Anne Arundel County Marijuana DUID Lawyer
Simple possession of marijuana, is decriminalized throughout the State of Maryland including Anne Arundel County. That means that possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana is a civil infraction, punishable by a fine, rather than incarceration or other penalties. That, however, does not change the legality of operating a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana which is still just as much a violation as it was when marijuana was fully criminalized in Maryland. For this reason, if accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana a person should hire an Anne Arundel marijuana DUI lawyer to begin building a defense.
Legal Status of a Marijuana DUI
The decriminalization of pot does not extend to the decriminalization of a marijuana DUI. A marijuana DUI is still criminalized just as it was prior to the decriminalization of weed and according to Maryland Code 21-902 (d) can carry up to one year, up to $1,000.00 fine, and 12 points against the individual’s driver’s license. It is rare for an individual conviction of 21-902 (d) to be given the maximum penalty but it is possible in certain cases making it imperative marijuana DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel County is contacted.
Differences Between Marijuana DUI Cases and Alcohol Based Cases
There is no per se marijuana law. If an individual is charged with a DUI and they submit a breath sample, they are going to be charged with a violation of Transportation Article21-902 (a2) DUI per se. That law prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle when the individual’s breath alcohol content is 0.08 or higher. Accordingly, it is an infraction to drive with a certain breath alcohol content and impairment whether you are drunk, buzzed, or even if you are completely sober.
There is no equivalent law in Maryland in relation to weed in an individual’s blood stream. There is no set limit for marijuana grams per milliliter of blood, as there are in some jurisdictions that have fully legalized pot.
In that sense, it makes marijuana DUI significantly more difficult to prove because the state has to prove actual impairment and be able to draw a possible connection between consumption of marijuana and the impairment exhibited.
Evidence Used in Marijuana Cases
The prosecution needs to prove that an individual is operating a motor vehicle and at the time of operation their ability to operate that vehicle was impaired by their ingestion of a controlled dangerous substance, specifically marijuana. To do that, the arresting officer would have to testify about the driving behavior and any indicators that the individual gave of impairment when they were in contact with the officer. If the individual submitted to a DRE or Drug Recognition Evaluator’s examination, the prosecutor would also have that evaluator testify as to the results of the evaluation to establish impairment in a marijuana DUI case.
There is no legal obligation to submit to a DRE evaluation and there is no legal penalty for refusal to submit to a DRE evaluation, so in almost every situation it is best to refuse a DRE interview when it is offered.
Benefits of An Anne Arundel County Marijuana DUI Attorney
It is important to contact an Anne Arundel marijuana DUI lawyer because these case are usually easier for the attorney to defend than an alcohol related DUI, but if an individual is convicted on the violation of 21-902 (d) it can have the same kind of negative effects on an individual’s life as a conviction for alcohol DUIs. Certainly, it is important to contact an Anne Arundel Marijuana DUI attorney, who has experience in these types of cases, when facing these types of charges.