In November 2016, like many other states before, Florida made medical marijuana legal. Florida law allows for the use of medical marijuana, and the Department of Health is drafting guidelines to create a regulatory system for it. In addition to this broad, sweeping change, many cities have recently decriminalized any amount up to 20 grams. If you’re caught with 20 grams or less, the officer has the option of giving you a civil infraction instead of a criminal arrest. Drivers who are stopped with a suspected DUI for marijuana present unique challenges to law enforcement officers attempting to prove beyond a doubt the driver was too impaired to drive. If you are arrested for a DUI for any reason, you need to get in contact with a criminal lawyer in Miami right away.
Alcohol Versus Marijuana
One element of the challenge of proving a DUI case with marijuana involved is the amount of time the drug stays in your system after smoking it. Alcohol stays in the blood for just a short time, so a blood test, breathalyzer, or urinalysis is a precise way to determine the level of alcohol when it is administered the right way. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, can show up in blood tests up to 30 days after smoking it. What that means is that someone who has smoked pot a week before can fail a blood test, even though they’re not impaired at all. If you have been arrested for a DUI involving marijuana, reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Miami right away.
Marijuana and Field Sobriety Tests
Medical sobriety tests, like the breathalyzer, are not applicable in determining impairment from marijuana, and most police officers just administer standard field sobriety tests to see whether or not someone is too impaired to drive a car. The issue is that there isn’t a scientific test to prove that these tests are effective in assessing impairment when applied to marijuana. There are currently new sobriety tests being developed, but none of them have yet been universally accepted by the law enforcement community.
What to Do If You Are Arrested for a DUI Involving Marijuana
A Miami criminal defense attorney is your best bet to help you put up a serious defense against the charges filed against you. You shouldn’t avoid defending your case in the hopes of saving some money. It could cost you a lot more if you don’t call a criminal lawyer in Miami. There are monthly payment plans available through our firm so you can pay a retainer over time. Defending a DUI charge is not cheap, but not reaching out to a lawyer can land you in jail and cost you a lot of money in terms of fines, fees, reputation, and time away from work.
You need to work with an attorney who understands the many defense strategies available to you. Most people don’t know their options. They need a competent, experienced DUI attorney to present all the options.
We handle a variety of criminal law cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
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