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Wayne County Marijuana DUI Lawyer

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly across the nation, and Michigan is no exception. While the possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational purposes was legalized, driving while under the influence of marijuana remains illegal.

If you are accused of a criminal driving offense involving marijuana, you may wish to contact a seasoned Wayne County marijuana DUI lawyer for advice. Working with an aggressive defense attorney may be highly beneficial when facing any marijuana-related driving charges. The penalties for this type of criminal conviction may be severe in nature, but a strong legal counsel could help you handle the charges against you.

Marijuana DUIs and Potential Penalties

For a first-time marijuana DUI conviction, which is a misdemeanor under Michigan law, individuals may receive a jail sentence of up to 93 days and in order to complete up to 360 community service hours. Other penalties may include license suspension, restricted driving privileges, immobilized or forfeited vehicles, installation of an ignition interlock device, and fines of up to $500.

Those who accrue a second marijuana driving violation conviction within seven years will face harsher penalties. The potential sentence of incarceration may increase, ranging from five days to one year, with potentially higher fines. The revocation of driving privileges may also be for a significantly longer period.

Defendants face increasingly severe penalties for a third or subsequent conviction. Terms of imprisonment extend from one to five years and may require the completion of probation and community service for shorter sentences. This type of conviction may result in a five-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines, and other various penalties. An accused person could benefit from consulting an experienced attorney to champion their case.

OWPD, OWVI, and Marijuana in Wayne County

Michigan utilizes the drug schedules established by the federal Controlled Substances Act. Drugs are classified based on their potential for abuse, level of harm, and any accepted medical applications. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug, which is the highest classification for controlled substances. Offenses involving Schedule I drugs typically have harsher penalties than those involving drugs assigned to lower schedules.

One such offense is operating with the presence of drugs (OWPD). Drivers found operating motor vehicles with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, which, subject to change, presently includes marijuana, commit OWPD, pursuant to Michigan Compiled Laws § 257.625(8). This statute does not require any evidence of impairment. Under current law, any traceable amount of marijuana or qualifying drug in the bodies of individuals at the time of driving could lead to charges of the misdemeanor offense. Medical marijuana users cannot be prosecuted under this zero-tolerance provision.

Eventually, the same will also be true for over 21-year-old recreational marijuana users. Because this area of law changes rapidly it’s important to select an DUI attorney in Wayne County who keeps up on the marijuana law and knows how to make arguments to your benefit.

Operating While Visibly Impaired

Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625(3) makes it unlawful to operate motor vehicles while visibly impaired by alcohol, a controlled substance, and/or any intoxicating substance. This section, commonly referred to as OWVI, requires proof of visible impairment for a conviction, unlike the OWPD statute. Whether someone shows visible impairment or not, driving after using marijuana is a violation of the law.

The legislation surrounding marijuana usage specifically declines to legalize the use of marijuana while driving. To this effect, those who face accusations of driving while impaired by marijuana may wish to consult a knowledgeable attorney in Wayne County for advice.

Work with a Wayne County Marijuana DUI Attorney

Despite the recent decriminalization of marijuana in small amounts statewide, it is still illegal to drive while using marijuana, with a few exceptions. Working with a Wayne County marijuana DUI lawyer may help you determine the most effective strategy for fighting charges.

As marijuana legislation continues to develop, it is often unclear where and in what circumstances you may use marijuana. Driving while under the influence of marijuana may result in criminal charges. If you find yourself in this situation, speak with a steadfast advocate today to discuss the charges and potential defenses.