Marijuana DUI Lawyer Costa Mesa
If you have received a DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa for driving under the influence of Marijuana, because you were given a urine or blood test that was positive for the presence of Marijuana or a marijuana like substance, you should contact DUI Lawyers Marijuana Costa Mesa to get in touch with a law firm that works with a team of professionals on the matter and that knows how to handle those particular kinds of DUI charges.Call Now (949) 954-7729
If you have been given a blood or urine test that was positive for a metabolite of marijuana such as THC, it is entirely possible that you were not under the influence of the drug, rather you may have ingested the drug many days, weeks, or even months earlier. Factors including frequency of use, body weight and size as well as metabolic rate all help to show that, although there may have been THC in your blood, you were not in fact under the influence of Marijuana.
In other words, the Prosecution must show “actual impairment”. If you call DUI Lawyers Marijuana Costa Mesa today, we can order a blood split from a certified specialist with whom we work frequently to negate the presence of Marijuana or alternatively, to show no actual impairment due to prior use of Marijuana.
Even in California, Marijuana is an illegal drug, also known as a controlled substance. Marijuana is widely available in many forms, including plant form, hashish oils, edibles, drinks, and topical tinctures. Marijuana based substances are psychoactive, used recreationally to enjoy euphoric feeling, heightened awareness, increased appetite, and relaxation. Marijuana is also used medicinally for a wide variety of ailments, from pain relief to attention deficit disorder. Studies about the long and short term effects of marijuana are contradictory and inconclusive at best. However, it has been reported that marijuana can affect a driver by resulting in impaired motor skills, decreased short term memory, paranoia, and anxiety.
DUIs for Marijuana and other Marijuana based substances often occur because drivers who smoke marijuana sometimes smell strongly of marijuana. Also, outward symptoms, such as red eyes, are an instant red flag for any officer. Alternatively, a marijuana user may be overly anxious, jittery or paranoid, thus leading to a DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa. Additionally, Marijuana and Marijuana based substances can cause drivers to jerk their steering wheels, or make efforts to stay awake while driving, often leading to a DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa.
Many drivers also mistakenly believe that the medical marijuana laws protect them from a Marijuana DUI. Unfortunately, it is not a defense that a person is, or has been, entitled to use marijuana under California law. (CVC 23630.) However, medical use that did not result in actual impairment while driving may be a defense in your case.
A DUI for Marijuana falls under the law for a DUI for Drugs in Costa Mesa.
First, let DUI Lawyers in Costa Mesa give you the relevant law. The relevant portion of the law that is applicable to DUI for Drugs in Costa Mesa is as follows:
CVC 23152 Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs . . .
- (c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code. . . .
- (e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.
- (f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle. . . .
[The above law was amended and reinstated to include the new narcotics treatment program approved by the Health and Safety Code.]
The California Vehicle Code defines a drug as “any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which could so affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that an ordinarily prudent and cautious man, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like conditions.” (CVC § 312.) Essentially, a drug is any substance other than alcohol that can impair driving ability. California courts have held that marijuana is a drug for the purposes of the DUI laws.
Punishments for a DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa vary depending in where you were arrested and which court your case is handled in. Generally, there are several possible outcomes of your case.
Initially, you could plead guilty and suffer the penalties below. However, if you plead not guilty then we can ask the prosecutor to lower the charge to a less serious traffic violation. If plea bargaining is unsuccessful, then DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa can challenge the prosecution’s evidence at the preliminary hearing. Your case could be dismissed at the preliminary hearing if the judge finds that the police didn’t follow the law. After the preliminary hearing DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa can talk to the prosecutor again to seek a lower charge now that their evidence has been challenged.
If your case is not dismissed, and we cannot successfully get the prosecutor to lower your charges, then we prepare for trial. DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa consults with an expert witness who, if necessary, can testify that you were not impaired or that the tests are invalid. After the trial, you could be found not guilty.
However, if you are found guilty, then the punishment could include a jail sentence, probation, fines, DUI school, and a driver’s license suspension.
A DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa is generally a misdemeanor, unless there are aggravating circumstances such as bodily injury to another person. Although a DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa is still a misdemeanor, courts can sentence a guilty defendant to some jail time. It is important to call DUI Lawyers today so that we can get started on your case and try to keep you out of jail.
A DUI for Marijuana in Costa Mesa is also subject to a DMV suspension of your driving privileges. You only have a short period of time, usually 10 days or less, to challenge a DMV license suspension. If you don’t challenge the DMV within 10 days then your license will be automatically suspended in 30 days. DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa can fight the DMV so that you may be able to keep your license or get a restricted license.
If you are pulled over by a police officer and it is discovered that you have been taking Marijuana or a similar substance, and you are then charged with a DUI, there are plausible defenses to such a case, including the defense that you are not “actually impaired”.
For an individual to be guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs, it is not enough that the drug could impair an individual's driving ability or that the person is under the influence to some detectible degree. Rather, the drug must actually impair the individual's driving ability. Depending on the amount of the drug in your system at the time, we can make a case that you were not “actually impaired”.
Drugs affect people differently depending on their height, weight, body fat, and metabolism. Also, a person’s particular tolerance (a built up immunity to a drug’s effect by extended use) may mean that they will need more of a drug to feel the same effect as someone who does not regularly use the drug. DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa can bring a qualified expert to testify in court about how these factors impact your case.
Police attempt to show actual impairment by blood or urine tests. However, blood and urine tests are subject to many challenges, including that the police did not follow storage and handling procedures they are required by law to follow. Also, additional blood tests by DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa can show that you were not actually impaired, and thus not guilty.
Our team of lawyers would ask for a blood split to determine when the last time the drug was used, and if so, the relative quantity of the drug. If we can show that the driver was not actually impaired by Marijuana, then a DUI for Marijuana may not stick in Court.
An additional argument is that you were not actually driving the vehicle. It is possible that an officer did not witness you driving, or that you were merely sitting in a parked vehicle. Depending on the circumstances of your case, DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa may be able to convince the court that there is insufficient evidence to prove you were driving.
Additionally, if the police officer did not stop you for the right reasons or had no reason at all, we can argue that the officer had no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop you, and it may be possible that the prosecution will dismiss the case.
Contact DUI Lawyers Costa Mesa today for a free and confidential consultation regarding your case. We will look at your personal history and the facts surrounding the charges against you, and then we can discuss possible outcomes with you at no cost.