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how to get a troubled teen back on track

Possible Defenses For Driving While High On Marijuana

by Bernard Rice

Whether or not marijuana is legal in your state, you can be arrested for DUI if a police officer suspects you of driving under the influence of drugs. This is because even legal drugs, including prescription ones, can impair your judgment and endanger the lives of other motorists on the road. Here are a few defensive strategies that can help you if you ever face such a charge:

You Were Not High

Just because you had marijuana in your possession does not mean that you were high. Therefore, you should strive to dissociate the possession of the drug from the accident. This defense is likely to succeed if:

  • You can provide an alternative cause of the accident. For example, you can show that it was caused by a pedestrian that suddenly crossed the road without warning and that even a non-marijuana user would have reacted the way you did.
  • You were not tested, or your test was negative, for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical compound that causes most of the psychological effects of marijuana.
  • Nobody saw you use the drug
  • You did not appear high
  • You did not smell of marijuana

Note that you may still be charged with drug possesses, if marijuana is illegal in your state. However, that would still be better than being charged with both a DUI and drug possession.

The Drug Did Not Impair Your Judgment

If your blood or urine sample was tested and proved positive for THC, then there is no way you can deny using the drug. However, you can claim that it did not affect your judgment. This is possible because there is no agreement on the amount of THC that qualifies one as inebriated with marijuana. You may have some measure of success with this approach if you can provide alternative causes of the accident. It would also be great if you did not appear drunk, even if the drug was in your system.

The Sobriety Tests Weren't Properly Done

If all these fail, then you can resort to the age-old defense of drunk driving – attacking the sobriety field test methodology. These tests, which include things like walking in a straight line of standing on one foot, should be conducted in certain ways to yield reliable results. For example, you may claim that the officer only watched a few steps before deciding that you were inebriated. This is a tricky defense strategy; it is best left to experienced criminal attorneys.

As you can see, the best thing to do if you are accused of DWI is to wait for your attorney to handle the case. There are several approaches that he or she may take, aside from these three. Even if he or she doesn't succeed in getting you freed, he or she may be able to reduce your sentence. For more information and advice, speak with experts like Hogan-Kimrey LLP Attorneys At Law.