Marijuana and Driving- Don’t Drive High

Driving High: What Happens If I Get a Marijuana DUI?

McCready Law Group May 8, 2023

According to statistics from the Crime in California Report, there were about 109,873 DUI-related arrests statewide in 2021. Although cannabis is legal for both recreational and medicinal use in California. However, there are restrictions regarding when and where you can take marijuana. A person could be arrested and charged with DUI for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana or any other controlled substance. 

If you're facing marijuana DUI charges or under investigation for driving high, retaining a strategic California criminal defense attorney is vital to help build your defense. At McCready Law Group, we have everything to assist clients in their drugged driving cases. Our reliable legal team can investigate every aspect of your case and strategize a solid defense to help fight your marijuana DUI charges. We're proud to serve clients across Long Beach, Cypress Hill, and Lakewood, California. 

California Marijuana Law  

According to California laws, cannabis is legal for both medicinal and recreational (adult) use. This means that a person who is at least 18 years can purchase marijuana for medicinal use with a doctor's recommendation, or at least 21 years can take marijuana for recreational purposes. However, it is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. Depending on the quantity of marijuana, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. 

DUI of Marijuana in California  

Under California DUI laws, it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug or controlled substance to drive a vehicle. A person violates this statute when: 

  • A person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, including cannabis or marijuana. 

  • The controlled substance (marijuana) has impaired the driver's physical or mental abilities. 

What is "Under the Influence"? 

Additionally, a person may be said to be "under the influence" of marijuana when: 

  • The person consumes marijuana. 

  • The person's physical or mental abilities are really impaired. 

  • The person is unable to drive a motor vehicle safely using ordinary care or with the proper caution of a sober person. 

However, unlike alcohol, there are no legal limits or BAC levels with marijuana DUI offenses. This is because blood and breath tests are unable to accurately measure the quantity of marijuana consumed. Thus, a judge or jury will use their discretion to decide if the alleged offender was driving while under the influence of marijuana. A seasoned attorney can enlighten you about the nature of your charges and help determine your available legal defenses. 

Possible Penalties 

In the state of California, a person convicted of marijuana DUI might be subject to any of the following penalties and consequences: 

  • Substantial fines and court fees 

  • Jail time 

  • License revocation or suspension 

  • Compulsory community service 

  • Vehicle forfeiture or impoundment 

  • Mandatory ignition interlock device 

  • A criminal record/history 

  • Increased auto insurance rates 

  • Increased difficulty in getting government benefits 

  • Loss of university acceptance or scholarships 

  • Loss of your rights to possess, purchase, or carry firearms 

  • Ineligibility to secure certain financial loans 

  • Damage to professional relationships 

  • Increased difficulty in securing housing and employment 

A highly-skilled California DUI defense attorney can assess all of the facts of your case thoroughly and strategize a solid defense to help you avoid the far-reaching implications of a criminal conviction. 

Legal Defenses 

When facing marijuana DUI allegations, your attorney can help fight your charges using any of the following legal defenses: 

  • The arrest was made illegally. 

  • The drugs didn't impair your driving. 

  • The arresting officers didn't follow due diligence. 

  • The blood samples and urine tests were contaminated. 

  • Testing wasn't done properly or according to state guidelines. 

  • The officer intimidated the driver into taking the test. 

A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can examine your case details and determine the best legal defenses to help you achieve the most favorable outcome for your circumstances. 

Practical & Purposeful Legal Advocacy  

Defending your marijuana DUI allegations without reliable representation could expose you to the risks of getting convicted. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction or record could jeopardize your quality of life, liberty, career, driving privileges, and future. Hence, if you or someone you know has recently been indicted for marijuana DUI, you need to retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately. 

At McCready Law Group, our attorneys enjoy handling criminal cases and protecting individuals charged with marijuana DUI from the worst possible penalties. Using our broad knowledge, we can help you navigate the California criminal justice system, dispute the accusations against you with factual evidence, and help keep your record clean. 

Contact us at McCready Law Group today to speak with a DUI defense attorney. Our reliable legal team has the aggressive representation and practical advocacy you need in your case. We're proud to serve clients across Long Beach, Cypress Hill, and Lakewood, California.

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