Phoenix Marijuana DUI Defense

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Experienced Attorney for Marijuana DUI Charges in Phoenix

Arizona enforces a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of marijuana. If you received a charge for a marijuana DUI, you could face jail time, heavy fines, or a license suspension.

A Phoenix Marijuana DUI defense attorney can investigate the incident and develop a strong defense to help you get your charges reduced or dropped. Common defenses in these cases include a lack of probable cause, the police didn’t read your Miranda rights or pulled you over illegally, you weren’t intoxicated at the time of the stop, and you had a valid medical marijuana card.

Common Defenses for a Marijuana DUI in Phoenix

Just because you have received charges for a marijuana DUI doesn’t mean you have to deal with a conviction and the consequences. Whether it’s the first, second, or subsequent offense, a Phoenix defense attorney can fight your DUI charges.

Your lawyer could raise these defenses:

  • Law enforcement pulled you over illegally.
  • Law enforcement didn’t have probable cause.
  • Law enforcement didn’t read your Miranda Rights.
  • You were not under the influence at the time of the traffic stop.
  • You had a valid medical marijuana card. Defense attorneys can gather evidence of what happened and investigate the arrest. They use the information to determine the best defense for the case. Because defense attorneys have typically handled many similar cases, they know how to build a case and negotiate with the prosecution to lessen or drop the charges.
  • You did not consent to a blood draw or were coerced into giving consent.
  • The blood results are invalid.

Law Enforcement Pulled You Over Illegally

For law enforcement to pull you over, they must have a reasonable suspicion that you showed signs of driving under the influence of marijuana, like swerving in and out of lanes or driving too fast or slow for road conditions. Officers cannot pull you over just because they have a feeling you did something wrong.

If your attorney finds that law enforcement didn’t have reasonable suspicion, they can request the court to throw out whatever evidence they collected at the scene.

Law Enforcement Didn’t Have Probable Cause

If law enforcement officers want to search a vehicle or conduct a breathalyzer test, they must have probable cause, like you had bloodshot eyes. Your attorney can build a handful of defenses to this claim.

Examples could include:

  • Your eyes are slightly red naturally.
  • You were in a bar where a lot of people were smoking.
  • You had allergies or a cold when they pulled you over.
  • Your red eyes could have been a sign of fatigue.
  • You took a medication that causes redness or dryness in your eyes.The officer might have even considered any of these possibilities. Your attorney can investigate what happened and establish that your “bloodshot eyes” didn’t have to do with smoking marijuana.

Law Enforcement Didn’t Read Your Miranda Rights

When police make an arrest, they must read you your Miranda Rights, which protect your right to refuse to incriminate yourself. If law enforcement officers did not read you your Miranda Rights, a defense attorney could try to have anything you said and other evidence collected at the scene dismissed.

You Were Not Under the Influence at the Time of the Traffic Stop

A Phoenix marijuana DUI defense attorney can provide evidence indicating you were not under the influence of marijuana at the time of the traffic stop. They can work to have the case dropped if the police officers cannot provide evidence that shows you were high beyond a reasonable doubt during the traffic stop.

You Had a Valid Medical Marijuana Card

Arizona’s Arizona Medical Marijuana Act means that those who suffer from qualifying medical conditions can possess and use medical marijuana with a prescription. Once they register with the Arizona Department of Health Service, this card allows them to purchase and use cannabis.

In Dobson v. McClennen, the court ruled that the medical marijuana cardholder should not receive a DUI if the minimal amount in their system didn’t impair their driving. The law refers to this as an affirmative defense.

If the police still charged you with a marijuana DUI, a criminal defense attorney can help establish that your driving was not impaired and challenge the officer’s account of the arrest and what led up to it.

What to Do During a Marijuana DUI Stop in Phoenix, Arizona?

If a police officer pulls you over because they suspect you of driving under the influence of marijuana, you should know your rights.

Taking these measures can protect you:

  • Remain silent: When the police pull you over, don’t say “I’m sorry,” or admit to smoking marijuana. Anything you say can incriminate you, and the prosecution can use it against you in court. Ask for a lawyer, and don’t speak without one present.
  • Refuse to take the field sobriety test: Politely decline if they ask you to take a sobriety test. However, if they have you take a breath, blood, or urine test at the station, you must comply with their request. Under Arizona law, you consent to get tested whenever you operate a vehicle. If you refuse, you may face suspension of your driver’s license. The best thing to do is call a criminal defense attorney to determine whether you should consent.

Reasons to Hire a Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona

If you receive a charge for a marijuana DUI, you might benefit from hiring a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer.

