Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Charges in Essex County
A charge for violation the New Jersey DWI/DUI can result not only from alcohol intoxication but from driving under the influence of drugs like marijuana. And while there is often confuse as to there being a separate law in the state to deal with marijuana dui, this simply is not the case. N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 applies to a marijuana case just as it does if someone was stopped for driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit. Where a difference arises between these types of DUI offense is when it comes to proving the charge. Our attorneys, most of whom are former DWI prosecutors, are knowledgeable in what is necessary to prove or, more importantly, defeat a claim of being under the influence of marijuana. If we driving in Monclair, South Orange or another municipality in the county and arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of marijuana, we know how confusing, scary and even chaotic things can be. But we also know that, with our experience and knowledge, we can eliminate a lot of your stress and help you plot a course that provide you with the best opportunity for avoiding a 39:4-50 conviction. So give us a call anytime 24/7 at 973-710-1520 for a free consultation.
Proving A Marijuana DWI/DUI In New Jersey
Although must driving under the influence of drug cases require that the state produce a drug recognition expert (“DRE”) to prove their case, this requirement does not apply where marijuana is the drug involved under N.J.S.A. 39:4-50. The reason for this is because the New Jersey Appellate Courts have concluded that most police officers, without higher level training as a DRE are capable of defecting when someone is under the influence of marijuana as contrasted to other drugs. The thought behind this conclusion is that marijuana is so common, especially for a police officer, that it really does not take any exceptional training to defect and therefore the state should not be required to produce a DRE in order to sustain its burden of proof in a marijuana DWI. However, determinations of marijuana intoxication from lay police officers tend to be much more subjective than what would be involved when standardized tests are conducted by a DRE, and this is where higher level expertise in marijuana related 39:4-50 violations like that possessed by the attorneys at our firm can be extremely valuable. So if you were charged with a marijuana DWI in Newark, Bloomfield, East Orange or any other municipal in Essex County, we definitely can help identify and present your best arguments for acquittal.
Penalties If You Are Convicted Of A DWI Involving Marijuana
The same penalties that apply under the DWI Law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-50, apply whether the chemical influencing an individual’s ability to drive is alcohol or marijuana. The only difference is that the first and second tier penalties for a first offense, which hinge on an individual’s blood alcohol level, cannot be applied where marijuana is involved. What this means is that anyone convicted of a first offense for driving while intoxicated is subject to a mandatory minimum license suspension of at least seven (7) months and as long as twelve (12) months. The suspension period escalates to two (2) years for a second offense and ten (10) years for a third offense. There are obvious additional financial consequences, along with mandatory participation in the Intoxicated Drivers Resource Center, that also apply. The NJ DMV also imposes an annual surcharge of at least $1,000 as high as $1,500 for a period of three (3) years whenever someone is convicted of violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-50.For more information regarding a marijuana dwi/dui or to discuss representation in Nutley, Verona, Montclair, Livingston or any other Essex County town, call us at 973-710-1520.