Driving under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, is illegal. Yet while driving under the influence of alcohol can be established by measuring blood alcohol content, proving that someone is driving under the influence of marijuana is a bit more challenging.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs is often referred to as a DUID. To be convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana, legal authorities must show that a suspect’s driving was impaired due to the presence of marijuana’s active ingredient, THC. Impairment can be defined as the inability to drive safely. Being under the influence of marijuana while driving may impair a driver’s ability to react to traffic conditions in a timely fashion.
Measuring the Influence of Marijuana
A police officer may detain any driver who seems to be driving unsafely. The police officer may also administer a field sobriety test to determine whether a driver is physically or mentally impaired. The symptoms of driving under the influence of drugs can be different than impairment due to excessive consumption of alcohol. Evidence gathered by any officer who has not been trained to recognize symptoms associated with marijuana impairment may be inadmissible in court.
When a driver is arrested for a drug related DUI, a blood or urine test will typically be administered to detect the presence of drugs. In most jurisdictions, there is no legally defined amount of THC that can be in a driver’s system. Though authorities are able to detect the presence of inactive THC metabolites in urine, this cannot prove that a suspect was under the influence of THC at the time of the test. Inactive metabolites often remain in the body for extensive periods of time, depending upon how often someone uses marijuana.
Though blood tests are seldom used by authorities, a blood test may be capable of detecting active metabolites. At high levels, active metabolites are an indication that the THC was psychoactive when the blood test was administered. A blood test may also indicate the presence of low levels of active metabolites for as many as three days. There is a movement to adopt per se THC limits similar to the .08 blood alcohol standard. It is claimed that meta-analysis of experimental accident studies indicate that a per se limit of five nanograms of THC per milliliter of whole blood causes the same degree of impairment as.08 of alcohol.
Opponents of a per se THC limit complain that per se standards are unscientific and arbitrary. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHST) has notified law enforcement officials that urine test results cannot accurately predict impairment. Moreover, blood test results are only slightly more accurate. It is difficult for a prosecutor to prove that a driver was impaired by marijuana. In many jurisdictions, the prosecutor must prove that the capacity of a suspect to operate a vehicle was impaired to an appreciable degree.
This post was provided by the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor. If you have been charged with a DUI in Mesa, AZ or anywhere in Arizona you will need to have a strong defense team. For more information on drug charges in Arizona see their website: http://cantordruglawyers.com
If you've been convicted on a charge of driving under the influence, you can probably appreciate how difficult life can be with a DUI on your record. The consequences of a DUI conviction can follow you even after you've served your sentence and gotten your license back. Your state's laws almost certainly require you to disclose your criminal record to any potential employer, landlord or lender who asks for it, and a felony DUI conviction is often perceived as a serious minus.
However, it may be possible for you to have your DUI or DWI conviction expunged from your record. Expungement is a legal procedure by which arrests and convictions can be sealed, meaning that you can legally conceal your criminal record when filling out job, school and loan applications. Expungement will also hide arrests and convictions from agencies that run background checks.
Steps to take before having your DUI expunged
Before proceeding with the expungement process, make sure that you qualify for it. Every state has different expungement laws. Many states, such as Illinois, do not allow DUI convictions to be expunged.
If you were charged and convicted in a state that allows for the expungement of DUIs, find out what requirements you have to meet before applying for expungement. In California, for example, you can only obtain a DUI expungement if you have served your sentence, probation included, and if you haven't been convicted of another DUI or an equivalent crime within one year of your first conviction. In Georgia, the required waiting period is five years.
The Expungement Procedure
If your DUI conviction is currently eligible for expungement in your state, your next step will be to fill out the appropriate forms and file them with the law enforcement office that carried out your arrest. Your local police department or sheriff's office should have some expungement request forms available. When filing the forms, be sure to pay the required filing fees, or else your request will be rejected.
Denials and Appeals
Once you've filed your request for expungement, a judge will examine it and either grant it or turn it down. If you request is denied, though, don't give up. You can still appeal the judge's decision. Most states require appeals to be filed with the superior court clerk within a brief period of time, typically 30 days after the judge's decision is issued. If you haven't yet hired the services of a DUI attorney, you might want to consult with one to ensure a smooth appeals process.
When All Else Fails
If your DUI conviction isn't eligible for expungement or your expungement appeal has been denied, you still may have a few options left. You might, for example, be able to obtain a pardon from the governor's office. A governor's pardon will not erase your criminal record or allow you to conceal your DUI conviction, but it will release you from any further obligations you have to meet under the terms of your sentence, and it may have the psychological effect of "balancing out" the conviction on your record.
A DUI conviction can continue to make your life difficult long after you've served your sentence. For this reason, it's well worth taking the time and effort to try to have your DUI expunged or pardoned.
Billy often writes articles on what to do if ever arrested or convicted for a DWI. You may find more information about expungement by visiting his law firm, Law Offices of Billy Skinner, based in Houston, TX.
