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How to Fight a Marijuana DUI in California

Please note: If you need to speak to a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, contact Craig Sturm today.

Despite having progressive views toward cannabis legalization, it is illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of marijuana in the state of California. Law enforcement must have a valid reason to pull you over and arrest you for driving under the influence, which can have strict penalties. If you get stopped by the authorities and find yourself charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, you may find the following two defenses applicable to your case.  

The top two most popular defenses in getting DUI marijuana charges dropped or reduced are:

Illegal Search and Seizure 

Is the prosecutor using illegally obtained evidence against you? If you and your attorney can prove this, the prosecutor cannot use the evidence against you when trying to prove their case. There are some criteria that determine whether the search and seizure was illegal- and these are points that your attorney will likely argue in your own case and proceedings:

  • The officer did not have probable or reasonable cause to initiate a traffic stop.
  • The officer did not have a justified probable cause to make the arrest.
  • The officer did not properly execute the terms of the search warrant
  • There was not sufficient probable cause to issue a search warrant.

Since your charges are contingent on a legal search and seizure at the time the police stopped you, it is important to have a qualified and competent attorney on your side to argue these points of contention in court. Remember, a DUI arrest can impact your eligibility for jobs, credit, and rentals- do not try to go it alone.

Driver is Not Under the Influence 

Another popular defense option is arguing the point that you- the driver- was not under the influence at the time of the traffic-stop and arrest. Despite chemical testing used to measure the number of marijuana metabolites in your system, these tests can often be inaccurate resulting in a false positive test result, which could land you in jail.

Your attorney may argue that the testing inaccuracy is due to one or more of these factors:

  • The chemical test procedure was flawed.
  • The chemical testing equipment was defective.
  • Medications impacted the accuracy of test results.
  • Chemical tests can’t show how long ago a person consumed marijuana. Frequent cannabis users can test positive for THC even if they haven’t consumed marijuana for days.

Again, it makes the most sense to put your trust in a reputable DUI attorney that is well-versed in the laws pertaining to and regarding marijuana. Questioning the validity of the state’s testing process is complicated and better left to a professional.

The penalties for driving a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana are stiff, which is why you need an Experienced Marijuana DUI Attorney. If you find yourself charged for a marijuana related offense in California. A conviction on your record can have future repercussions, including affecting work opportunities and student loan eligibility- depending on the charge. Protect your rights- talk to a lawyer with experience in marijuana related cases, including DUI.

Mr. Sturm has been successful in attacking DUI Marijuana cases. He has previously attacked probable cause and arrest and the judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. 

Furthermore, Craig Sturm is a certified instructor of the NHTSA field sobriety tests used in arrests. Mr. Sturm has also completed the NHTSA A.R.I.D.E. class, which is the same drug DUI course taken by the officers who are trained in this area. Mr. Sturm has been thoroughly DRE trained. He will be able to go over the 12-step checklist in detail to expose officers for not doing the investigation correctly. This experience is invaluable in helping you fight a marijuana drug DUI.

It’s important that you get legal representation right away if you’ve been charged with DUI. Contact our office to make an appointment.

Finally, be sure to check out this headline news clip featuring Craig Sturm discussing marijuana DUI:

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