Were you charged with a marijuana DUI (or OWI, as it is also referred to) in Indianapolis, IN? If so, there may still be time to form an effective defense. The prosecution already believes you are guilty; you’ll need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how this area of the law works.
You can trust the Indianapolis marijuana DUI lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC, to zealously advocate for your rights and interests. Our criminal defense attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience, and members of our legal team are former prosecutors and police officers. That means we have insight into how the other side likes to operate.
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How Suhre & Associates, LLC, Can Help After a Marijuana DUI Arrest in Indianapolis
DUI may be one of the more common types of criminal offenses, but that doesn’t make the consequences any less impactful. Marijuana DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, but jail time, fines, and other penalties are still possible. Without an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer representing you, the prosecution may get away with an unwarranted conviction.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we utilize the latest technology to help our clients bring forward an aggressive defense tailor-made to their circumstances. We’re familiar with the local courtrooms, judges, and prosecutors that may be involved in your case; their tactics and strategies won’t catch us off-guard. We can help with your marijuana DUI case in Indianapolis, Indiana, by:
- Thoroughly looking into the prosecution’s case and evidence against you to formulate your best defenses
- Ensuring your rights – constitutional, statutory, and otherwise – are maintained at all times
- Working to have your charges reduced or even dismissed if possible
These are just a few examples of how we can help if you’ve been charged with a marijuana DUI. Contact us today to discuss your case with an experienced Indianapolis DUI attorney.
An Overview of Marijuana DUI Law in Indianapolis, Indiana
In Indiana, as well as on the federal level, marijuana remains illegal recreationally and medically. It is also a crime in the state to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. By default, it is illegal to have any amount of THC (the psychoactive substance found in marijuana) in your system while driving in Indiana.
Senate Bill 201
In 2021, Indiana introduced and passed Senate Bill 201. This bill changed Indiana’s stance on marijuana DUI to some extent. The state recognized that a person might test positive for having marijuana in their system days after the fact, although they are not actually impaired at the time.
SB 201, therefore, offers a potential statutory defense to a person who tests positive for THC while driving. To successfully assert this defense, the accused must demonstrate that they were not inebriated at the time of the arrest, that they did not cause a traffic accident, and that they only tested positive for THC via a chemical test that was administered lawfully.
Marijuana Testing Methods in Indiana
There are a few ways in which the State of Indiana may test for THC in your bloodstream. As alluded to above, THC can remain in one’s blood and saliva for up to multiple weeks after ingestion. A person can test positive for THC even though they have not consumed marijuana for a significant period of time.
One way that law enforcement may test for THC is called the SoToxa Mobile Test System. This is a relatively new testing method that was introduced in 2020. SoToxa is a handheld test that can check for six substances, one of which is marijuana.
The results of this test are not admissible in court, though they can be used to give the officer probable cause to offer a blood draw test. It is permissible to refuse to take the SoToxa test, though the officer may still have probable cause nonetheless.
The blood chemical test is the other way law enforcement can test for THC in Indiana. The state currently has an “implied consent” law in effect. This means that by operating a motor vehicle in Indiana, a person impliedly consents to a chemical test.
Declining to take a blood chemical test is considered a refusal under the implied consent law. Unlike the SoToxa test, declining to take the blood test has legal consequences. The refusal may be admissible in court, and the person’s driving privileges may be revoked.
What Penalties Can Result From a Marijuana DUI Conviction in Indiana?
Contrary to how many other types of crimes are handled, the penalties for marijuana DUI can begin even before the person is convicted. As noted above, for instance, refusing to take a chemical test allows law enforcement to suspend your license for either one or two years, depending on whether it is a first or second refusal.
However, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles may administratively suspend your license for 180 days even if you took the chemical test in some instances. And if you have been convicted of a DUI previously, the state may suspend your license for a year.
At a base level, the potential penalties for a marijuana DUI conviction in Indiana are:
- First Offense: A class C misdemeanor resulting in a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
- Second Offense: A Level 6 felony so long as the offense was committed within 7 years of the first offense. Level 6 felonies carry a sentence ranging from 6 months to 2.5 years imprisonment.
Further, if there are certain aggravating factors present, a second offense marijuana DUI may result in a Level 5 felony charge. For instance, if the first offense involved a serious injury, the state may pursue this more serious felony. The prison sentence for a Level 5 felony in Indiana ranges from 1-6 years.
What Defenses Are Available Against Marijuana DUI Charges in Indianapolis?
Many defenses may be available to utilize in response to your marijuana DUI charges in Indianapolis. SB 201, as discussed in a previous section, is one possibility. However, others may apply as well, such as:
- Your SoToxa or blood chemical test was not administered in accordance with law
- The arresting officer failed to read you the state’s implied consent law
- The results of your blood chemical test are inconclusive or inaccurate
- The police did not have a valid reason to pull you over and conduct a traffic stop
When you choose the Indianapolis marijuana DUI defense lawyers with SUhre & Associates, LLC, we can investigate your case internally. One aim of that investigation will be to arrive at the defenses best suited for the facts of your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trusted Indianapolis DUI Attorney
The law regarding marijuana OWI in Indiana is complex and evolving, with many recent developments that require careful analysis and consideration. It is especially important to have an experienced Indianapolis marijuana DUI attorney who can advocate for you throughout the process.
Suhre & Associates, LLC, can do just that. If you hire us, you’ll benefit from a criminal defense legal team with over a century of combined experience. Your future could be at stake, and you only have one chance to make the most of your defense. We’re here to help.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation with an experienced marijuana DUI lawyer in Indianapolis.