Edison Marijuana DUI/DWI
Legalization around the United States makes it easy to forget that marijuana is illegal in New Jersey and that you cannot operate a motor vehicle after smoking. If you fail to adhere to this edict and are caught driving under the influence of marijuana on an Edison roadway like U.S. Highway 1, Route 18, or the New Jersey Turnpike, you face serious penalties. The proofs necessary to establish guilt for a marijuana DWI may be different, the severity of the punishment under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 is just as bad. If you or someone you love is facing a DUI in Edison Township Municipal Court, we can help you whether it is your first, second or even third offense. Our attorneys have exceptional training, including skills derived as DWI/DWI prosecutors, that have been acquired over decades of handling marijuana related driving under the influence cases throughout Middlesex County, including the Township of Edison. Our team of former prosecutors and experienced DUI attorneys stand ready to help you.
Marijuana DWI in Edison Municipal Court
As alluded to above, though the elements of the offense are different, the offense is still governed by the same statute, namely N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. This statute makes it illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. The proof necessary to establish a violation is drastically different in a marijuana case from that involving alcohol intoxication. Clearly, a breath test establishes nothing in terms of proving impairment from marijuana as this device can only detect alcohol. The police must therefore resort to other means, specifically, a blood test or urine test. In order to secure these samples, however, the police must either obtain a valid consent or a warrant. Assuming this occurs and the test comes back positive for marijuana, the state has crossed the first hurdle in proving impairment. However, a positive blood or urine test is not enough as a person can have marijuana in his/her system for weeks after smoking. The test is only capable of establishing presence of marijuana in a person’s system and not the impact it may or may not have been having at the time of the motor vehicle stop. In order to prove impairment, the police will have to present positive field test results and observations which would best be presented by a Drug Recognition Expert (“DRE”) but not absolutely necessary in marijuana DUI cases. Either way, there must be testimony from an individual trained in marijuana intoxication to link the presence of marijuana with objective evidence demonstrating that the physical and/or mental abilities of the accused were impaired.
DUI Penalties That May Be Imposed In Edison Township
If the prosecution successfully proves their evidentiary burden, the penalties and fines associated with a conviction can be severe. Even for a first offense, you will lose your license for a year. For a second offense you will lose your license for two years. And, for a third offense, you will lose your license for ten years. The suspension applies on top of thousands of dollars in fines and surcharges, community service, alcohol and drug education classes through the IDRC, and even the possibility of incarceration. In fact, 180 days in the county jail is mandatory if you are convicted of a third offense. Needless to say, you cannot afford to take these charges lightly. Our attorneys stand ready to help you, so please contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about what we can for you.
Marijuana DUI Attorneys in Edison NJ
The pitfalls of a conviction for a marijuana related N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 violation are obvious. You cannot survive a conviction without having your driver’s license suspended for a significant period. You also face huge financial consequences that go well beyond court fines and assessments. The New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles will impose an annual surcharge of $1,000-$1,500 for a period of three years following your conviction for DUI and this must be paid in order for you to restore and maintain your license. As if all of this were not bad enough, you will also face hardship in obtaining affordable car insurance. This should make it abundantly clear just how important it is to secure representation from an attorney experienced in marijuana DWI/DUI cases. That is what the lawyers at our firm can provide. A member of our team is available immediately to assist you, so give us a call for a free consultation.