Marijuana DUI - No Alcohol, No Other drugs. Stopped for loud music. Light smell of alcohol but tested negative for alcohol.

Asked over 2 years ago - Fresno, CA

Only traces of THC were found in my blood. I used at least 12hrs prior to stop and I do have a medical marijuana card. I hired an attorney and paid $2000. I didnt realize it would cost more to go to trial and now I must go with the public defender to fight in trial. Can I request a blood split through the P.D. office and will they pay for it? Officer looked at my eyes and made me count with eyes closed while sitting in the back of a patrol car. I was NOT impaired at all and they did no test to determine my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. No balance test or motor skill tests.....I conducted the eye test and counting test very well and he even stated that. I was on probation for an unrelated offense so I was arrested for the alcohol as I was not to be using it.

Additional information

I did NOT smell like marijuana and no marijuana was found in my vehicle nor alcohol. They had absolutely no inclination of the marijuana and it was only till the test came back that the THC was addressed. Dont they have to prove I was impaired to a degree that I wan unable to operate a motor vehicle and not just that it was in my system? I read they are working on a law that would make it a DUI with any trace of THC in your system but it is not currently a law in active status. They are trying to prosecute me as if this law were already in effect as nothing I did before or during the stop showed that I was impaired to a degree to be unable to drive a motor vehicle safely or perform any field sobriety test. Which were never performed unless you count the backseat counting. The eye test was simply the one that detect alcohol by the jerking of eyes at the out edge when following an object. As mentioned test was negative for alcohol.

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Mark K Rosenfeld

    Contributor Level 15

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney the Court must appoint one. Part of having an attorney is effective assistance of counsel… and in this case that requires a blood split. The Court should provide you and your attorney the funds to get the blood re-analyzed. Good luck!

    Of course, every DUI case is different and you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area... more
  2. Jasen Bodie Nielsen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Without having the advantage of reviewing every aspect of your case, it certainly appears to me that you have a case worth fighting, especially considering the lack of a driving pattern associated with a DUI. As for the blood split, if the PD is for some reason unable to obtain the funds, it is not every expensive to have your blood tested by an independent laboratory. Based on the information you've provided here, I would suggest being prepared to pay for the blood split in the event that the PD is unsuccessful in securing the funds. Good luck.

  3. Robert Laurens Driessen

    Contributor Level 20

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . These are all matters you should be discussing with your attorney; now the public defender. Whenever you hire an attorney you should get a written fee agreement that details what the fee is for and if it includes a trial. Most attorneys will charge extra for a trial and should make it clear in the written fee agreement. The good news is the marijuana cases are difficult for a prosecutor to prove but you will need a skilled attorney in the courtroom defending you.
    Robert Driessen

  4. David Jon Pullman

    Contributor Level 19

    10

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Marijuana DUIs are difficult to prove and in the case that you describe it would be nearly impossible, without some other facts pointing to your guilt. However, clearly there is more to your case than you are describing because by the time you gave blood, they had already arrested you for some reason. You should discuss all the facts of your case in confidence with your PD. Good luck to you.

  5. Joshua Kaizuka

    Contributor Level 16

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Generally speaking, unlike an alcohol related DUI, there is no presumption that someone who has THC in their blood is impaired while driving. The true test is whether the driving pattern, the field sobriety tests(FST), and the level of THC Delta9 (active and psychotropic level) is sufficient to prove that a person was impaired at the time of driving. In a marijuana DUI case, a quantitative analysis of the blood is extremely important and even an attorney with a public defender's office should be able to get the minimal funds to retest the blood.

  6. Jon Martin Pettis

    Contributor Level 13

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need an experienced DUI lawyer who has handled marijuana cases. First, THC 9 is the active ingredient in pot. How much of that was found in your system is all that matters. If there were metabolytes, what the THC 9 breaks down into as your body processes it, they are irrelevant, aside from showing you smoked marijuana, because they do not cause any impairment. Even with some THC 9, then the question becomes whether or not it was enough to be impaired for the purposes of driving. One issue will be the ratio of active ingredient to inactive metabolytes.

    You need a DUI lawyer who understands all of this science. I do not know for sure why you need a blood split. Are you seeking to confirm or contradict the pot being found or how much was found? In any case, if you are represented by the public defender, they should be able to get the court to pay for the split if it is necessary to your defense.

    Keep in mind, while the scince may say you were not impaired, in fact, there are some studies that show at low levels of marijuana impairment, you are actually a safer driver satistically, juries may not see beyond the drug use. Trial is a risk, and your lawyer will need to do a good job in voir dire, picking the jury.

    Any comments offered are not intended as legal advice. This attorney does not know the specifics of the... more

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