Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Lawyers Toms River, NJ
High numbers of New Jersey residents have been smoking marijuana for years. This is true in part because New Jersey permits the use of marijuana for medical purposes if you follow a number of legal requirements and obtain a doctor’s prescription. But just because there may be legal ways to use marijuana in New Jersey does not mean that it is legal to drive under the influence of marijuana. In fact, you can get arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and face serious charges and penalties for marijuana DUI. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI involving marijuana, it is vital to talk to an experienced attorney who can ensure your understanding of the charge, the associated consequences of a conviction, and discuss your legal options. We are here to help with your driving under the influence charges, as our experienced DUI defense lawyers have been representing clients accused of these offenses in courts throughout Ocean County and New Jersey for many years. We know the laws, the evidence used to prove driving under the influence of marijuana, and how to defend these and related charges you may face for possession of marijuana in your car. Contact us at (848) 238-2100 for a free initial consultation and let us help with your best defense.
Driving under the Influence of Marijuana DUI in New Jersey
New Jersey’s general law on DUI prohibits driving under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or controlled dangerous substance, meaning drug or alcohol, whether legal or illegal. This means that if you drive under the influence of marijuana, you can be charged with a DUI under NJSA 39:4-50. Not only is marijuana illegal in New Jersey without a valid prescription and meeting certain stringent requirements, the drug schedules also classify marijuana as a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance. When it comes to a marijuana DUI case, the state seeks to prove that being under the influence of this drug made you unable to drive as safely as a sober person.
What is the Penalty for Marijuana DUI in NJ?
The penalties for DUI marijuana charges are virtually identical to the penalties for driving while intoxicated by alcohol or operating a vehicle while impaired by any other drug. Although DUI is technically a traffic offense in New Jersey, the repercussions are severe if you are found guilty and the penalties escalate in severity based on the number of prior DUI convictions you have. Upon conviction, you can face hundreds of dollars in fines, assessments, and fees, in addition to license suspension for a specified period of time. For example, the license suspension for a second DUI charge is longer than that of a first DUI offense. Third DUI offenses are also punishable by a lengthier license suspension of 10 years, as well as other increasingly severe consequences. Additionally, you may be subject to substance abuse evaluation and court-ordered substance abuse classes. You may even face time in jail for a DUI marijuana charge.
Can Police Test for Driving under the Influence of Marijuana?
There is currently no nationally accepted breathalyzer-type test to determine whether you are under the influence or marijuana while driving. Law enforcement can’t even establish that this is a certain nanogram per milliliter THC level in your bloodstream at the time of a DUI arrest. While companies and law enforcement agencies are actively searching for such a test, it remains to be seen whether any of these tests for marijuana will be proven reliable enough to be admitted as evidence in a court of law. Until then, the prosecution can only rely on the observations of police officers and specialized Drug Recognition Expert officers to establish that you were impaired by marijuana when you were pulled over for DUI.
Charged with DUI Marijuana & Possession
You can be charged with both marijuana possession and DUI marijuana based on a single traffic stop, depending on what police find in your car. Given that marijuana still has not been legalized for recreational use in New Jersey, you can face steep disorderly persons or even indictable offenses charges for possessing a controlled dangerous substance if officers find marijuana in your car at the time you are arrested for driving under the influence. The degree of a charge for possession of marijuana varies based on the amount of weed involved and whether or not police believe you had intent to distribute. You may also be charged with possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, which is a separate traffic offense that has its own mandatory two-year driver’s license suspension as part of the sentence. As you might expect, the cumulative penalties can be severe in any cases involving a DUI and a drug charge.
Seaside Heights DUI Marijuana Defense Attorneys
You should consult a lawyer right away if you find yourself charged with driving under the influence of marijuana and any other companion charges for that matter. Being in this position means you could lose your ability to drive for quite some time, in addition to extensive other penalties that can harshly impact your life. Call (848) 238-2100 to for a free consultation with our skilled DUI attorneys and let us help develop your best defense. You can also reach us 24/7 by contacting us online to learn more.
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