While you take care of yourself, they can:

  • Identify which laws apply to your situation
  • Work to have you released on bail or reduce it
  • Examine or cross-examine witnesses
  • Build a strong defense against your marijuana DUI charges
  • Negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution
  • Speak to the police, prosecution, and the courts on your behalf
  • Represent you throughout all legal proceedings
  • Compile, organize, and present evidence.

When the prosecution sees you represent yourself in a marijuana DUI case, they could take advantage of the situation and walk all over you. Hiring legal representation can equip you to stand up to them and obtain a successful outcome.

A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Support You Throughout the Process

On top of managing all the legal aspects of your case, a criminal defense attorney can provide optimal client care for you. For example, they should provide frequent updates on the status of your case to keep you in the loop.

If you ever have any questions regarding the legal process or your case, more specifically, see if they encourage you to reach out to them at any time for clarification. Showing that they want to ensure you’re comfortable and at ease during this difficult time indicates their dedication and commitment to you.

Penalties for a Marijuana DUI in Phoenix, Arizona

Arizona law states no one can drive or have physical control of a vehicle in Arizona while under the influence of intoxicating drugs that impair them to the slightest degree. If the police suspect you have any drug metabolite in your body, you could receive a marijuana DUI charge. A marijuana DUI charge constitutes a class 1 misdemeanor.

The more offenses you’ve had with the same charge, the more likely you could face harsher penalties.

Penalties for a First Offense

If you receive a conviction for a marijuana DUI for the first time, you could face:

  • Jail time for 10 days
  • A minimum of $250 with additional fines
  • Requirements to undergo alcohol and drug education classes or treatment
  • Orders to perform community serviceTo avoid a conviction, your attorney can build a defense to help you avoid these penalties.

Penalties for a Second or Subsequent Offense

If you receive a conviction of a marijuana DUI for the second time or subsequent offenses within seven years, you could face:

  • Jail time for 90 days
  • A minimum of $500 with additional fines
  • Requirements to undergo alcohol and drug education classes or treatment
  • An order to perform 30 hours of community serviceWhen you have a second offense for a marijuana DUI charge, hiring legal representation can help you have those charges dismissed or lowered.

Aggravated DUI Penalties

If you receive a charge for aggravated DUI, you could face harsher punishments. You would typically face this charge while your license is suspended or you allegedly commit a third DUI within an 84-month span. You could also receive an aggravated DUI charge if someone under the age of 15 is in the vehicle during the time of the traffic stop.

If you receive a conviction for an aggravated DUI, you could face:

  • Up to 3.75 years in prison, and a minimum of 4 months in prison even if given probation for class 4 felony aggravated DUIs.
  • Up to 2 years in prison for class 6 felony aggravated DUIs.
  • Requirement to undergo drug education classes or treatment
  • Order to perform community service.

You could have to deal with the consequences of an aggravated DUI for years. A marijuana DUI defense attorney can help you build a case against these charges.

Other Consequences of a Marijuana DUI Conviction

When you receive a conviction of a marijuana DUI, it can stay on your record for the rest of your life. It’s important to know the other consequences you could face if you have a conviction on your record. These consequences don’t relate to the law but could affect you in the future.

These consequences include:

  • Trouble securing a loan: Whether it’s a home, car, or personal loan, many mortgage companies could deny the loan application if they see a conviction on your record.
  • Difficulty getting into the school of choice: College and university admissions offices review all applications that come in to determine if they will approve or deny someone’s admittance. If they conduct a background check and see a criminal conviction, they could deny your admission.
  • Trouble finding housing: If you want to rent a home or apartment, you could have trouble finding something when you have a conviction on your record. Landlords could conduct a background check and deny your housing application if they see the conviction.
  • Revocation of your work licenses: If you work in the healthcare or trucking industries, you could lose your industry licenses if convicted of a crime, affecting your ability to stay at your job.
  • Trouble finding employment: Many employers will look at your background when you apply for a job. While some employers are open to hiring people with criminal records, some won’t, making it difficult to find employment. These reasons alone make it worth it to try to avoid a criminal conviction at all costs. With that, hiring the right marijuana DUI defense attorney can help you secure a fair outcome.

Let a Lawyer Protect You From a Phoenix Marijuana DUI Conviction

A criminal defense lawyer can fight for you to avoid a marijuana DUI conviction. Jail time and large fines are intimidating, and it could threaten your life and livelihood. When looking for a lawyer, check out their reviews and bio to see their successes and qualifications for this type of case. A law firm will use their knowledge and experience to develop a solid defensive strategy that’s unique to your situation.

While every case is different, having your charges dropped or reduced can help you get your life back. You don’t have to face these legal challenges alone an expert lawyer can help you.

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