I got pulled over the other night and I was smoking marijuana at a friends house 30 minutes before. The officer smelled my clothes and asked me if I had anything in the car. I was honest and told him I only had a grinder in my girlfriends purse. He also took me to the station did a breath test which came out to be .00 grams of alcohol. I was charged with a DUI and DWI simply because I was nervous when they were testing me. No blood test were taken. Will I need a lawyer for court or I can just represent myself since I have proof I wasn't drunk?
You will need a lawyer.
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The law regardings operating a motor vehicle while impaired in Maryland is not limited to alcohol. It applies to drugs and controlled dangerous substances alone as well as in combinatin with alcohol.
I also wonder out loud if you were or will be charged with paraphernalia.
Your performance on SFST's can be challenged in Court.
You absolutely NEED a lawyer.
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I agree with Adam, the State can still proceed on a driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance charge. However, a recent decision by a Maryland Circuit Court judge (not an appellate court so it wouldn’t be binding) makes it very difficult for the State to prove that you were operating under the influence of marijuana or any other drug. If the case happened in Montgomery County, I recommend that you call a fellow member of the Md. criminal defense attorneys association, who practices in there, such as:
David H. Moyse, Esq.
Jezic, Krum & Moyse, LLC
2730 University Blvd West, Suite 910
Wheaton, MD 20902
Please be advised that this response does not constitute "legal advice," nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. You should seek counsel of an attorney before taking any actions or deciding not to take any actions.
Be sure that you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, because there is another section of the law that charges driving under the influence of drugs. You should probably consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer, who handles traffic cases, unless you know the traffic code, the rules of criminal procedure, and the rules of evidence.
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Definitely hire a criminal defense lawyer. The police officer who arrested you, or another one at the station who observed you, will need to have been trained and qualified as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) in order to make this charge stick. Not all officers are trained and qualified as a DRE, even though they take the stand and claim, based upon their "training and experience," that you appeared to be under the influence of a narcotic drug. Even if they are a DRE, their conclusions are often questionable and can be challenged.
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