DUI and Marijuana Charges
Contact Weinstein Legal to speak with a marijuana DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are facing criminal charges for driving under the influence of an illegal drug. Ask for attorney Matt Shafran, partner and head of the criminal defense division, and receive a free case evaluation today. A DUI conviction and a drug charge can have lasting ramifications on your life, and you may lose many of your rights and freedoms if you do not act swiftly. However, a lawyer who is well-versed in marijuana DUI law in South Florida can help preserve your chance of avoiding conviction, keeping your driving privileges, and more.
Attorney for DUI and Marijuana Charges
Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal is an experienced DUI and marijuana lawyer who has helped many individuals facing DUI charges in South Florida. Mr. Shafran will fight tirelessly to prove your innocence and protect your rights. Do not face a marijuana DUI in court alone. Even repeat offenders can have favorable outcomes with the right legal help. Contact Weinstein Legal 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, for an entirely free case evaluation with no obligation to review the facts. Call 954-845-0505 today.
“…Unfortunately I had got in a bit of trouble for driving with marijuana. Never have I been in trouble before for anything so I was a bit nervous and hired Matt to represent me. I got sentence with the best ending result thanks to Matt for doing such a great job on my case…” – anonymous
Areas in Florida We Represent
When you are charged with a DUI & Marijuana charge, seek the legal assistance of a criminal defense attorney immediately. We represent individuals in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County including the following areas:
- Boca Raton
- Boynton Beach
- Coral Springs
- Delray Beach
- Fort Lauderdale
- Lake Worth
- Palm Beach Gardens
- Pembroke Pines
- Pompano Beach
- West Palm Beach
Drug Recognition Evaluators (DREs) in Florida
Many individuals are surprised to learn that they can be arrested for a DUI for driving after consuming marijuana or THC. Additionally, others think that it may be easier to pass a sobriety test as marijuana does not remain on your breath the way alcohol does and cannot be detected by a breathalyzer test. However, the state of Florida has professional Drug Recognition Evaluators (DREs) on the police force who are specifically trained to decipher when a driver may be impaired.
A DRE in the state of Florida is a member of law enforcement who has undergone extensive training and education surrounding recreational drug use. DRE officers receive special certification from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They are trained in determining whether an individual is under the influence of drugs or narcotics and identifying what specific drug or category of drug may be causing the impairment. These officers also receive training on many different medical conditions to rule these out as a possible cause of behavior and symptoms during a traffic stop.
In the state of Florida, DREs undergo 80 hours of educational training where they learn about field sobriety tests, typical vital signs, human behavior, and biology and physiology. Each member of law enforcement must pass multiple exams to demonstrate proficiency in the material. Then, following the academic coursework, each officer must complete specific actions in their direct line of duty within a six-month time span.
These items include:
- Conducting a specified number of drug and alcohol evaluations under a certified instructor’s supervision.
- Obtaining two letters of recommendation from DRE certified members of law enforcement.
- Passing a final comprehensive exam.
The Role of DRE Officers in Court
DRE officers play a unique role in marijuana DUI cases. First, a DRE officer may arrive at the scene of your traffic stop to question you and to administer field sobriety tests. While the state of Florida operates under what is known as “implied consent,” meaning that any person operating a motor vehicle inherently agrees to submit to lawful sobriety tests, you do not have to answer any further questions without a marijuana DUI lawyer present.
Additionally, the police department will likely have a DRE officer testify during your court case. They may speak to evidence collected at the scene, observations of your behavior, and more.
Challenging the Testimony of a DRE Officer
An experienced DUI and marijuana lawyer will know how to cross-examine a DRE officer in a court of law effectively. This may be crucial in proving your innocence and avoiding a conviction since judges and juries often rely heavily on such testimony when making a decision.
First, your criminal defense attorney may file a motion with the courts to exclude a DRE officer’s testimony. Next, they may gather evidence that points to another medical or mental health condition that may have caused your behavior or symptoms instead of marijuana. Third, they may question the accuracy, credibility, and certainty of law enforcement’s observations.
If you receive a criminal charge for a marijuana DUI, do not wait to find out if the state will have a DRE officer testify in court. Contact a marijuana DUI lawyer immediately to begin building a case in your defense.
Types of Related Marijuana Charges
Since recreational marijuana is not legal in the state of Florida, a marijuana DUI charge may come with additional criminal offenses. Additionally, while medicinal marijuana is legal, strict guidelines dictate how the substance may be purchased, stored, and transported. Should you have a prescription for medical marijuana and receive a marijuana DUI, do not assume that the courts will understand the mistake and issue a correction. Seek the help of an experienced attorney right away.
