DUI for Marijuana in New Jersey
What to Do When Charged With a Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
If you are charged with DWI for drugs/marijuana in New Jersey, the prosecuting lawyer will gather and present evidence that you were under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. Judges and prosecutors are tough on drug-related crimes, and that trickles down to police officers as well. Prosecutors will use the testimony of a drug recognition expert (DRE) who examined your vital signs and responsiveness to motor skill and vision tests at the police station. They may use the results of a field sobriety test, and they will certainly use the results of blood and/or urine tests.
How Is ‘Under the Influence’ Defined?
Facing all this evidence can be overwhelming and frightening, but driving “under the influence” of any drug is not clearly defined in the New Jersey statute. Just like a field sobriety test, much of the evidence against you is subjective. The law states that a person “under the influence” is in a condition that affects his or her judgment or control of a motor vehicle as to make it improper to drive on the highway. The burden of proof is upon the prosecutor to supply evidence that establishes such impairment beyond a reasonable doubt.
In reality, you could be facing DWI penalties for a small amount of THC in your blood and/or urine that may or may not have been impairing you at the time of arrest.
If you were arrested for a marijuana-related DWI in New Jersey, contact me immediately. Expedient and effective representation from an Atlantic City DWI defense attorney can aggressively challenge state’s evidence in your South Jersey case.
What Are the Penalties for Drugged Driving in New Jersey?
Unlike drunk driving, New Jersey implied consent law does not apply to drugged driving arrests. If you were arrested for drugged driving, you are not required to submit to a chemical test that would screen for the presence of drugs in your blood or urine. No penalties apply for test refusal.
If you ARE charged and convicted, penalties are similar to those for drunk driving:
- First offense:
- Fine of $300 to $500
- Detainment of 12 to 48 hours during two consecutive days
- Imprisonment up to 30 days
- Driver’s license suspension for seven months to one year
- Second offense:
- Fine of $500 to $1,000
- Community service for up to 30 days
- Imprisonment from 48 hours to 90 days
- Driver’s license suspension for two years
- Third offense:
- Fine of $1,000
- Community service for up to 30 days
- Imprisonment not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served in a drug inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center
- Driver’s license suspension for 10 years
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation on all owned, leased or regularly operated vehicles
Drug-Related DUI Attorney in Atlantic City | Challenging State’s Evidence
DWI for marijuana is a charge that is not as common as a drunk driving charge. Expert witnesses who can accurately provide evidence against individuals charged with marijuana-related drugged driving are few in number. Lack of evidence or unavailability of a witness could result in case dismissal or a not-guilty verdict.
Testing problems are numerous. Elevated blood pressure and heart rate are not necessarily evidence of impairment, just as poor balance, coordination or eye tracking are not. Presence of any drug in your blood or urine is far from proof that the drug was affecting you at the time of arrest or vehicle operation. THC is present in your blood and urine for several days following your use, and the potency of the marijuana you may have smoked or ingested could cause the levels of THC in your chemical test to vary greatly.
Drugs affect different people in many different ways, many of which do not impair driving ability. I will challenge these tests professionally on your behalf. Additionally, I will challenge probable cause. Paraphernalia, the supposed smell of marijuana, smoke and other signs could be probable cause for a vehicle search, but not for a drugged driving charge.
Contact My South Jersey Office
I will begin working on crafting you a strong defense from day one, prepared to challenge the state’s experts, evidence and law enforcement methods. Call or e-mail my law firm today to discuss your case or schedule a free initial consultation. Call today 609-390-4600.
I can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week.