The after-effects that result from a DUI arrest and conviction may be devastating for many individuals. In certain instances, individuals lose their driver’s license, endure jail time and spend an exorbitant amount of money on attorney fees, fines and court hearings. Job opportunities may be scarce for individuals who have been convicted of a DUI because of required background checks.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is the process in which the court takes action to clear one’s criminal record of charges. Expunged items will not be visible in the future to those who are reviewing an individual’s arrest record. The expungement process offers convicted offenders the ability to obtain a fresh start in life. An expungement prevents educational institutions, employers and potential landlords from learning about the conviction on a standard background check. Individuals who have undergone the expungement process are given lawful right to say no when asked if they have ever been convicted of a DUI.
DUI Offender Eligibility
DUI offenders must complete all necessary probation requirements for a court to consider a record expungement. Each court and every state have their own specific laws for DWI convictions. Individuals who have been charged with a driving while intoxicated are most often given a probation period of two years. However, in some instances, the probationary period could reach five years. Convicted DUI offenders may request a record expungement from the court once the probationary period has ended. Convicted DUI offenders must also complete all required tasks given by the court which may include: obtaining an SR22, an appearance before a victim impact panel and payment of all fines assessed by the court.
How Expungement Affects Certain Charges
The expungement process to clean a DUI offender’s record takes time. The details of the crime’s nature directly impacts how an individual’s record is cleared. For example, if a person was arrested and convicted of their first DUI while driving reckless on a deserted road, they may have been charged with a misdemeanor. However, an individual who is charged with drunk driving and the destruction of private property may be charged with a felony. The crime’s severity and classified charges make a huge impact on the decision of the court to clear an offender’s record.
The Expungement Process
A qualified lawyer must be contacted for proper record expungement. Some attorneys may refer specific DUI cases to an expert in the field. However, most attorneys will handle the cases themselves. DUI attorneys require documentation to prove the individual’s completion of probation, jail time, payment of court costs and fines. The attorney will then determine if the defendant is compliant with the court’s requests. If so, a motion will then be filed with the court. The expungement process may begin upon the court’s approval of the motion. The attorney then presents a record removal order to police stations, police officials, DMVs and driver’s license bureaus. These agencies are then required to notify the attorney upon completion of the order.
- Consider Expungement to Erase Arrest & Criminal Records (blogs.lawyers.com)
Imagine that it is late at night and you are driving down a deserted highway in the middle of nowhere. You've just left a party where you had a few drinks. You are certainly not drunk but you smell like you've had a few. You are driving along at a reasonable speed when a police officer comes out of nowhere and signals for you to pull over.
Always remember to do as the officer requests and remain calm. The police officer will probably ask for your driver's license and registration. This is the typical and normal procedure when an officer pulls somebody over.
It is important to remember that you have rights. The Fifth Amendment protects you from answering self-incriminating questions that the officer might ask during questioning. For example, a police officer might ask you if you have been drinking or how many drinks have you had tonight. You have a right to refuse answering this question and remain silent. The officer might use this in their testimony against you but it is often better than answering and giving him evidence against you.
Never jump out of your car or make any sudden sporadic movements. Remain in your car until the officer asks you to get out. The officer might ask you to step out of the car and perform certain sobriety tests. You are within your legal rights to refuse these tests. Remember that these are used specifically to back up the officer's claim that you were intoxicated. This might also be a good time to refer to your Fifth Amendment rights.
At this point some officers might ask that you take a breathalyzer test to determine how much alcohol is in your system. Statistics show that breathalyzer tests are very unreliable. You have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test but it is important to understand that the refusal to take a breathalyzer test will result in suspension of your driver's license.
Remember that if you are pulled over and an officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol or another substance, he will try to obtain any and all evidence he can. By knowing your rights you will be better prepared to limit the evidence against you in this situation.
Brett often writes articles to inform his readers of their legal rights as a US citizen. Visit Brett Podolsky's DWI page at http://brettpodolsky.com/dwi if you need a DWI lawyer in Houston who is well versed in all aspects of the law or for more information on DWIs.
A DWI is a serious offense but even those accused are entitled to car insurance. All cars on the road are legally required to be under an insurance policy but there are no laws in place to regulate premium increases for those who have been charged with a DWI. However, there are steps you can take to keep your insurance premiums reasonable:
1) When charged with a DWI, be certain you have a good lawyer to argue your case. Even with incriminating evidence, they can often argue your sentence down to a plea bargain which can reduce the suspension period of your license. When you are charged with a DWI, your insurance company is bound to increase your premiums at first. However, you can argue your case to the insurance company to persuade them to give you a more reasonable rate. If you are lucky enough to win your case in appeals, then you can demand your insurance company give you back your old rate.
2) Enroll yourself in DWI education classes. These courses will teach you defensive driving and help you overcome the habit of driving while intoxicated. This will prove your responsibility to your insurance company and they may be willing to lower your premium or at least keep it from getting any higher.
