A Driving Under the Influence, “DUI” with Marijuana offense in Las Vegas, Nevada is a Misdemeanor for a first or second time offense within seven years, but would be charged as a Felony if it is a third or more time offense within that time frame. The prosecution has two theories that they can use to prosecute an individual for a DUI with Marijuana.
First, is the “prohibited amount theory”, similar to DUI with alcohol, illegal narcotics have a prohibited level, and if you are arrested for a DUI and a Marijuana is found in your system that is equal to or exceeds the prohibited amount, you are deemed to be “per se” under the influence of that marijuana. Nevada Revised Statute “NRS” 484C.110 Section 3, details the prohibited amounts by law. It is important to note, under Nevada law, one can be charged with DUI Marijuana for not only having the active Marijuana “THC” in their system. They can be equally, arrested, charged and punished for having the completely benign Marijuana Metabolite in their system. This bears repeating, just having the metabolite of marijuana in your system, which absolutely does not impair ones person, is enough to be charged for a DUI. (Marijuana Metabolites under Nevada Law)
(g) Marijuana :
Urine Nanograms 10
Blood Nanograms 2
(h) Marijuana metabolite :
Urine Nanograms 15
Blood Nanograms 5
Secondly, you can be charged under the “impaired driving theory”. Under this theory, there is no “per se” prohibited amount of a drug. Any amount of marijuana can be used against you to prove you were “impaired to a degree, which rendered you incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle”. For example, if Marley causes an accident, the police arrive, he fails all of his field sobriety tests, and admits to taking a hit of a Marijuana joint and having two beers an hour before the accident, the prosecution could argue, regardless of what amount of Marijuana was in his system, he was impaired, and incapable of safely driving, and should be charged with DUI Marijuana and/or alcohol. Here, even if the blood alcohol content “BAC” and Marijuana levels came back under the limit, the prosecutor’s argument would be that the “combined effects” of the two, made the driver impaired. Please be aware, being a valid Medical Marijuana license holder, issued by the State of Nevada, does not absolve you of criminal liability for DUI with Marijuana. Meaning, if the prosecutor believes they can prove Marijuana impaired your ability to safely drive, or you are found to have above the prohibited amount of Marijuana or Marijuana Metabolite in your system, they will prosecute you for DUI with Marijuana regardless of the fact, that you have a medical license to carry and smoke marijuana.
The consequences of a conviction for a DUI with Marijuana range depending on the facts and circumstances of your case and your prior criminal history. If convicted of a 1st or 2nd offense, the Judge is required to sentence you anywhere from 2 days up to 6 months of jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and DUI educational courses, such as, a Victim Impact Panel, DUI Class and a Coroner’s Visitation Course. Additionally, you can be sentenced to attend a court ordered drug and alcohol evaluation by a licensed substance abuse counselor, who will assess you for drug and/or alcohol abuse. This substance abuse counselor will then create an evaluation which will be presented to the Judge. The Judge will use this evaluation in determining what additional counseling may be necessary, such as, random drug tests, and group or individual counseling for up to one year. If these penalties weren’t harsh enough, if convicted for a 1st or 2nd time DUI with Marijuana Offense you are not eligible to seal your criminal record until seven years after your case is closed. If you are convicted of a DUI with Marijuana offense for a third time or more within seven years, you would be charged with a Felony and face a mandatory 1-6 years of prison, with no eligibility for probation.
Unfortunately, DUI with Marijuana is very common in the Las Vegas Valley, and all local police agencies are instructed to make an arrest if they have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence of marijuana and/or alcohol, while driving or being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle on a public roadway. Once arrested, the Police Officer or Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper will take you to jail, where they will force you to submit to a blood test, which will be used as evidence against you in your criminal case and DMV Administrative Hearing.
DUI with Marijuana offenses are vigorously prosecuted and a conviction can have dire consequences. A Driving Under the Influence Offense is the only crime on the books in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a prosecutor must have “legal cause or reason” to negotiate a DUI charge down to anything less than a DUI, such as a Reckless Driving. Meaning, a prosecutor can’t, and won’t, offer to drop your case, just because this was your first time, or you are a good person. Additionally, if charged for DUI with Marijuana, the prosecution can also charge you with Felony Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance, if marijuana is found in your system. That among many other reasons is why it is vital to hire Las Vegas DUI Defense Attorney Michael A. Troiano. With his extensive knowledge and experience in DUI Defense on your side, he will discuss all defenses available for your specific case and keep you well informed of the entire process of your DUI with Marijuana criminal case in addition to the DMV Administrative Hearing and your driver’s license privileges.