Los Angeles DUI Marijuana

Los Angeles DUI Attorney Marijuana and a gavel together for many legal concepts on the drug

In recent years, marijuana use has widely expanded in California. Restrictions regarding marijuana have been relaxed following the passage of Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana and led to the advent of clinics and collectives. However, while a qualifying patient may now legally use and possess marijuana, driving while under the influence of marijuana is still a crime under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) VC and those convicted can face stiff penalties.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is similar to drivers who are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. However, there are key differences between how alcohol and marijuana DUIs are handled by police and different strategies that may be used when defending a DUI marijuana case.

Most law enforcement officers receive extensive training in recognizing the physical symptoms of alcohol intoxication. Someone who is under the influence of marijuana will not have the same physical symptoms as someone under the influence of alcohol. Many agencies employ Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) officers who have received special training in recognizing the symptoms of drug intoxication. In cases where there is a suspicion that a driver may be under the influence of marijuana or any other drug, a DRE will be called in to conduct testing. The DRE may have the driver perform specific field sobriety tests and will make observations about the driver’s physical appearance and demeanor. Many officers will note a strong smell of marijuana coming from either the driver or his or her vehicle. Ultimately, the DRE may form the suspicion that the driver is under the influence of marijuana and he or she may be arrested and taken in for additional chemical testing.

Drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol will be given the choice of taking either a breath or blood test. To date, there is no breath test that can measure marijuana intoxication. As a result, drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs would have to take a blood test. Unlike the breath test, the results of the blood test are not known immediately and the driver may not know the outcome of the test until his or her DUI arraignment.

Drivers who are arrested for DUI will usually be provided a notice of an impending driver’s license suspension at the time of the arrest that would go into effect 30 days after the arrest date. The DMV only issues an administrative suspension for drivers who had a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. The DMV will not suspend someone’s driving privileges if the driver was under the influence of marijuana or other drugs. In these cases, the driver still must request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension. If the blood results show that the driver did not have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, the DMV will “set aside” the suspension. It is important for drivers to remember that if they are ever convicted of DUI in Court, the DMV will suspend their driving privileges at that point regardless of whether the DUI was for alcohol or marijuana. Marijuana often remains in a person’s system well after the intoxicating effect of the drug has worn off. As a result, drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana may need to have an expert witnesses explain to the Court or to the jury why a defendant’s positive blood test is not necessarily indicative of impairment. In many cases, the THC levels may be so low that the driver can show that he or she was not impaired. The fact that a person has a prescription for medical marijuana is not a defense if he or she is charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, it is imperative that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney right away. Lawyer Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who knows how to effectively defend those charged with driving under the influence of marijuana. Mr. Kraut works with top experts in the field and is highly respected as a top-notch litigator.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI marijuana, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs!
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I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
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Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
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