Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime that is usually connected to a person’s alcohol consumption, but it is important to keep in mind that people can face DWI charges for driving under the influence of certain drugs or controlled substances. In many cases, the drug involved is marijuana.
Many drivers are charged with DWI relating to marijuana after routine traffic stops, and the arrests typically involve marijuana possession charges as well. Alleged offenders often face a multitude of possible penalties if convicted for the multiple charges they now face.
If you or your loved one was arrested for a DWI involving marijuana in the greater Plano area, you are going to want to be sure that you do not wait to seek legal representation. It is going to be important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer working on your cases soon as possible.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will be committed to helping you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 establishes that a person commits DWI if they are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as meaning having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.”
DWI is a Class B misdemeanor. Keep in mind that a person charged with a marijuana DWI while transporting a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age can be charged with DWI with child passenger, a state jail felony.
In most cases, an alleged offender suspected of a marijuana DWI will be asked to submit to chemical testing, which is often a urine test. Blood tests may be ordered in some cases. The same refusal penalties applicable to refusals to submit to breath testing in alcohol-related DWI cases also pertain to refusal to submit to drug testing.
If a marijuana DWI is you first offense, it is a Class B misdemeanor. Convictions are punishable by fines of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
All prior DWI convictions can and will be used against you. A second DWI becomes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.
When a marijuana DWI represents your third or subsequent DWI offense, you can face third-degree felony charges. Convictions are punishable by fines of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
If you have been charged with marijuana possession in connection to a marijuana DWI, then penalties for a marijuana possession conviction will depend on the amount of marijuana you allegedly possessed. The penalties for marijuana possession in Texas are as follows:
● 2 Ounces or Less — Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
● 2 Ounces or More but Less Than 4 Ounces —Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to$4,000.
● 5 Pounds or Less but More Than 4 Ounces — Third-degree felony punishable by upto 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
● 2,000 Pounds or Less But More than 50 Pounds — Second-degree felony punishable by upto 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
● 2,000 Pounds or More — First-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
A person’s alleged use of marijuana can be very difficult to directly tie to intoxication, and prosecutors in these cases will often rely on the testimony of drug recognition experts (DREs), which are law enforcement officers trained to supposedly identify signs of drug impairment. The DRE evaluation process is itself flawed and a criminal defense attorney will know how to attack some of the most common conclusions DREs draw in these cases.
The time that you actually consumed marijuana can be enormously important in many of these cases, as some alleged offenders may have been arrested long after the effects of the drugs have already worn off. You should always exercise your right to remain silent when police officers are asking specific questions about your marijuana use.
Marijuana | DEA — View the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)website page dedicated to marijuana. Learn more about what marijuana is, common street names, and how it is used. Also learn about effects on the body and download a fact sheet.
Does marijuana use affect driving? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — View this NIDA website page discussing the effects of marijuana on driving. The article claims marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes. While several meta-analyses of multiple studies found that the risk of being involved in a crash significantly increased after marijuana use,a large case-control study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found no significant increased crash risk attributable to cannabis.
Were you or your loved one arrested for an alleged DWI involving marijuana in Plano or a surrounding area of Collin County? Make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm understands the many flaws inherent in marijuana DWI cases and can fight to protect your rights. We will examine your case when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.