Medical Marijuana DUI – El Mirage
How Can You Be Arrested For Drug DUI With Medical Marijuana Card?
A common misconception is that an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card will protect you against DUI charges if you are arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana. To understand why this is a misconception, you need to know that there are two different ways that a person can be charged with a DUI if they have marijuana in their system:
- First, a person may be charged with a DUI if they have medical marijuana or an active metabolite of marijuana in their system. If you had a valid Arizona Medical Marijuana Card at the time that you were cited or arrested, then you likely have a defense to this charge. You may also have a defense if your blood contained only an inactive metabolite (carboxy-THC).
- Second, a person may be charged with a DUI if they are impaired to the slightest degree by medical marijuana or its active metabolites. A valid Arizona Medical Marijuana Card is not a defense to this charge.
What Are The Penalties For a Medical Marijuana DUI?
Unfortunately, a medical marijuana DUI is treated the same as any other DUI involving drugs when it comes to penalties. That means that a person charged with driving under the influence of medical marijuana faces the same penalties as a person that is charged with driving under the influence of illegal drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin. If convicted for a medical marijuana DUI you will face the following penalties:
- 10 to 180 days of jail
- Driver’s license suspension
- Up to 5 years of probation
- Substantial fines and fees
- Substance abuse treatment classes
- Permanent criminal record
- Increased insurance rates
- 8 points on your motor vehicle record
- Traffic Survival School
What If My Medical Marijuana Card Had Recently Expired Before I Was Pulled Over?
Many people have a medical marijuana card and for whatever reason there is a lapse in time between when the card expires and when they renew the card. If you are in this situation, know that even if you renew your medical marijuana card right after your arrest, it will not be a defense to the DUI charges. The same applies for people that intended on getting a medical marijuana card but pushed it off; evidence of obtaining a medical marijuana card after your arrest will not be a defense to the charges.
If you find yourself in this situation, there may be other ways to challenge your DUI arrest based on the forensic testing, reason for the traffic stop, improper police investigation or violation of your constitutional rights.
What To Do If You Are Charged With A Medical Marijuana DUI
If you are charged with a DUI and you have a medical marijuana card, while you may be in a better position than someone without a medical marijuana card, you are not out of the woods just yet. Prosecutors will still attempt to obtain a conviction by alleging that you were impaired to the slightest degree by marijuana. If convicted, you will face the same punishments as someone who was convicted of driving while under the influence of illegal drugs. Unfortunately, given the mandatory sentencing guidelines in Arizona, you have a lot to lose if convicted.
Why You Need To Get Help From A DUI Defense Lawyer If You Are Charged With A Medical Marijuana DUI
It is recommended that you contact an experienced and aggressive DUI attorney that will challenge the state’s evidence to show that you were not impaired. The attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group are very familiar with defending Medical Marijuana DUI cases. A smart defense must begin with an understanding of the scientific studies in the area of driving impairment caused by marijuana. While prosecutors and police will attempt to claim that very small amounts of THC in a person’s system may impair them, there are ways to challenge this assertion. One of the defense strategies involves presenting scientific evidence that a medical marijuana patient’s tolerance to THC will increase over time with routine use. This is like most prescription medications. Doctors may modify dosages of medications over time to ensure the health of their patient.
It is also important to understand the inconclusive nature of studies on the effects of marijuana on a person’s driving behavior. Unlike alcohol-based DUI charges, where there is a “per se” legal limit of .08, there is no equivalent limit at which the scientific community agrees that all people are impaired to drive as a result of marijuana ingestion. With the relative recency of widespread medical marijuana usage, this is an area of DUI law that is rapidly evolving. You need an attorney that stays up to date on this area of the law to ensure that you receive the highest quality defense possible. The attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group consult with leading experts in the field of forensic toxicology and monitor the most recent medical marijuana DUI studies. We strive to stay on the forefront of medical marijuana DUI defense so that our clients can rest assured that their rights will be protected.
Schedule Your Free Initial Medical Marijuana DUI Consultation Today
Protect Your Rights
- 1. We have defended hundreds of clients.
- 2. We have a successful track record.
- 3. We care about your future.
CLIENT THANK YOUS
“Craig is my hero and he saved my career and my future. I got stopped in Tempe and was charged with a regular DUI. Craig questioned the validity of the stop and was able to get it reduced to a reckless driving charge…”
“Dear Mr. Rosenstein, Having talked to you this day, I determined that you were right in your decision on my case. I appreciate and thank you…”
Thank you again for helping settle this matter for me. I appreciate all you guys did on my behalf…”