Although New Jersey recently decriminalized recreational marijuana use, driving under the influence of marijuana still is – and always will be – against the law. While driving under the influence (DUI) is classified as a traffic offense rather than a crime in New Jersey, the consequences of a DUI conviction are severe, and getting arrested for a marijuana DUI can impact all aspects of your life.
If you are facing a marijuana DUI charge in New Jersey, here are five important facts you need to know:
1. Marijuana DUIs Carry Steep Penalties in New Jersey
In New Jersey, marijuana DUIs and alcohol-related DUIs are prosecuted under the same statute, and this means that they are subject to the same penalties. As a result, if this is your first time being charged with DUI, you are facing penalties including:
- Fines and surcharges
- Loss of driving privileges
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Other administrative penalties
If you are being prosecuted as a repeat offender, the penalties you face are even more significant. For example, a second-time DUI charge can carry a jail sentence of up to 90 days, and a third-time DUI charge can result in a 180-day jail term.
2. There is No BAC Test for Marijuana Intoxication
In alcohol DUI cases, the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is often a key piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case. While prosecutors cannot use your BAC to secure a conviction in a marijuana DUI case, they can prove your guilt in other ways. But, as we discuss below, many of the types of evidence used in marijuana DUI cases are unreliable, and defendants will often have several defenses available.
3. The Prosecution Won’t Go Easy On You
Even though recreational marijuana use is now legal in New Jersey, you cannot expect the prosecution to go easy on you. Driving under the influence of marijuana puts other people in danger, making prosecuting marijuana DUI cases a top law enforcement priority.
4. Marijuana DUIs are Not Eligible for Expungement
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, your marijuana DUI charge will not be eligible for expungement. This is because a marijuana DUI is a traffic offense and not a criminal charge.
5. There are Several Potential Defenses to a New Jersey Marijuana DUI
There are several potential defenses to marijuana DUI charges under New Jersey law, from lack of evidence to violations of your constitutional rights. To find out what defenses you can use to fight your marijuana DUI charge, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak with a New Jersey Marijuana DUI Lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.
Are you facing a marijuana DUI charge in New Jersey? If so, we can help you fight your charge and mitigate the consequences of your arrest. To speak with an experienced New Jersey marijuana DUI lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online now.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive marijuana DUI defense experience as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our website, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.