It is unlawful to drive with more than the requisite amount of Marijuana inside of your vehicle. Yes, in 2018 January 1, Marijuana became legal to possess but you can only possess a certain amount of Marijuana.
So, if you exceed that amount and you have that amount in your vehicle, then you can be charged with an infraction. What's interesting is, a lot of people have let their guards down regarding marijuana, while the authorities on the other hand – because I'm in the Los Angeles courts dealing with DUI cases all the time related to Marijuana.
The authorities have not let their guard down. They have actually formed new task forces and stepped up their actions regarding driving and having marijuana or being under the influence of marijuana.
Driving Under The Influence of Marijuana
If you're under the influence of marijuana and you're driving a vehicle and you get pulled over, the authorities are going to arrest you and charge you with a DUI, just as though you're driving with alcohol in your system.
And these cases are not necessarily even to defend. A lot of times it's very difficult to figure out the amount of marijuana in your system and how much it has impacted you.
It can even get more complicated in a possession of Marijuana in a vehicle case when they also hit you with a DUI drugs and you have both Marijuana and alcohol in your system.
Now the authorities are trying to figure out – and your defense attorney is trying to figure out – how much the Marijuana had impacted your driving versus the alcohol.
Really what it boils down to is it is just an unsafe practice to have Marijuana in a vehicle, to have alcohol in a vehicle. You're just itching to get a ticket. You're itching to potentially get a DUI and get a mark on your record that you can't get off.
There are legal ways to possess marijuana in a vehicle. That would be to actually have it in a sealed container where the seal has not been broken and then – as long as you possess the requisite amount – then you can do that.
But again, when you know that the authorities don't like people drinking and driving, you know the authorities don't like people smoking Marijuana and driving, and especially in California where they are hyper-technical about that – very conservative when it comes to Marijuana DUI's.
It's just not a good idea to have Marijuana in a vehicle, especially if your car is not up to snuff and they can just pull you over for any reason – because you don't have one of your front license plates for example or one of your headlights is out or you're driving recklessly in the streets committing traffic violations and they're going to pull you over. If they smell Marijuana, they're going to look around.
They're going to ask for consent to search – it's just not worth it for you to do that.
Defenses To Possession Of Marijuana In A Vehicle
An obvious defense to possession of Marijuana in a vehicle would be that you have the requisite amount and you had it properly stored. If you can show that then you have a good argument that you lawfully possessed Marijuana. People who are in possession of Marijuana in a vehicle, as long as they meet all the rules – the authorities know what the rules are and they're not going to be able to do anything.
That's probably the best defense when it comes to these possession of Marijuana cases. But be leery, because if you're also smoking Marijuana in the vehicle or you have smoked Marijuana and you're driving a vehicle, the authorities are going to be looking to get you for a DUI.
They're going to bring out their drug recognition expert and they're going to run all the tests they can against you and they're going to make a bunch of subjective claims that you possessed Marijuana in the vehicle.
You look like you're intoxicated. You're driving poorly. You're walking poorly, and then you didn't pass their drug recognition test and then they are going to cite you and arrest you for a Marijuana DUI which you may or may not be able to defend.
The point is, who wants to get arrested? Who wants to be dragged into court? Who wants to have an attorney have to represent them?
So, if you're thinking about possessing Marijuana in a vehicle you better make darn sure that they can't get you for smoking Marijuana in a vehicle.
What if you smoked it the day before? Again, you're just playing defense and you're putting yourself in a bad position when you possess Marijuana in a vehicle.
If you have one of these cases and you need a DUI lawyer, come and sit down and talk to me. We'll go over everything.
We'll talk about all the facts and circumstances related to your case and we'll see what we can do to preserve your record, your driving rights, your freedom, your reputation and all the things that are important to you and get you out of the criminal justice system as quick as possible with this possession of Marijuana in a vehicle charge.