Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
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Smoking marijuana or consuming marijuana-laced products can impair a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The active compound in marijuana that causes a person to feel “high”, THC, can alter a person’s senses and mood, create difficulties with thinking and problem-solving and memory, and impair body movements. As a result, a person driving under the influence of marijuana will likely have slowed reaction times and poor coordination that renders them unable to safely drive.
In New Jersey, driving under the influence of marijuana is treated very seriously, the same as a person who is severely intoxicated by alcohol while behind the wheel. If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence of marijuana, you need experienced legal representation to help you mitigate the serious consequences that an arrest and possible conviction can have on your life. The Union County criminal defense lawyers of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC stand ready to tirelessly work to fight your charges and help you get back to your regular life.
With more than 25 years of experience in New Jersey’s criminal justice system, our attorneys closely review police reports and evidence in your case and work with investigators and experts to consider every possible defense and legal options we can use to hold the prosecution to its obligation to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and to secure the best possible outcome to your charges. You can expect that our legal team will give you and your case the focused attention and detailed effort that you and your rights and interests deserve.
In New Jersey, driving under the influence of marijuana is charged under the same statute as driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent or higher. Penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence of marijuana include:
A conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana can also have other consequences on your personal and professional life. For example, a criminal record for DUI can render you ineligible to apply for certain jobs. Having a criminal record, in general, can also make it difficult to secure employment, educational, or housing opportunities for years after you’ve completed your sentence.
At Bramnick Law, our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys will quickly get to work in your case conducting our own detailed investigation of the facts and circumstances of your charges, rather than simply relying on the evidence provided to us by the prosecution. Our legal team will thoroughly explore potential factual and legal defenses we might raise in your case, including:
In addition to developing a strong defense in your case, our attorneys can also help you explore alternatives to criminal prosecution, including determining whether you are eligible for programs such as drug court (in which you can receive a sentence of probation as a condition of attending drug treatment and complying with other conditions of the program) or pretrial intervention, (successful completion of which results in having no record of conviction).
If you are facing charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, you need to act quickly to protect your legal rights and interests in the criminal justice process. Contact Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC today for a free, confidential consultation to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys about the details of your case and to discuss how our firm can help you address your charges and work towards the best possible outcome that gets you back to your normal life as soon as possible.
Yes. Although the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act authorizes possession and use of medical marijuana pursuant to a license, the statute also expressly prohibits licensed medical marijuana users from operating or being in control of any vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Just because you are under the influence of lawfully consumed marijuana does not mean you can legally drive under the influence.
No. New Jersey does not have any “limit” for marijuana in your system like the 0.08 BAC limit for alcohol. Although a few states have established a THC limit for charging a driver with presumptively being under the influence of marijuana, New Jersey has not done so. THC can take weeks to metabolize out of a person’s system so urine testing is not considered a dispositive sign that a driver was under the influence at the time they were operating a vehicle. Instead, New Jersey uses Drug Recognition Experts to assess the ability of a driver, suspected to be under the influence of drugs such as marijuana, to safely operate a motor vehicle. Of course, the prosecution can use evidence other than DREs to prove a driver was operating under the influence of marijuana.