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Lapeer County Marijuana DUI Lawyer
While The Michigan Legislature decriminalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes and legalized medical marijuana, driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. Operating motor vehicles with marijuana in your system could lead to a DUI charge and serious penalties.
A Lapeer County marijuana DUI lawyer could educate you about relevant laws and help you determine the different options to positively resolve your case. An aggressive DUI attorney can devise a strategy to defend against charges in these situations. After a detailed case review, an attorney can work explain the charges you face and begin work to mitigate the potential penalties.Impairment Driving Laws in Lapeer County
Marijuana legislation does not make it legal to drive with the drug in your body. Driving after having ingested marijuana may result in misdemeanor charges, as marijuana remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Drivers who operate a motor vehicle with any trace of a Schedule I controlled substance in their system violate Michigan Compiled Laws § 257.625(8). Operating with the presence of drugs in one’s system, which is referred to as an OWPD, is a zero-tolerance offense that does not require proof that a certain amount of a drug is in the systems of drivers to result in a conviction. It is arguable whether, post-legalization, recreational marijuana remains a zero-tolerance crime.
Any evidence of marijuana, even if not consumed immediately before driving, may place drivers at risk of OWPD. Any evidence of visible impairment due to marijuana use may constitute the criminal offense of operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) under Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625(3).
In either situation, a dedicated marijuana DUI attorney in Lapeer County can advise you on the difference between charges. Contrary to OWPD charge, OWVI requires only evidence that an intoxicating substance has visibly impaired drivers. As an attorney could explain, the differences in charges could impact potential defenses and penalties.Could Drivers Who use Medicinal Marijuana Face Charges?
There is a potential exception to the OWPD statute for medical marijuana users. Individuals who possess valid medical marijuana user cards may not face charges under the OWPD statute simply because a chemical test indicates the presence of marijuana in their systems. Law enforcement authorities must demonstrate that the marijuana usage impaired the driver and affected their ability to safely operate their vehicle. This may also be true for recreational marijuana however this theory remains to be tested in the courts.
If the marijuana use is pursuant to a valid medical marijuana card and sobriety tests or other evidence indicates impairment, the driver could face still OWPD or OWVI charges. Medical marijuana users facing marijuana intoxication driving violation charges should strongly consider contacting a Lapeer County DUI attorney for advice.Allow a Lapeer County Marijuana DUI Attorney to Help
The penalties for marijuana-related OWPD or OWVI charges could be very serious. Jail time, fines, license suspension and restrictions, and community service hours are among the various penalties that you may face for an OWPD or OWVI conviction. If you face charges related to the ever-evolving area of marijuana law, you may wish to consult a dedicated Lapeer County marijuana DUI lawyer.
There are many misconceptions surrounding marijuana legislation. After charges, take the time to contact experienced legal counsel today for a knowledgeable evaluation of your situation and advice on how to protect yourself and your rights.