Charged with a DUI for Marijuana in Middletown NJ?
With the legalization of marijuana seeming imminent in New Jersey, it is important to still remember that driving under the influence of marijuana will still be against the law. The penalties associated with a marijuana DUI in essence mirror that of driving under the influence of alcohol and as you probably imagine, they can be devastating. They can include high fines, lengthy license suspension, community service, imposition of the ignition interlock device and court mandated rehab. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of marijuana in Middletown, Howell, Belmar, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, Ocean Township, Manalapan, Sea Bright, Red Bank or Neptune, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. To set up an initial consultation today, please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. One of our DUI defense lawyers would be glad to sit down and discuss the specifics of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs. Now here is some important information on marijuana dui charges in New Jersey.
Facing a Marijuana DUI Charge in Wall Township?
All driving under the influence of marijuana charges in New Jersey will be governed by NJSA 39:4-50. In other words, regardless of whether the individual is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, heroin, cocaine, marijuana or prescription drugs, NJSA 39:4-50 will control. It states in pertinent part that it is against the law for
Any person [to] operate[s] a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug…
Proving a Marijuana DUI in New Jersey
One of most frequent questions that we get asked when it comes to a marijuana DUI charge is “How can they prove I was under the influence?”. If someone is accused of driving while intoxicated (alcohol), the Alcotest machine, which determines someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC), is one of the key pieces of evidence used by the prosecution to prove their case. However, the Alcotest machine will be of no legal significance when it comes to prosecuting a marijuana dui or any drug dui for that matter. Instead the prosecution will look to the following when it comes to prosecuting someone accused of a marijuana DUI:
- A blood sample (if exist),
- A urine sample (if exist),
- A Drug Recognition Expert Report (if exist),
- The Standardized Field Sobriety Test,
- The officer’s testimony.
It is important to note here that pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Missouri v. McNeely, that although the police may ask an individual if they would consent to providing a blood or urine sample, they cannot force someone to provide such sample unless a warrant is obtained. Furthermore, the courts have limited the introduction of an officer’s testimony regarding an individual’s “drug” intoxication to marijuana cases only, unless that officer is also considered a drug recognition expert (DRE).
Penalties for a Marijuana DUI in NJ
DUI charges in New Jersey are considered enhanceable offense. Meaning that the penalties increase for any second or subsequent conviction. For a first offense alone, a Defendant will be facing a seven to twelve month loss of license, 12 hours in the intoxicated drivers resource center, up to $500 in fines, imposition ignition interlock device and up to thirty days in jail. For more information on the penalties, please checkout our Monmouth County DWI practice area by clicking the link.
Marijuana DUI Lawyer in Wall Twp. NJ
If you have been charged with a drug DUI, marijuana dui, alcohol DWI, assault by auto, eluding or any other offense for that matter, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Although these offenses are considered traffic in nature, the potential penalties if convicted can be more crippling then that of some disorderly persons offenses. If you would like to contact one of the DUI lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law and discuss your options then please contact us at 732.858.6959. Our office serves all of Monmouth County, including times like Eatontown, Manasquan, Atlantic Highlands, Marlboro, Colts Neck, West Long Branch, Rumson and Holmdel.