Parsippany, NJ Marijuana DUI Lawyers
Marijuana DUI Defense Attorneys in Dover NJ
A DWI in the state of New Jersey is a serious offense and is treated no differently whether the person is intoxicated by alcohol or under the influence of controlled dangerous substances, like marijuana, heroin, prescription drugs or cocaine. If you or someone you love has been charged with a marijuana DUI in Morris County, you cannot afford to face these charges alone. The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has been defending individuals charged with driving under the influence of drugs throughout Morris County, in towns like Parsippany-Troy Hills, Roxbury, Dover, Denville, East Hanover, Madison and Montville for over a decade. Our team of Morris County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers possess unique qualifications when it comes to defending individuals charged with marijuana dui, refusal to submit to a breath test, driving while intoxicated, death by auto, assault by auto and DWI in a school zone. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of the eight DWI defense lawyers on staff at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall, please contact our Morristown office directly at 973-309-7050. Now here is some key information on marijuana dui charges, including the applicable penalties if convicted in New Jersey.
N.J.S.A. 39:4-50: Marijuana DUI Defense Lawyers in Roxbury
As with all other DWI offenses, a marijuana DUI is governed by NJSA 39:4-50, which provides that a person will be guilty of a DWI offense if the state can prove two elements, namely operation of a motor vehicle and proof of intoxication.
The operational element of the offense is usually easily proven by the state and they can do it in one of three ways. The most obvious and easiest way is through direct evidence, which is usually satisfied where the arresting officer witnesses the defendant actually operating the vehicle. Another fairly straightforward way is for the state to get an admission from the driver that they were operating the vehicle or even from a passenger that the defendant was operating the vehicle. The last way, while technically the most difficult, is still not that difficult to do and that is through the admission of circumstantial evidence, meaning that based on the circumstances the state can create a presumption that the defendant operated the vehicle. Additionally, it is worth noting that in some circumstances, the state need not prove operation, intent to operate the vehicle will suffice.
In a normal case, then, after operation is established, we would look to intoxication. However, with a Marijuana DWI, obviously a breathalyzer is going to show nothing, so the state typically needs to rely on a blood or urine analysis to show intoxication. There are two important things to note at this juncture. First, a blood or urine test only is scientifically reliable for establishing the presence of marijuana in a person’s body. It does not, like a breathalyzer, quantify the concentration of that presence. Therefore, the state needs something more than mere presence of marijuana in your body to uphold a conviction. To establish guilt for driving while under the influence of marijuana, there must be testimony from an individual trained in marijuana intoxication to link the presence of marijuana with objective evidence demonstrating that the physical and/or mental abilities of the accused were impaired. Thus, the state typically relies on Drug Recognition Experts “DREs” to testify regarding the state of the driver.
Second, it is important to note that the state cannot force you to take a blood or urine test without a warrant saying that you have to. While this was a gray area in the law for a number of years, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Missouri v. McNeely, settled the question in favor of protecting individuals from unwarranted invasions of privacy. Therefore, without a warrant, the state cannot force you to submit to a blood or urine test, although, if they can establish probable cause, there may not be much difficulty for them in obtaining that warrant.
Penalties for Marijuana DUI Charges in New Jersey?
If the state satisfies these evidentiary burdens, the punishment is the same as a regular DWI. A first offense will lead to suspension of your license for a year. A second offense will lead to a suspension of your license for two years. A third or subsequent offense will lead to a suspension of your license for ten years. All of these offenses will also lead to fines, a surcharge annually for three years, and the possibility of incarceration for a period of time. In addition, a second and third offense also can lead to the imposition of community service.
Denville NJ Marijuana DUI Defense Attorneys
All of this should serve to impress upon you the importance of having not only competent, but also the best representation that you can afford. With the dire consequences that loss of license and heavy fines can have on your future, you need someone who understands the ins and outs of this offense. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we believe we are the right attorneys to help you protect your rights. So please, if you or someone you love has had the misfortune to be charged with this offense in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your Marijuana DWI case.