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Marinaro Law Firm

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Home 9 Drug Charges 9 A Comprehensive Guide to Marijuana DUI: What Happens After You Are Charged?

A Comprehensive Guide to Marijuana DUI: What Happens After You Are Charged?

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Navigating the complexities of marijuana DUI charges can be daunting, especially for those unfamiliar with the specific legal parameters surrounding driving under the influence of marijuana in Pennsylvania. Understanding what constitutes a marijuana DUI and the subsequent consequences is essential for anyone facing such charges or for those concerned about how a DUI charge might impact their medical marijuana use. This comprehensive guide will delve into the qualifications of a marijuana DUI, the role of drug recognition experts (DRE), and the implications of having marijuana metabolites in your system. As you keep reading, you will also explore the potential penalties, including license suspension.

What Qualifies as a Marijuana DUI?

In Pennsylvania, marijuana DUI laws are stringent and specific. Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal, and you can be charged if you are found to be impaired while driving. The state employs a zero-tolerance policy for controlled substances, which includes marijuana, regardless of whether it is for medical use. If you get pulled over, law enforcement officers may look for signs such as the smell of marijuana, bloodshot eyes, or erratic driving. You may also be required to submit to chemical testing, such as blood testing, to determine the presence of marijuana metabolites. The presence of any amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can lead to DUI charges. Understanding these laws is crucial, especially for medical marijuana users who must navigate these regulations carefully to avoid penalties.

The Role of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE)

Drug recognition experts (DRE) play a critical role in identifying impaired drivers in Pennsylvania. These specially trained law enforcement officers are skilled in recognizing signs of drug impairment, including the influence of marijuana. During a traffic stop, a DRE may conduct several evaluations to determine whether a driver is impaired. These evaluations include checking vital signs, performing eye examinations, and assessing coordination through field sobriety tests. The DRE’s comprehensive assessment helps establish whether the driver is under the influence of marijuana or other controlled substances. Their findings can significantly impact the outcome of DUI charges.

What are the Consequences of a Marijuana DUI Charge?

Facing a marijuana DUI charge in Pennsylvania comes with severe consequences, including license suspension and various legal penalties. If convicted, your driver’s license can be suspended for a long time, often for as long as 12 months for a first offense. This suspension can severely impact your daily life, making commuting to work or handling daily responsibilities difficult.

Additionally, legal penalties may include fines, mandatory drug and alcohol education programs, and even jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and whether it is a repeat violation. The presence of marijuana metabolites in your system can exacerbate these penalties. Understanding the full scope of potential consequences is crucial for anyone charged with a marijuana DUI, as it underscores the importance of legal representation and the need to navigate the judicial process carefully.

Navigating DUI Charges: What to Expect

When facing DUI charges for driving under the influence of marijuana in Pennsylvania, the legal process can be overwhelming. Initially, you will likely be arrested and required to submit to chemical testing, such as blood testing, to detect levels of THC. Following your arrest, you will receive a summons to appear in court. During the court proceedings, the prosecution will present evidence, which may include the results of field sobriety tests and testimonies from drug recognition experts.

It is crucial to have legal representation to help navigate the complexities of the case and advocate on your behalf. Your attorney can challenge the validity of the evidence, negotiate plea deals, or argue for reduced penalties. Understanding what to expect during this process can help alleviate stress and prepare you for the legal journey, which is why you should contact a legal professional as soon as possible when charged with a marijuana DUI.

What Happens if I Get a Marijuana DUI When I Have a Medical Marijuana Card in PA?

Having a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania does not exempt you from DUI laws. If you are charged with a marijuana DUI while holding a medical marijuana card, you will face the same legal consequences as any other driver. These consequences include license suspension, fines, and possible jail time. The presence of marijuana metabolites in your system can still be used as evidence against you, even if you have a legitimate medical reason for using marijuana and even if you were not under the influence at the time of the charge. Metabolites can stay in your system for up to 30 days after marijuana use. It is crucial to understand that the law does not distinguish between recreational and medical use regarding impaired driving. Therefore, medical marijuana users must exercise caution and avoid driving under the influence altogether.

Act Now to Defend Your Rights with Marinaro Law Firm

Time is of the essence when you are facing marijuana DUI charges in Pennsylvania. Let Marinaro Law Firm stand by your side. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our adept legal team. We are ready to guide you through the complexities of DUI law with exceptional, steadfast support. Your future deserves the best defense. Reach out to Marinaro Law Firm today to get started.

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