Although the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) is commonly associated with operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, this charge also may be brought against someone who drove under the influence of marijuana. Like a regular DUI charge, a conviction for drugged driving in New Jersey can carry steep penalties and may impact the individual’s ability to drive in the future.
If you have been charged with drugged driving in New Jersey, it is important you understand the penalties you face. An experienced marijuana DUI attorney can evaluate your case and review with you the defenses that could safeguard your career and financial future.
DUI Marijuana and Specifics
In New Jersey, individuals can be charged with DUI if they are suspected to be driving while under the influence of liquor, narcotics or any habit producing drug, per the guidelines provided under N.J.S.A. § 39:4-50. Additionally, the penalties for drugged driving vary, depending on whether or not the charged individual has been convicted before.
If it is a first offense, upon conviction an individual may face a fine of between $250 and $400, incarceration of up to 30 days, and a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.
A conviction for a second offense carries a fine of between $500 and $1,000, up to 90 days in jail and 30 days of community service, and a license suspension of two years.
For a third offense, a conviction may bring a $1,000 fine, six months in jail and a license suspension for 10 years. Any subsequent offenses may be treated in the same way. In some cases, a court may order probation instead of incarceration, although it is up to the judge’s discretion in each case.
How an Attorney Will Help You
The consequences for being convicted of DUI marijuana in New Jersey should not be taken lightly, and anyone facing these charges should consult an attorney who has experience representing clients in the same position. A criminal defense attorney can utilize his or her knowledge of the law to fight for the best possible outcome.
For example, in some cases, a law enforcement officer may declare that an individual suspected of DUI must submit to a chemical test under New Jersey’s implied consent law. In all reality, the implied consent law, under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 39:4-50.2, only requires that drivers undergo chemical test to determine alcohol content in the blood, and not the content of marijuana. An attorney may be able to point out that a chemical test was done without the consent of the driver.
Furthermore, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive in marijuana that can be detected in blood tests, may show up for days after an individual has consumed the drug. A legal professional can argue that any significant levels of THC in the bloodstream were only a result of marijuana usage well before the arrest occurred.
Finally, laws are not set in stone; they are often changed to reflect society’s mindset, which changes. For example, there were major changes in New Jersey DWI law just this past year. Hiring a law firm that stays abreast of criminal law changes can only help your case.
Contact Us Today for Help
Regardless of the specifics of your case, if you have been charged with DUI marijuana in New Jersey it is important that you seek legal help immediately. The attorneys at Dash Farrow, LLP can provide you with a solid defense for these charges. Please reach out to us by calling 856-235-8300.