Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in California-The VC 231529 (e) Implications
The provisions of Vehicle Code 23152 (e) VC outlaw driving under the influence of marijuana anywhere in California, including Visalia. The offense is just as criminal as driving under the influence of alcohol as stipulated under Vehicle Code 23152 (a) VC. But being arrested for a Marijuana-related driving offense does not in itself wipe off an otherwise clean driving record if the victim has a good grasp of the legal implications of the charges, California DUI law and possible legal defenses.
Of course, a driver involved in an under-the-influence- of- marijuana situation need not master the nitty-gritty of Vehicle Code 23152 (a) VC as they can always secure the services of an attorney to ensure the most favorable outcome. However, knowledge of what is expected of a driver from the time they’re asked to step out of their car for an alleged DUI offense is critical, on the part of the driver.
The California DUI Marijuana Legal Definition
Legally, “under the influence” of a substance, such as marijuana, means that consumption of the substance impacted negatively on someone’s capacity or ability to carry out a task with the caution, correctness and care of a sober person. Thus, the legal definition of driving under the influence of marijuana implies that as a result of using marijuana, a driver’s mental abilities were so impaired to the extent that they could not execute tasks associated with driving a vehicle in the cautious and careful manner a sober person would.
According to Vehicle Code 23152 VC, which criminalizes DUI marijuana, it is an offense to drive:
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
California DUI marijuana penalties under Vehicle Code 23152 (a) VC are same as legal punishments for drunk driving in the state. A first time DUI offense involving marijuana in California faces penalties such as:
Elements of Driving Under Marijuana Influence Under California DUI
The prosecutor who’s up against a driver in a California DUI marijuana case must demonstrate certain elements of the crime to prove guilt. They must prove that the accused:
It’s important to note that a person cannot use their legal right to use marijuana as defense against DUI marijuana charges. This means it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of medical marijuana in California. Similarly, a Marijuana DUI attorney would not invoke as defense against such charges, the fact that another factor in addition to marijuana contributed to impairment while driving.
A Driver’s Defense to Marijuana DUI Charges in California
Considering the possible implications of Marijuana DUI conviction such as, jail-time, driving license suspension and a criminal record, it’s prudent to secure a California, Visalia lawyer to attain the best possible defense. A competent and experienced criminal attorney can have charges dropped, help work out a plea bargain or even secure a temporary driving license.
Defenses to Marijuana DUI charges are similar to those for DUI alcohol in California.
Thus, while it’s criminal to drive under the influence of marijuana in California, a good Visalia attorney can minimize severity of legal implications if a driver is charged with the offense.
While many might be unaware of alcohol effects on the human body and its absorption rate over time, most might be shocked to realize that depending upon their body’s rate of absorption and other physical and/or clinical factors, it is highly plausible for an individual to have a blood alcohol content/concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, several hours since their having their last drink.
If you or someone you know has recently been charged and/or arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in or around Visalia, California, there are various circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest your attorney might choose to challenge depending upon your best interest. After investigating every aspect of your arrest, your California DUI attorney might choose to challenge probable cause, blood alcohol content (BAC) results or perhaps even any of your rights which may have been violated during your arrest and detainment.
Many California DUI defendants forego trial and plead guilty to their charges as a result of their belief in the accuracy and validity of the California DUI breath test result.
Quite often, human error on the part of the medical professional can quickly render any DUI blood test BAC result inaccurate, unreliable and inadmissible as evidence. Improper handling of the sample, collecting or storing the sample in an unsanitary or inadequately sanitized container and perhaps even the allowing of foreign substances to enter into the testing area causing cross-contamination consistently creates issues with the reliability of DUI blood test all throughout California.
It’s a pretty serious offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. The former carries a maximum sentence of one year and a fine -- or both -- if convicted, while the latter carries a max punishment of three years in a state prison.
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