Marijuana-related DUI in Boca Raton
When most individuals think of driving under the influence (DUI), they tend to think of drunk driving. While most DUI cases do involve alcohol, a driver can face equally serious penalties if they are suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana. With the attitude toward marijuana relaxing in many states and even legalization in four U.S. jurisdictions, Florida marijuana laws remain among the strictest in the country. Law enforcement and prosecutors take all types of marijuana use very seriously, especially when they believe an individual is driving while impaired by marijuana.
How Can A Prosecutor Prove You Were High?
DUI cases involving marijuana can be complicated. Unlike a DUI involving alcohol, there is not yet a roadside test like a Breathalyzer to give an officer probable cause to arrest you. Additionally, there are issues in proving that your driving abilities were actually impaired by marijuana at the time of the traffic stop. Also unlike an alcohol-related DUI and the limit of 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC), there is no technical legal limit for marijuana in your system to prove impairment. Often, if THC is detected in a blood or urine test, the prosecutor will use those results to charge you with driving under the influence of drugs (DUID)
These tests are problematic, however, as traces of marijuana do not pass out of your system in the same way that alcohol does. In fact, THC can remain in your system for hours or even days after any impairment has worn off depending on the amount used. Some habitual smokers may have marijuana in their system up to two weeks after they last used. This demonstrates that, despite the presence of THC in blood or urine, many drivers facing charges of DUID were not at all impaired when they were behind the wheel. An experienced criminal defense attorney has many ways to call into question the prosecutor’s allegations regarding impairment based on test results showing THC.
Marijuana DUI Is Often Accompanied By Possession Charges
To complicate matters even more, officers arresting an individual for DUID often conduct a search of the vehicle or a person and may discover a small amount of marijuana. Even the smallest amount can lead to a marijuana possession charge, which is a first degree misdemeanor. If convicted, an individual may face up to a year in jail and fines up to $1,000 in addition to any consequences related to the DUID charge. It is imperative to have a criminal defense lawyer handling your case who knows how to raise any relevant defenses to possession charges, including violations of your constitutional rights due to an illegal search.
Your First Call Should Be To A Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney
Though many people believe that marijuana is not a big deal and should be legal, it is definitely not legal in Florida and state laws sets out serious penalties for possession and DUID. If you have been arrested on suspicion of any type of DUI or drug-related charges, you should immediately discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer at the law firm of Lavalle Brown & Ronan. Call us today at 888-646-1315 to find out how we can help you.