I smoked two days before being pulled over. The officer claimed he smelled marijuana in the car but did no search nor did he find any on my body. Is there a chance that I can beat this medical DUI case? By the way, Im in Arizona.
It depends on what the blood results reveal.
I am not an Arizona lawyer and am not familiar with the law or procedure in your state. All I can do is offer a few general thoughts. The question, under the law of most states, would be whether you were operating the vehicle under the influence of a drug as that influence is defined by law. The legal definition probably depends, perhaps depends entirely, on the blood substance level. How long ago you smoked; where you smoked; whether your use was medical or recreational, legal or illegal, might all be irrelevant. If I were in the state legislature voting on a "driving under the influence" bill my intention would be to require that those who drink alcohol or use drugs, be the use bad, good or praiseworthy, not drive a vehicle until the chemical influence of the substance is totally gone, however long that takes. I would assume that the law would be interpreted with that legislative intention in mind.
These are, as I said, only background thoughts. An Arizona lawyer could tell you how the relevant laws are understood and applied in your state.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The officer has to explain why you were stopped. They had to have probable cause for the stop. Then, they have to show that they did the field sobriety test correctly. Then, the blood draw will give results. Depending on who does the test, you might not know the results for 6 months or more. If you move make sure the MVD has your new address otherwise you might have a warrant out for your arrest if the blood test comes back and you are charged. If you are charged, what I do is have an experienced toxicologist look at the test and see if they can argue that you were not impaired.
There is a chance, but your attorney will need a lot more information. For starters, your lawyer will need to know whether you were prescribed this drug and whether you were taking it as prescribed. Additionally, he will be interested in the field sobriety tests (if there were any administered) and the quantity of marijuana in your blood stream.
Marijuana DUIs are complex and can have a significant impact on your driver's license. You need to consult with a lawyer to determine what steps need to be taken to help you continue to drive lawfully. It is possible to reduce the amount of suspension. In some cases, it is possible to not have to install an interlock.
Call my office if you want a free consultation. 602-402-8708.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Medical marijuana DUI's are very complex primarily b/c courts are still trying to figure out how the medical marijuana act applies to DUI offenses. So far, courts in Gilbert and Mesa have ruled that it's not a defense to the A(3) charge. If you're seeking to retain an attorney, make sure they have experience with these types of cases.
Attorney David Kephart is an experienced Criminal Defense Trial Attorney and Jury Consultant. He is the recipient of the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice President's Award and the recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Commendation for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. His response to your question is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship, and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.
Criminal Defense Attorney
This is a relatively new area in Arizona criminal law. It is very important that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney to help you with your case. If you have a medical marijuana card, you may possibly have a valid defense to the charge. I'd be happy to meet with you to discuss your case.