Payson Medical Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney

With the more widespread use of medical marijuana across Arizona and many parts of the country, people are sometimes confused about the legality of driving while using their prescribed medical marijuana. 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.

Penalties for a Medical Marijuana DUI

Even with a valid Arizona Medical Marijuana Card, a person may face substantial penalties if convicted for a medical marijuana DUI, including:

  • 10 to 180 days of jail
  • Substantial fines and fees
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • 8 points on your motor vehicle record
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Traffic Survival School
  • Substance abuse treatment classes
  • Permanent criminal record

Expired Medical Marijuana Card When Pulled Over?

This question comes up frequently from our clients. 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 When Facing Medical Marijuana DUI Charges

If you are charged with a medical marijuana DUI, do not sit back and hope that your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card will get you out of the harsh penalties of a DUI. Prosecutors take these charges very seriously and will seek to saddle you with a permanent criminal DUI conviction. Even though you may have been properly using your prescribed medical marijuana, Arizona law does not have any leniency when it comes to mandatory sentencing guidelines. It is in your best interests to consult an experienced medical marijuana DUI attorney that can make sure your rights are protected. An aggressive DUI attorney will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence of impairment to get you the best possible result.

Seek an Experienced Medical Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney Immediately

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 many studies on the effects of marijuana on a person’s driving behavior. With the relative recency of widespread medical marijuana usage, this is an area of DUI law that is rapidly evolving.

Unlike alcohol-based DUI charges, were 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. The attorneys at the Rosenstein Law Group stay up to date on the most recent medical marijuana DUI studies in order to provide the best possible defense for our clients.

Free Payson Medical Marijuana DUI Consultations

The Rosenstein Law Group offers free consultations and case evaluations for Payson medical marijuana DUI charges. Contact us 24/7 at 480-248-7666 or online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI Law Specialist.