Columbia Marijuana DUI Lawyer

In the eyes of the law, marijuana is treated the same as most drugs. There are four groups of laws surrounding marijuana-related offenses; possession, possession with intent to distribute, distribution, and manufacturing.

Someone can be charged with different laws at the same time but, generally, the officers choose one or the other. Speaking with a distinguished DUID attorney about your case may benefit the outcome. A Columbia marijuana DUI lawyer can help you prepare a strong defense before heading to trial.

Defining the Prosecution’s Standard of Proof

Columbia marijuana DUI lawyers know that the prosecution has the same standard of proof in proving their case as any other driving under the influence charge. They must prove that the person was under the influence and was unable to drive safely.

Under the law, their abilities to think, react, and drive a vehicle were materially and appreciably impaired. In other words, they could not drive the car safely and they were a danger on the road. The prosecution must prove through the urinalysis or a blood test that the person ingested the marijuana. 

What is the Role of Expert Witnesses?

Some drug recognition experts believe they can testify based on their training and experience, that they can tell without the use of tests whether somebody smoked marijuana. Some judges previously admitted DRE testimony into evidence. An experienced attorney can challenge and vigorously object when a DRE testifies at trial.

Associated Penalties for Marijuana DUI Cases

For DUI specifically, not just marijuana but for DUI, a person charged for driving under the influence after ingesting marijuana is treated the same as all low-level DUIs. The charge is not enhanced based on the blood alcohol level, the BAC. A first offense DUI for marijuana through a urinalysis result in a 30-day misdemeanor.

Difference Between Alcohol-Based Cases

Marijuana DUI cases require the urine test versus a breath test, and possibly a blood test. The tests are the more sophisticated kind to determine whether there is an active metabolite. Marijuana stays in someone’s system for up to 30 days. If someone smoked marijuana a month ago, they would not be under the influence of marijuana.

It is in their system and they still test positive for it but they are not under the influence of the drug. However, if they smoked marijuana the night before or just a few hours or minutes before, they should have an active metabolite that shows they are currently under the influence of marijuana. That depends on the type of test and the accuracy of the test.

Common Cannabis Charges

For a first offense possession, a person faces 30 days in jail. When someone is charged with possession of marijuana under one ounce, they face a misdemeanor crime with up to 30 days in jail and the maximum fine of around $200.

When someone is charged with possession with intent to distribute, they are looking at a felony carrying up to five years in jail. Manufacturing marijuana is in the same realm for a first offense of up to five years in jail. 

Paraphernalia Offenses

Paraphernalia can be charged and is also a misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail. The possession with intent to distribute is when someone has more than one ounce of marijuana or up to ten pounds. It is a felony that carries up to five years.

Someone can be arrested for trafficking marijuana when they have more than ten pounds of marijuana up to 99 pounds. A first offense is a felony that carries up to five years. Should this occur, it may be critical to speak with a Columbia marijuana DUI lawyer right away.

Considerations Before Charging Someone with a Marijuana DUI

When someone has marijuana in their possession or it is in the center console of a car or a glove compartment, they can be charged with possession of marijuana.

The amount of marijuana, how it is held, whether there is other evidence such as scales involved can make a difference between being charged with possession or with intent to distribute.

If the weight of the marijuana is high enough, the individual can be charged with trafficking which has the most severe penalties. When someone is arrested for growing marijuana plants, they are charged with manufacturing marijuana.

Whether they have a pot field or a single plant in their home, Columbia marijuana DUI lawyer knows that their potential client could be charged with manufacturing the drug. The charge is case-specific and depends on the facts that revolve around the arrest.

Importance of Speaking with an Attorney

Marijuana DUIs are different from alcohol-related DUIs because of the different types of tests. Columbia marijuana DUI lawyers should be able to understand whether the authorities can prove the person ingested marijuana, and whether a person is truly under the influence. An attorney can help you prepare to try combatting evidence the prosecution may present.

Columbia Marijuana DUI Lawyer