Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Tempe Lawyers for Marijuana DUI Charges

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Arizona. Marijuana can impair your ability to react to changing road conditions, including the time it takes to brake or respond to an emergency situation. Marijuana stays in your system a long time compared to alcohol. You can even have marijuana in your system because you’ve been around a pot smoker regularly. Seasoned Tempe DUI defense attorney James Novak may be able to represent you if you are arrested and charged with a marijuana DUI. Defending DUI with drugs requires knowledgeable counsel. There have been recent changes to the law in Arizona that decriminalize recreational marijuana use. This may be a game-changer for a lot of our clients.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal under A.R.S section 28-1381. It is illegal for you to drive or being in actual physical control of your car while under the influence of any drug, as well as any intoxicating liquor or vapor releasing substance. Additionally, you can be charged with a drug DUI if there is any drug defined in section 13-3401 or its metabolite in your body. You should be aware that a new marijuana law, Prop 207, was passed by voters and is in now in effect as A.R.S. section 36-2852.

Under this law, you can be found guilty of a Tempe marijuana DUI under section 28-1381 if the prosecutor can show beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you had metabolites or components of marijuana in your body and (2) you were impaired to the slightest degree. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a high standard. However, in most cases, prosecutors don’t charge a marijuana DUI without some evidence. You should not lose heart. There are DUI defenses we may be able to raise on your behalf.

Mr. Novak understands that every person reacts differently to having pot in his or her system. Some people are impaired with only a little bit, while others need to smoke quite a bit for it to affect their driving. As your attorney, we may be able to raise reasonable doubt or even prove that you were not impaired to the slightest degree, such that it shouldn’t matter if you had metabolites of marijuana in your body. We can raise these issues with the prosecutor before trial to see whether a favorable deal can be made.

Our principal lawyer James E. Novak may be able to bring a motion to suppress chemical test results that reveal marijuana metabolites if you were arrested without probable cause. Often police officers administer field sobriety tests to determine if someone is impaired. These tests are known to be potentially unreliable. Additionally, they have to be administered appropriately to be valid and admissible. Furthermore, if we can show that the police officer’s basis for probable cause to arrest you is flawed, we may be able to win a motion to suppress or raise reasonable doubt about chemical test results.

Another potential defense we may be able to raise is that the officer didn’t have a reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place. An officer cannot pull you over on a mere hunch that you were under the influence. If we can show there was no reasonable suspicion, we may be able to get anything that was obtained during the stop or after the arrest suppressed as fruit of the poisonous tree.

Tempe Lawyer to Show There Was No Reasonable Suspicion

Under the new law, the odor of marijuana, whether it’s burning or not, cannot be the basis of a reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime. However, it can be grounds for reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime if you’re being investigated by an officer for DUI.

Retain a Knowledgeable Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney

You should take charges of driving under the influence of marijuana seriously. Prosecutors will. You may face significant penalties if you’re convicted of this crime. A criminal record can affect your ability to get a job or secure housing. Our knowledgeable and tough Tempe drug DUI lawyer James E. Novak may be able to help you defeat the charges or negotiate a plea deal. He has years of experience representing those charged with drug DUIs in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Call us at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.