A marijuana DUI is a new legal problem. Marijuana for recreational use was legalized in February 2021 and medical marijuana use wasn’t legalize all that long ago either. If you use marijuana, get pulled over for a minor traffic offense, and the officer finds evidence that you are a user, you may automatically end up in the back of the police cruiser, even if you’ve done nothing wrong. We’ll help you understand the situation and choose your next step.
Remember Your Rights
First, cooperate with law enforcement, but utilize your right to silence. Keep in mind, marijuana is legal, but driving under the influence is not. You are not facing charges for using marijuana. You are facing charges for operating a vehicle while high.
If you drive in New Jersey, you have already given implied consent for DUI testing. Officers who suspect you are under the influence can take samples to test for signs that you’ve been consuming. While this works reasonably well for alcohol, there are many problems with marijuana testing methods. Signs of consumption linger in the body for days or even weeks after you partake. So, if you are pulled over for a burnt out taillight a week after using marijuana, any tests would suggest you are inebriated.
This makes a marijuana DUI a possibility for any marijuana user, no matter how responsible they are. Many prosecutors will use this evidence to push for a conviction, even if you were not at all impaired. In these situations, it’s important to remember your rights to a fair trial. Since there is still a lot of bias against marijuana use, you need to find the best possible attorney as quickly as possible.
Contact an Attorney
Choose your attorney carefully, and keep in mind that certain individuals in the justice system will be predisposed against you. This is unjust, and the right attorney can help you establish your rights. When reviewing your options, look for the most informed and experienced defense. Leon Matchin is familiar with all the new marijuana laws and is ready to fight your DUI charge.
Your defense needs to have two things. First, they should be local. New Jersey has plenty of laws and state-based precedents about marijuana and DUIs, and coming to a case prepared with that knowledge will help your defense immensely. Secondly, your attorney must be ready to set or enforce new and developing precedents. Courts often turn to older, similar cases to see how complex legal matters were resolved, and this creates a precedent. Since legal marijuana is so new to New Jersey, however, there are very few prior cases to draw from. Your attorney should be prepared for a lot of work and the potential of biased opponents.
There is nothing wrong with legally using marijuana for recreational or medical reasons, but that may not protect you from marijuana DUI charges. Understand the flaws in the system that will work against you, and remember to choose your attorney carefully. New Jersey is facing new problems, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be solved with the right help.