Fairfax Marijuana Possession and Marijuana DUI Lawyer
My ultimate goal will always be to win a complete dismissal of the charges against you.
Defending against charges with big potential penalties
Fairfax Marijuana DUI / DWI Lawyer
Virginia considers marijuana an illegal drug, so anyone found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of pot may be charged with a marijuana DUI or DUID—Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.
In order to be found guilty of DUID, the prosecution must first prove that you were operating a motor vehicle, which could mean driving as well as sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car while the keys are in the ignition. Then the prosecutor must prove that you were under the influence of marijuana at the time. Many times a blood test will be demanded by the officer when a driver’s breath alcohol content (BAC) measures below .08 but the driving behavior is such that the officer suspects impairment.
In regular DUI cases involving alcohol, a person is considered to be over the legal limit if their BAC is over .08, but there is no equivalent scale for marijuana. This is why DUID cases are extremely technical for the prosecution to prove and very winnable for the defense. Blood test results can show traces of THC in one’s blood stream up to 30 days after consumption, which can be misleading and thus their “relationship” to a person’s driving behavior can be disproven in court.
Penalties for a Marijuana DUI in Virginia
Penalties for marijuana DUI are the same as those for DUI:
Up to 12 months in jail, although in Northern Virginia the sentence is usually 30 days with all that time suspended for good behavior
Driver’s license suspension for six months
Requirement to take the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) class
People charged with marijuana DUI might also be hit with a possession charge. Also, if you refuse to submit to the blood test after you are arrested, you can be charged with refusal as well, which carries a 12 month “hard” loss of license (i.e., no restricted license).
All Virginians deserve to have their rights protected when the police and prosecution press criminal charges, and The NoVa Law Firm is here to help. Any criminal charge is a serious one. That is why we aggressively defend clients and push never shy away from a fight to have the charges dropped entirely -rather than reduced, especially in accusations of marijuana possession and marijuana DUID.
Marijuana possession in Fairfax
Virginia law states that possession of any amount of marijuana is illegal. Even if you just have a little bit, even if it belongs to someone else but is in your car or pocket, even if it is just residue on a pipe, or “shake” on your clothing, you could be charged with marijuana possession. It happens every day!
Many possession charges begin with a simple traffic stop. Sound familiar? You’re pulled over for speeding or a busted tail light and the officer starts claiming he can “smell” marijuana. In Virginia, that’s enough justification for the cop to order you out of your car so that he can conduct a search. Regardless of what the officer may find, admit to nothing. Just because marijuana is found in your car in Virginia there is no presumption under the law that any person found in the car had knowledge of it’s presence or knew that the item was even marijuana. Say nothing and ask for an attorney. You have that right. Admitting to having marijuana with you or that you consumed it recently is tantamount to a criminal confession.
Possession charges are serious. A person’s first drug charge (whether it be for marijuana or heroin, even) can be dismissed if that person attends a court-ordered drug program and does community service. However, those “dismissals” can never be erased or “expunged” from your criminal record. Employers will always know you were charged with a drug possession crime. This, alone, justifies fighting the charge every step of the way. Many people don’t show up for court on marijuana possession cases and so they end up with a conviction in their absence.
Not showing up for court can be a huge mistake as the first charge conviction will be a misdemeanor with up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, and the second offense, while still a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Penalties increase from there, with additional penalties levied with larger amounts of drugs found.
Comprehensive, experienced legal counsel on your side
We fight to WIN, not “plead down”, all the criminal charges against you. Our office is a five-minute walk from the Fairfax County Courthouse and just minutes from Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William and Loudoun County courts. Call The NoVa Law Firm at (703) 352-9347 for your marijuana defense, or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation and to get you out of hot water.