DUI with Marijuana
Defend Yourself from Severe Criminal Penalties – Call ((312) 236-7078
Illinois State Troopers have been cracking down lately to arrest and charge more people for driving while under the influence of marijuana, a variant of a typical DUI. In particular, Illinois criminal codes 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4) and 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7) have seen an uptick in use to justify and process a DUI with marijuana arrest.
The specifics of these two criminal codes state:
- 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(4): “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within [Illinois] while under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that rends the person incapable of driving safely.”
- 625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(7): “A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within [Illinois] while the person has, within 2 hours of driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle, a [THC] concentration in [their] whole blood or other bodily substance. (Exceptions noted for medical cannabis, given that impairment is not caused by its use.)”
If you have been arrested and your charges or criminal processing mentioned “(a)(4)” or “(a)(7)” at all, then you need to act quickly to defend your rights. Prosecutors and judges are likely to be adamant about securing a conviction based on an alleged violation of these criminal codes, so you might already be at an unfair disadvantage.
To rebalance the legal playing field, you can come to The Law Offices of Mitch Furman and get my insightful legal help. My name is Attorney Mitch Furman, and I am a Chicago DUI with marijuana defense lawyer with more than 20 years of Illinois criminal law experience. If you are being seen as guilty until proven innocent, let me come to your side and act as a steadfast legal defender, ready to protect you from the worst of potential consequences and outcomes.
Are You Allowed to Use Marijuana in Your Car?
In Illinois, it is not a criminal violation to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for your own personal recreational use. However, this leniency in drug laws does not permit you to use recreational marijuana whenever and wherever you please. You are expected to only use recreational marijuana in the privacy of your own home and never before using heavy machinery, such as an automobile. Using any amount of marijuana, cannabis, or hemp in any form – smoking, eating, vaping, etc. – while in a vehicle can constitute a criminal violation and lead to an arrest.
How Do the Police Decide to Arrest for a DUI with Marijuana?
In order to make an arrest and file charges for driving under the influence of marijuana, Illinois highway patrol officers will use much of the same tactics and reasoning they use to make a DUI arrest. It begins with looking for probable cause to pull you over.
A highway patrol officer may have reason to suspect an impaired driver if they witness:
- Swerving or erratic lane control
- Hard braking events
- Driving well below the speed limit
- White or thick smoke coming from a vehicle's cabin
Police are also allowed to use their sense of smell to decide to make a DUI with marijuana arrest. If they simply smell the strong odor of marijuana in your vehicle, either while next to you in a lane or after pulling you over, then it is likely enough to justify an arrest. This is an extension of the “in plain sight” rule, which states officers can make immediate judgement calls based on witnessing evidence left uncovered and easy to see. Although, in this instance, it is more like an “in plain scent” rule.
Chemical Testing Back at the Police Station
After being arrested for a DUI with marijuana in Illinois, it is likely that you will be subjected to a chemical test while back at the police station. Blood and urine testing can be used to determine if you have used marijuana or a similar substance. Since there is no established guideline of impairment that mirrors the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) guideline widely accepted across the country, police are often justified to file charges if there is even a single part of THC in your system when you are arrested and tested.
There are two critical issues with police drug testing, though:
- Warrants: In order to collect a blood or urine sample for drug testing, the police are often required to get a court-approved warrant first, as it is a significant invasion of your privacy to demand such samples. If the officers processing your arrest did not get a warrant, then I could use that to your advantage and have that evidence thrown out.
- Unclear timeline: There is much speculation about how long traces of THC and CBD – the two primary chemical components in marijuana, hemp, and cannabis associated with impairment – last in your system. It could be possible for a test to pick up THC days or weeks after you last used recreational marijuana, effectively giving the police a false positive.
Were you subjected to a chemical test after being pulled over and arrested for driving while impaired by marijuana? Call (312) 236-7078 right away and let me know. As an experienced Chicago DUI with drugs attorney, I can get to work on challenging the results of the drug test and other elements of the case being formed against you.
DUI with Marijuana & Potential Trafficking Accusations
Illinois allows you to legally possess marijuana up to 30 grams, but it does not permit the transportation of marijuana in that amount. It can be considered marijuana trafficking if you have any amount of marijuana in your vehicle, constituting a misdemeanor. The charge can escalate to a felony for marijuana sales if you have 10 or more grams of marijuana in your vehicle when you are pulled over. Essentially, if the police see enough marijuana in your vehicle to suspect it is not just for personal use, then you might have to worry about additional charges being tacked onto your arrest, not just a DUI with marijuana.
Get Ready to Fight Your Charges the Right Way
The prosecution will want to slam you with criminal penalties, like fines and jail time, when you are facing marijuana-related charges. Don't give them an easy route by not defending yourself. For a Chicago DUI with marijuana defense attorney who will take your case seriously and back up his words with real-world experience, come to my law firm right away. I am ready to stand up for your rights, your future, and your reputation as if I was defending myself.
Call my firm at (312) 236-7078 as soon as possible to start your defense case.