving alcohol. You will likely lose your driver's license right away, typically for a period of six months to a year for a first time offense. This time period varies by state, however. Jail time is also a very real consequence, as is probation.

Of course, you will be charged with fines, which also tend to vary by state. Not only will you need to spend a lot of money when you get a marijuana DUI, but you can expect to use up your free time, as well. You may be requested to complete some hours of community service and attend classes that deal with drug abuse issues.
Contact a Lawyer To Fight Marijuana DUI Charges

If you have received a marijuana DUI, it is important to contact a lawyer right away. In many cases, the lack of accurate chemical testing for this drug may be beneficial to you, especially if it is the main evidence that the police officers have against you. Finding a good lawyer to defend you can mean the difference between acquiring marijuana DUI charges and keeping your record clean.

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