New York Marijuana DUI Lawyer
While many people believe that marijuana does not impair driving skills in the way that alcohol and some other drugs do, many drivers pulled over while using marijuana fail standard field sobriety tests.
New York law treats all drivers who test positive for any amount of marijuana or who fail a field sobriety test as DWAI-Drug (Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs) offenses.
Penalties can be severe, include steep fines and prison time, and second (or subsequent) offenses, as well as those that involve children in the car, may be considered felonies.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, contact a New York Marijuana DUI lawyer. An accomplished DUI attorney can review your situation, and determine what defense strategies will best suit your case.No Minimum Amount of THC Required for a Charge
Unlike alcohol, for which a certain amount must be found in the bloodstream in order to be charged, any amount of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), together with an allegation of impairment, will be subject to a DWAI/Drugs charge.
While first offenses are treated as misdemeanors, subsequent offenses within a 10-year time-frame can be charged as Class E felonies with steep fines and up to seven years of jail time. A New York marijuana DUI lawyer can defend individuals and can attempt to mitigate the penalties that they face.
In addition, anyone with a DWI/Alcohol charge and a DWAI/Drugs charge within the same 10-year time frame will have their second charge treated as a felony.
Felony offenses cannot be expunged (erased) from a criminal record and generally must be reported on applications for educational loans, employment, and renting an apartment.Leandra’s Law
Under Leandra’s Law, New York imposes extremely severe penalties on drug impaired drivers with children under the age of 16 in the car. A drug related DWAI, including a first offense, is a Class E felony if a passenger under the age of 16 is in the car.
If the child is injured or dies, the charge is increased to a class B or class C felony. The minimum possible penalty in Leandra’s Law case is four years in prison and the maximum can go as high as 25 years depending on the circumstances.
Fines can be significant – often reaching thousands of dollars – and New York’s statewide registry of child abuse and maltreatment will be notified when the driver is the parent of the minor in the car.
It is important to consult with experienced counsel when faced with situations involving potential allegations of child abuse. Do not try to resolve the charges alone.Medical Versus Recreational Marijuana in New York
If a person using marijuana for medical purposes is pulled over for driving erratically and either test positive for THC or fails a field sobriety test, they can be charged with a DWAI/Drugs charge – regardless of whether their marijuana uses medical or recreational.How an Attorney Can Help
If you are facing a DWAI/Drugs charge for driving while using marijuana or with DWI/Combination for alcohol and marijuana, you should contact a New York Marijuana DUI lawyer to review your situation.
These charges can be extremely serious and the potential fines and penalties are the same whether someone has a high level of THC in their blood-stream – or simply a trace.
An experienced New York Marijuana DUI attorney can look at the facts of your situation and determine the best way to address the charges – whether that means seeking dismissal, plea bargaining with prosecutors, or defending the charges in court.
Call the New York DWI defense attorney and former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or get in touch online.