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Kent County Marijuana DUI Lawyer

Most people are aware that the law does not allow people to drive under the influence of alcohol. However, intoxication includes more than just alcohol. Driving under the influence of marijuana or any other drug is illegal and could lead to serious penalties.

Because people may not know much about this area of law, an attorney’s aid may be especially important. If the police arrest or detain you, a diligent Kent County marijuana DUI lawyer can guide you through the criminal process. Facing charges of driving under the influence of marijuana could threaten your livelihood and freedom. However, an aggressive defense attorney can fight against accusations and protect you in court.

Marijuana DUI Arrests

The police may be on the lookout for erratic driving or any driving error that would allow them to pull over a driver. Police need probable cause in order to arrest someone. This is especially important in circumstances where a field test cannot determine the amount of marijuana in a driver’s system.

Officers will typically rely on visual cues or smell when determining whether there is a reason for an arrest. This assertion may be subjective. In these cases, a lawyer may be invaluable to fighting any charges of driving while intoxicated by marijuana the police in Kent County may bring.

Laws Related to Kent County OWIs

While the Michigan Vehicle Code does not deal directly with marijuana, §257.625 states that “operating while intoxicated” includes driving while under the influence of any controlled substance. Marijuana is considered an intoxicating substance under the law.

Medical Marijuana

Some people may possess state-issued medical marijuana cards, which allow the holder to purchase and use marijuana for health reasons. However, legalized medicinal marijuana does not allow anyone to drive impaired. The law states a DUI/OWI occurs whenever an individual’s ability to drive is affected. The same is true for recreational marijuana.

Under the current law, subject to change, a prosecutor can argue that if the driver does not have a medical marijuana card, the law maintains a zero tolerance for anyone having any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance, such as marijuana, in their body. However, if you hold a medical marijuana card and face OWI charges in Kent County, it is advisable to contact a seasoned attorney before deciding how to proceed. As a lawyer could advise, there may be unique defenses for those with valid medical marijuana cards. These same defenses may be available for recreational marijuana, but as of the date of this article these defenses are still be decided by the courts.  Because this area of law is rapidly changing, this makes hiring a lawyer knowledgeable about marijuana DUI laws particularly important.

What are Possible Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?

If the court convicts an individual of marijuana intoxication while driving, the misdemeanor offense may lead to:

  • No more than 360 hours of community service
  • Potential sentence of up 93 days in jail
  • Fines of at least $100, and not more than $500

If the driver was previously found guilty of an OWI violation within seven years, the subsequent charges are typically punished more strongly. The court could send the driver to prison for up to one year, order community service of 30 to 90 days, and may require a fine between $200 and $1,000.

If the court has ever convicted the driver of two or more acts of operating while intoxicated, the charge for a third violation is a felony. The fine increases to between $500 and $5,000, plus the possibility of jail for no less than one year, and community service of 60 to 180 days.

Get in Touch with a Kent County Marijuana DUI Attorney Today

Any type of DUI may seriously affect your freedom, ability to drive, and life. You may not have the skills or knowledge necessary to protect your rights and interests. Consider finding a Kent County marijuana DUI lawyer who could provide guidance and assistance during the entire criminal process. Contact a well-practiced attorney today for an initial case consultation and to begin defending your rights.