Can You Beat a Marijuana DUI Charge in Arizona?

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Dec 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

Similar to many other states, marijuana use in Arizona has become much more prevalent since it was approved for medical purposes and subsequently legalized to possess and ingest for recreational use.  As a result of its growth in popularity,  police in Phoenix and surrounding cities are now constantly on the lookout for drivers who they believe are impaired by marijuana.  Consequently, many people find themselves being investigated, arrested and prosecuted for DUI offenses related to their use of marijuana.

What Are The Penalties For A Marijuana DUI In Arizona?

Although you can't be prosecuted for an Extreme or Super Extreme DUI unless alcohol consumption is involved, a marijuana related DUI still carries the potential for very severe penalties.  Specifically, a conviction will result in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, mandatory substance abuse classes and a suspension of your drivers license.  If your marijuana related DUI represents a second offense, the jail time is substantially increased as is the fines and length of time that your license can be revoked.  Finally, a third offense within seven years, a DUI which occurs while your license is suspended or if you were driving on the wrong side of the road, can result in a felony charge and prison sentence.

Are There Defenses To A Marijuana DUI Charge?

If you have been charged with a marijuana related DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.  There are many issues involved in defending a marijuana related DUI and an experienced attorney can be invaluable in helping you obtain the best result possible.

Some Potential Defenses Which May Be Asserted Against a Marijuana DUI Include:

  1. Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control - Before being detained, prosecuted or arrested for any DUI, police must demonstrate you were actually driving a motor vehicle or at a minimum, were in actual physical control of a car.  Actual physical control means that there is an indication that you had the intention or ability to drive.  Some indicators of actual physical control include where the vehicle is located, your position in the car and whether the vehicle is running.

     2. No Probable Cause to Arrest - Before police can place you under arrest, they must possess probable cause.  Evidence of probable               cause may include your driving behavior, statements made to the officers, performance on field sobriety tests and any other indicators               of alcohol, marijuana or drug use.

     3. Improper reliance on Field Sobriety Tests - In most DUI investigations, police will administer a series of roadside tests designed to               determine whether a person may be impaired to operate a vehicle.  Although the most common field tests such as Horizontal Gaze                    Nystagmus (the "eye test"), the Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand may be reliable in DUI cases involving alcohol, they may not be                    completely reliable when a driver is only suspected to have ingested marijuana.  This is because marijuana does not usually cause any              indicators of impairment during the Nystagmus or eye test.  Moreover, many studies have shown there is no relationship between                     marijuana impairment and performance on the other field sobriety tests.

     4. Presence of THC in Your Blood or Urine - Obviously, to be prosecuted for a marijuana related DUI, police must show that active THC           is present in your system.  This will be accomplished by a blood or urine test.  However, there are several issues with respect to THC                levels and a DUI prosecution.  For instance, there is no established THC level which is recognized to cause driving impairment.                           Additionally, THC can be detected in a person's system long after the effects of marijuana use has subsided.  In fact, THC can be                       detected long after ingestion of marijuana when people are regular users.

     5. Violations of Your Constitutional Rights - If police fail to properly advise you of your Miranda warnings prior to being questioned or                interfere with your ability to consult with a lawyer during a DUI investigation, important evidence can be suppressed and in extreme                  cases, the charges may be dismissed.

Call (480) 833-8613 Now for a Free Consultation:

If you, a family member or friend has been arrested for a misdemeanor marijuana DUI offense in Arizona, it is important that you immediately begin working with a qualified DUI attorney who can effectively represent you in the court of law and take necessary steps to protect your driver's license. A DUI offense requires an aggressive and experienced lawyer who can recognize all of the issues and work effectively to achieve a favorable result. Attorney Raymond Kimble will have a clear understanding of all the circumstances in your case, along with the knowledge, skill and experience to obtain the best possible outcome for you.

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Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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