Marijuana is the most common form of drug DUI in California. You can be arrested for DUI even if it is legal for you to possess marijuana.
Out of all the different drugs that can be involved in a DUI case, marijuana is the most common. This is partly because it’s such a common street drug nationwide, partly because it has been decriminalized in California, and partly because people don’t think of it as a “hard” drug like crack or LSD. But if you are pulled over and have marijuana in your system, you can be convicted of driving under the influence.
Legally, marijuana DUIs are treated just like any other drug DUI. But there are some things you should know if your case specifically involves marijuana. This includes:
- You can be convicted even though marijuana is legal. Currently in California, possessing a small amount of marijuana is a minor infraction and law enforcement generally do not enforce this law in many cases. This is why it is considered “decriminalized.” But your DUI is not about the legal status of your marijuana. It’s about whether you were impaired by the marijuana at the time you drove.
- You can be convicted even if you have a prescription. California allows medical use of marijuana for those who have a prescription. But the prescription does not give you the right to drive under the influence. DUIs are routinely prosecuted against people who used prescription drugs such as painkillers, and marijuana is no different.
- Any amount of marijuana in the system can be used against you. If you are arrested on suspicion of marijuana DUI you will either be given a blood test or a urine test. If THC (marijuana) is found in the sample, it will be considered evidence of your guilt. This is problematic if you use marijuana on a regular basis, because habitual users will have some amount of THC in their system at all times, even when sober. This can be used to build a defense for you.
What are the penalties for a marijuana DUI in Los Angeles?
If convicted you will face the same penalties as any other DUI defendant. These include:
- License suspension. You face admin per se suspension as soon as you’re arrested and additional suspension if convicted.
- Jail time. Jail time for DUI starts at two days minimum sentence, up to six months. It can be dramatically more or include prison time in some cases.
- Mandatory safety classes. You will be required to attend DUI school at your own expense.
- Thousands of dollars in costs. The lowest you will pay for a first time DUI is about $1,800. It can easily be over $15,000.
These excessive costs and penalties are why we urge all marijuana DUI defendants to fight their charge from the beginning.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.