What to Do if Charged with Marijuana-Related DUI in Michigan
Over the past few years, marijuana laws have been changing all over the country, and ten states, including Michigan, have now legalized recreational marijuana for adults. For this reason, states that have legalized pot face an interesting dilemma: What is the legal limit for driving under the influence of marijuana, and how will we enforce it? This is a tricky question, indeed. Before legalization, the mere smell or presence of marijuana in a vehicle was enough for law enforcement officers to charge drivers with drug possession, DUI or both, but in states that have legalized the drug, this is no longer the case.
Michigan maintains a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence, so drivers with THC in their blood can be charged with DUI just like drivers under the influence of alcohol. That said, the testing procedure is more difficult, likely more invasive and definitely more subjective. Although the Michigan State Police are trying to develop a saliva swab to test people suspected of driving while stoned, the current testing method is a blood draw, which presents some problems. As anyone who has smoked marijuana can tell you, the intoxicating effects of the drug typically last for only a few hours, yet THC usually remains in the blood for at least a day or two, and in some cases, it has been detected after almost a month. As such, the presence of THC in a driver's blood does not constitute proof that the driver is under the influence.
If charged with a marijuana-related DUI in Ingham County, hiring an experienced Okemos criminal defense attorney is vital. Because of the expense of criminal trials and the substantial caseloads of criminal courts, prosecuting attorneys in the United States resolve about 95 percent of cases via plea bargains. While this may be ideal for counties and their budgets, it is often not so for a criminal defendant. Pleading guilty to a DUI can result in substantial fines, license suspensions, probation and even jail time. In fact, defendants who stand trial and lose will endure only marginally more severe punishments than those who take plea bargains.
At White Law, we know how stressful and intimidating it is to face a DUI charge. If you or a loved one are facing such a charge, we can provide you with an experienced Okemos criminal defense attorney who will work vigilantly to protect your rights. Do not let overzealous prosecutors bully you into submission! Call White Law today at (517) 774-2274 for a free consultation so that we can help you get on with your life.