The law in Virginia regarding marijuana is clear, an individual cannot possess, use, sell, or create the drug in the state. Most of the time when someone is arrested on a marijuana charge, they are facing a misdemeanor. However, depending on the quantity of the drugs and other aggravating factors, a marijuana arrest can result in a felony. Either way, an individual is looking at fines and possible jail time after a charge.
Due to the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prosecutors are going to treat marijuana DWI charges very seriously. If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence of marijuana, call a Fredericksburg marijuana DUI lawyer today. An experienced attorney could stand by your side and guide you through the legal process.
A person needs to hire a marijuana DUI lawyer right away if they are accused of having marijuana in their system while driving. Virginia treats marijuana much more harshly than they used to due to the decriminalization in Maryland. Virginia has been taking its cues from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal government’s stance on marijuana, and the fact that the Department of Justice has doubled down on their prosecutions of marijuana. This has caused Virginia to double down as well. The Virginia counties surrounding the nation’s capital have zero tolerance for possession of marijuana.
What that means is that prosecutors are not going to do any kind of under-the-table deals allowing an individual to do community service, even if it was their first offense, a small amount of marijuana, for personal use, or the person bought the marijuana legally in Maryland or the District of Columbia. Prosecutors are not going to care about the circumstances, they want a conviction.
Prosecutors want the accused offender to participate in the First Offender’s Program, which still stays on the person’s record. It can potentially be dismissed after 12 months if the individual:
If the defendant was not the driver of the vehicle, they may still have their driver’s license suspended, but for a shorter period of time and they will do an extra 50 hours of community service.
Even if the person performs all the required elements of sentencing, the individual can never get it expunged from their record. If the charge is dismissed and they complete all the necessary requirements, it is on their permanent record and may prohibit them from engaging in certain careers and employment opportunities. The offense shows up on the individual’s background check.
Also, Virginia actually looks at the possession of marijuana as constructive possession. Even if the defendant claims that they did not know that marijuana was in their car because somebody else put it there, law enforcement can still charge the person and convict them of the offense. Prosecutors can convict more than one person of possession of the same marijuana.
The evidence in a marijuana DUI case is different from an alcohol DUI case because most of the evidence in an alcohol case is based on the field sobriety tests and the NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) standardized testing procedures. This means the police do not have standardized testing procedures for marijuana. They usually try to treat them as they would a typical DUI case by having someone do the field sobriety tests that are done for alcohol, but the evidence is not the same. This is why it is crucial for someone charged with a DUI marijuana offense to hire a marijuana DUI lawyer in Fredericksburg.
Due to the fact that marijuana DUIs are completely different from regular DUIs, an individual charged with such a crime needs a Fredericksburg marijuana DUI lawyer who has the experience handling these types of cases. A defense attorney can help by debunking the statements made by the prosecutors and give the defendant advice on what their best options could be. Call today to get started on your case.