Hampton Roads Marijuana DUI Lawyer

In Virginia, marijuana is still illegal. It is illegal for someone to possess marijuana and if someone is driving while under the influence of marijuana, they will be charged with a DUI. An individual arrested for a marijuana-related DUI should obtain the services of a dedicated DUI drug attorney as soon as possible. The sooner a defendant can get a Hampton Roads marijuana DUI lawyer, the better it is for their case. An attorney could help a defendant by investigating the case, building a defense, and advocating on the individual’s behalf throughout the process.

Law Enforcement Treatment of Marijuana DUI Cases

Although many states have legalized marijuana, Virginia has not. Even if the drug was legal, it is still illegal for an individual to drive while being under the influence of it. In some areas in Virginia, police officers may not necessarily arrest someone for possession or for a DUI if they were driving with very small amounts of marijuana. However, if they believe the driver has been smoking marijuana while driving, then they are going to make an arrest and work to prosecute the individual.

Virginia does allow for some limited use of medical marijuana. However, using medical marijuana is not a defense against a DUI charge. If someone uses medical marijuana and it disrupts their ability to drive, they are driving while under the influence and they could face charges.

Penalties for a Marijuana DUI Offense

Marijuana DUI offenses are punished the same as other DUIs. A first offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. The driver will also face a suspension of their driver’s license. If it is the defendant’s third DUI, then they could be looking at felony charges. This is why it is important for defendants to reach out to a Hampton Roads marijuana DUI attorney.

Building a Defense

There are various defenses and arguments that can be made by a Hampton Roads marijuana DUI lawyer. After reviewing the facts of the case, the attorney will decide which arguments can be raised against the prosecutor’s case. Ultimately, the issue will come down to whether or not the defendant was under the influence of the drug while driving. The evidence of a marijuana DUI case is similar to an alcohol-based DUI case in the sense that the court will rely on the observations of the officers. This includes the officer’s observing of the individual’s driving, their interactions with the driver, and the field sobriety tests. The police are going to look for the same indicators of intoxication. However, they will not likely have a chemical analysis suggesting that there was a specific amount of a substance in the individual’s breath or bloodstream.

How Marijuana DUI Cases are Different from Alcohol-Related DUIs

In a marijuana DUI case, officers cannot use a breath test to detect impairment like they would in an alcohol-related DUI situation. Without this, the government has to rely more on the officer’s observations and if there is any footage such as body cam or dash cam to compensate for the lack of a breath test.

Marijuana cases tend to be ones where an individual is able to contest more readily because there is no breath test. Even if there is some sort of test that says there is marijuana in the individual’s system, that does not suggest intoxication. There tend to be more arguments in marijuana cases than in drug-related cases.

A Hampton Roads Marijuana DUI Attorney Could Help

Marijuana DUI cases can be tricky because they are fact specific. Therefore, it is important that if you are facing charges to reach out to a Hampton Roads marijuana DUI lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. An attorney will know which arguments to present that could provide a favorable outcome for you. Call today to schedule a consultation.