When people think about DUI offenses, the first thing that probably comes to mind is drunk driving. Indeed, most of the DUI charges in the US involve a person suspected of being drunk while taking control of a vehicle. However, DUIs are not solely limited to driving under the influence of alcohol.
In most places, especially in Palm Beach County, Florida, individuals can be charged with DUI if it has been proven that they drove their vehicle while they were impaired by illegal drugs, such as marijuana. Individuals must treat this misdemeanor seriously, as they do not just get charged with DUI if they drove their vehicles while high. If drugs are found, a person can also be charged with drug possession, which is an even more serious offense, depending on the amount. Here are three key points about marijuana DUIs in Palm Beach County.
Key Points to Know in Marijuana DUIs in Palm Beach County
It is clearly defined in the Florida Statutes (Section 316.193) that DUIs should be formally charged only when individuals took control of their vehicle while under the influence of an illicit drug or alcohol. Unlike alcohol-driven DUIs, proving that a person was high while driving can be difficult. Authorities need to find traces of active marijuana metabolites first before they can make a move. Otherwise, the reason for impairment can be difficult to prove.
If you are interested in knowing more about marijuana DUIs in Palm Beach County, here are some key points you should know:
You can be charged with drug possession as well
As mentioned earlier, you can be charged with drug possession if a controlled substance is found after you get stopped for driving under the influence in Palm Beach, Florida. Depending on the amount, you can be charged with felony or misdemeanor possession, possession with the intent to sell, or you can be charged with drug trafficking.
Marijuana DUI cases often rely on expert witness testimonies
In most cases, prosecutors often seek the help of “drug recognition experts” or DRE officers when filing charges. These people, usually law enforcement officers, are trained to recognize subtle behaviors that generally appear when people are under the influence of marijuana. Of course, the defense can lead-in their own expert witnesses themselves. Should there be any contradictions or issues with the testimony of the witnesses, evidence may get excluded from evidence. It can even lead to the dismissal of the case or a not guilty verdict.
Serious penalties await those who are guilty of a marijuana DUI
The severity of the penalty depends upon whether this is your first offense or if you have a previous DUI conviction. A DUI conviction can carry lengthy jail sentences, license suspension or revocation, probation, fines and court costs, vehicle impoundment, victim impact panels, ignition interlock devices, and DUI school.
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you want to get in touch with some of the best criminal lawyers in Florida, you have come to the right place. Attorney Chad Piotrowski is one of the best in South Florida.