As more states begin to legalize cannabis and its use becomes more widespread, law enforcement authorities are struggling to find adequate measures of impairment in drivers. Unlike alcohol, the primary chemical components of cannabis can linger in the bloodstream for weeks or even months, making it nearly impossible to accurately gauge the intoxication of a suspected driver. If you were recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of cannabis, you may be able to appeal the charge, retain your license and avoid a criminal record. With the help of a good DUI attorney, you may find grounds to challenge the claim on a number of different fronts.
Understanding Your State's Laws Regarding Cannabis
Although cannabis is illegal on a federal level, many states have implemented their own laws regarding its use while driving. This is especially true if your state has already legalized or decriminalized the drug. In Colorado, for example, the legal limit of THC in your bloodstream is 5 nanograms per milliliter, but the state allows you to contest a DUI charge if you can prove that you were not actually impaired at the time. In other states, however, where cannabis is still entirely illegal, you may have no legal recourse to fight the conviction. This may also be the case if you consumed marijuana while under the age of 21.
Ensuring Your Arrest Was Lawful
If your state's laws regarding cannabis and driving leave you without a legal defense, you may still be able to argue your case based on the details of your arrest. In some situations, unlawful search and seizure can be used to dismiss charges entirely, particularly if your Miranda rights were never read to you. If you suspect that you were pulled over for any reason other than your driving, such as your ethnicity, economic class or a random targeting, talk to your DUI attorney about your concerns.
Challenging Your Intoxication Level
Finally, because of the imprecise measuring techniques available to law enforcement, you can choose to challenge your DUI charges on the basis that you were not actually impaired while driving. This is an especially promising line of defense if you were able to pass a sobriety test at the time of your arrest, or if the police officer has listed no specific instances of dangerous driving on the arrest report. Drugged driving is still a contentious subject of legal debate, and a skilled attorney may help you avoid a conviction based on the current limitations of most testing systems. There's no reason to let a flawed test strip you of your license and future prospects, so begin exploring your options with your attorney today. Contact a law firm, such as the Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, for more information.