Leesburg Marijuana DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI for impairment from marijuana, it may be in your best interest to contact a seasoned DUI attorney. A Leesburg marijuana DUI lawyer can act as an advocate and guide through the complicated DUI court process. Marijuana DUIs are different from alcohol DUIs, so a lawyer with experience in this type of case can make a difference.
Leesburg Marijuana Laws
Marijuana is illegal in Leesburg and the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unlike Maryland and the District of Columbia that decriminalized simple possession of marijuana, Virginia statute makes the possession of any marijuana illegal. This includes charges for possession while driving and driving while under the influence of marijuana. These charges treat marijuana like any other intoxicant. The Virginia Code treats illegal and legal drugs the same when someone’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired.
When to Hire a Marijuana DUI Lawyer
A person needs to hire a marijuana DUI lawyer when they feel it is in their best interest. However, it is advised that one hires an attorney as soon as possible after they are charged with a DUI. The attorney will develop a body of information in defense of their client’s case. This includes asking for test results and videos, requesting discovery, and interviewing witnesses.
How Marijuana DUIs are Measured
Marijuana DUIs are not as straightforward as alcohol DUIs because there is no presumptive inference for marijuana DUI as there is for the 0.08 level for alcohol. Marijuana is still an illegal drug that is illegal to possess in Virginia and it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
The legalization of marijuana in neighboring states and the prevalence of marijuana in Virginia may lead to an increase in the amount of marijuana DUI arrests and marijuana DUI prosecutions. These are difficult cases to prosecute due to the nature of marijuana impairment and the nature of trying to prove when a person is impaired by the drug.
Two Charges for Marijuana DUI
When someone is charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, they face possibly a second charge. The first charge is DUI under the relevant statues in the Virginia Code. A person could be also be found in violation or be charged with violating the statute for unlawful possession of marijuana when they are in possession of a tangible amount of marijuana or marijuana residue. When someone is in possession of a large amount of marijuana or it is packaged or divided in a certain way, they may also be charged with possession with attempt to distribute or distribution of marijuana. When a person is arrested on suspicion of a marijuana DUI, they could have a possession charge and, depending on the nature of the possession, they could have possession with attempt to distribute charge as well.
DUI and marijuana DUI for a first or second offense in the Commonwealth of Virginia are punishable as Class 1 misdemeanors. They are punishable by up to 12 months in jail, up to $25,000 in fines, or a combination of the two. For a first offense marijuana DUI in Virginia, the only mandatory minimum punishment is a fine of at least $250. However, it is not unusual for someone to face the possibility of jail time for a first offense DUI involving marijuana.
The other penalties in addition to possible jail time and a fine are 12 months loss of a driver’s license, the requirement of an ignition interlock device of their vehicle to obtain a restricted license, a requirement to participate in the Victim Impact Panel and requirements with the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
The same penalties exist for a second offense DUI involving marijuana, except these penalties are increased to include mandatory minimum jail time depending on the time between first and second offenses. It includes the loss of the driver’s license for up to three years, higher fines, and longer classes.
Call a Leesburg Marijuana DUI Lawyer Today
To learn more about your rights, contact a Leesburg marijuana DUI lawyer today. With all these punishments at stake, there is no time to lose. An attorney familiar with marijuana DUI law may be able to help fight for you.