Along with marijuana DUI charges, you may see other criminal offenses added to your case. The most common types of related charges include:
Possession of Marijuana
- Misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the weight of the substance
- Active or constructive possession, depending on the location of the substance at the time of the arrest
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Misdemeanor charge
- Under Florida Statute Section 893.145, the term “drug paraphernalia” is defined as materials, products or equipment used to cultivate, plant, grow, manufacture, store, conceal, transport, ingest, inhale, or put into the body any controlled substance
- May include pipes, papers, empty bags, scales, and more
Possession of Drugs With The Intent To Sell
- Felony charge
- Based on the weight and packaging of the substance present at the time of the arrest
- Misdemeanor charge
- Categorized by driving marked by a disregard for other drivers and pedestrians on the road
- Extra penalties and upgraded charges if you are arrested in a school zone or the presence of minors
- And more
Penalties for a Marijuana DUI Conviction
The penalties for a marijuana DUI conviction can be severe. Additionally, other charges you incur at the same time may carry additional consequences separate from the DUI sentencing. Individuals convicted of a marijuana DUI may face the revocation of their driver’s license, time in jail, court-ordered counseling or drug rehabilitation, probation, pre-trial diversion programs, mandated community service hours, and more.
A marijuana DUI conviction will go on your criminal record. It will appear on background checks completed by potential landlords and future employers, and the charge may cost you housing or job opportunities in the future. Furthermore, some companies and industries have specific policies that forbid hiring individuals with DUI convictions or drug charges on their records.
Other consequences include a tarnished reputation, hefty court fines, and more. If you have children, you may encounter challenges to your custody. If children are in the car at the time of your arrest, you may open yourself to a Department of Family Services investigation.
A DUI and marijuana lawyer can help you avoid these steep consequences. By building a case that proves your innocence, you may be able to get your charges either dismissed entirely or reduced to a lesser charge that does not carry such severe ramifications.
Florida Statute §316.193 for Marijuana Impairment
Florida Statute §316.193 outlines the law regarding the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the state. The statute states that a first-time conviction can land you in jail for up to six months. Subsequent convictions then carry longer jail sentences. Fines start at a minimum of $500 for a first-time conviction and then increase with the following arrests.
When considering the statute for an alcohol-related DUI, it outlines the blood alcohol content that must be present for a person to be charged. In the state of Florida, an individual over the age of 21 years old may legally operate a motor vehicle with a BAC under 0.08. However, since marijuana is an illegal drug that is never legal to consume for recreational purposes, there is no “cut off” amount for a marijuana DUI. This means that whether a person is impaired after taking one puff of marijuana or many puffs of marijuana, they may be arrested and charged the same.
According to the statute, a first-time marijuana DUI charge is a misdemeanor offense as long as there are no extenuating circumstances. However, suppose you are in a school zone, injure another person, cause property damage, get into a car accident, or have a minor with you at the time of your arrest. In that case, the charge may be upgraded to a felony, or you may receive additional offenses with further penalties.
While a first-time marijuana DUI is often a misdemeanor, recurrent marijuana DUI charges may be deemed felonies even if there are no further extenuating circumstances surrounding the arrest. Once you have a felony drug conviction on your record, you will face time in prison, the mandate to relinquish your weapons and firearms to law enforcement, and you may have to forfeit your right to vote. A DUI and marijuana lawyer can help make sure this does not happen and protect your rights in a court of law.
Contacting an Attorney for Marijuana DUI in South Florida
If you are facing criminal charges for a marijuana DUI in South Florida, contact Weinstein Legal today and ask for defense attorney Matt Shafran. When you call Weinstein Legal, we will provide you with a free case evaluation entirely free of obligation to review the facts of your case. Our phone lines are open 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, so there is never a time when your call for help will go unanswered. When you hire the team at Weinstein Legal for defense in a marijuana DUI case, there will never be a time when you do not have access to your attorney.
Hiring a marijuana DUI lawyer gives you the best chance to beat the charge in a court of law, stay out of jail, and keep your driving privileges intact. You may be able to have your marijuana DUI charge reduced entirely or have your charges significantly reduced. This can help preserve many of your freedoms as well as your current lifestyle. Don’t risk facing the courts alone.
Every day that passes is another day that the prosecution is building their case against you. You deserve the same aggressive legal representation. Marijuana DUI Lawyer Matt Shafran is ready to fight for you to ensure you have the best possible outcome in a court of law. Get started working on your case today.
“Matt and his firm made the process so smooth and eased me through the entire case. You literally get more than you retain with them. I could never imagine calling anyone else if I should ever need.” – K.S. – Prior Client
The team at Weinstein Legal has access to a wide range of medical experts and private investigators to gather as much evidence as possible on your behalf. Contact us online today or at 954-845-0505 for a free case evaluation. Whether this is your first marijuana DUI charge or you are a repeat offender, criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran is standing by to fight your case.