3) Get new quotes from different insurance carriers and see if any are willing to give you a better deal. Even if you choose not to get a new carrier, you will still need insurance in order to get your license back from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Also keep in mind that when determining premium rate increases there are two things insurance companies need to consider:
1) Whether or not there was an actual DWI conviction.
2) If the accused person has been a longtime client of the insurance company and has not had any legal issues before then the insurance company may not increase the client's premiums.
It is very important to be protected when charged with a DWI, both by your insurance policy and from unreasonable premium rates. It may be expensive to have a lawyer handle your case but such professionals know what to do to save you money in the long run.
- How are life insurance premiums calculated? (aptusinsurance.com)
- High Risk Insurance Drivers (articles.onlineautoinsurance.com)
Police officers from coast to coast are stepping up the enforcement of drunk driving laws. People caught driving while intoxicated(DWI) are arrested and fined (Click Here for more information about DWIs). In a growing number of cases they are required to have an ignition interlock device installed. An ignition interlock device is a mechanism which measures a person's blood alcohol content (BAC). It is attached to the dashboard of the vehicle after a person is charged with multiple DWIs. They must blow into it before they can drive. If their BAC is above the legal level the vehicle will not start.
The ignition interlock devices are relatively simple. The device is placed in the glove compartment of the vehicle and connected to the vehicle's ignition system by wires. Before the person can start the vehicle they must blow 1.5 liters of air into the system. If the driver's BAC is over a certain level, usually between .02% and .04%, the vehicle will not start. Whether the driver passes or fails, content is saved on a computer chip which can be downloaded by law enforcement.
Many ignition interlock devices conduct “rolling tests.” Once the vehicle is in motion the system calls for the driver to blow into the device at random intervals of between 5 minutes to 30 minutes. These tests keep a sober person from blowing into the ignition interlock device to get the vehicle to start then allowing an impaired person to drive. The rolling tests are also designed to stop the driver from drinking alcoholic once the vehicle is moving.
Should the driver blow a BAC over a safe level during the rolling test or fail to give a breath sample, the device will cause the horn to sound incessantly or the lights to flash on and off until the car is turned off. The alarm system does not turn off the engine while the car is in operation for safety reasons. The ignition will not restart until the driver blows an alcohol-free breath sample into the ignition interlock device.
Ignition interlock devices require monthly maintenance. They are checked at regular intervals to ensure that they have not been tampered with. The information contained in the computer chip can then be forwarded to law enforcement or the court. It will let them know if the driver has ignored the rolling tests or has blown above acceptable limits.
Gary is an expert in the laws and procedures for people who are charged with driving while intoxicated. For more information you may visit his website, Miller Defense, which provides useful information for anybody facing legal issues.
The term "networking" may carry different meanings to a variety of different people. To some, due to the nature of network or direct marketing, this term brings up images of making endless phone calls, most of them being "cold calls." This idea is very far from the truth of what "networking" means.
Legal Networking Defined
In the legal profession, networking is not only crucial when speaking in terms of growing a business. As far as lawyers are concerned, networking is about relationships. How to meet people, how to discern what level relationship it is and how to further develop the relationship into something profitable to all parties involved.
How To Meet People
Luncheons are good but just being involved with people is even better. This may mean the simple interactions with the daily postman or even your paper delivery boy. You never know who knows who, which is why first impressions are important and so is presenting an image of trust, friendliness and concern for others. Essentially, people are attracted like magnets to those who project this image.
Discern The Level of Relationship
Individuals normally have a large number of people or acquaintances in their circle of friends or coworkers. It would be wise to discern whether they are acquaintances, close friends, business or intimate relationships. The way a close relationship is approached can be very different from the way one would approach another.
Learning to be a giver and not only a taker will build and solidify most any relationship. An occasional birthday card, anniversary gift or simply a warm, cordial phone call will tell the other party, "Hey, you are important to me as a person; not only as a client!"
Relationships are of utmost importance, be it on a personal or professional level. However, in order to take them to the next level some serious time and effort must be invested. The time and effort put into building relationships is what defines "networking."
- Do You Build Networks Or Relationships? (smallbusinessmavericks.com)
Drinking and driving is never a good idea for a variety of reasons. It does not matter your situation or where you are at, there are always other options to get where you need to be without driving. You can call a friend, ride the bus, take a taxi or walk if you have to. Putting your life and the lives of others in jeopardy should never be an option that you choose.
Whether you are drunk, a little buzzed or you have only had a couple of drinks, it is never a good idea to operate a vehicle. The truth of the matter is that motor skill impairment comes long before the effects of alcohol are even noticed. Being arrested for a DWI can be very detrimental to your life. Not only could you possibly kill somebody, but there are fines, jail time and you may have to hire an experienced Houston DWI lawyer to defend your case.
Some may argue that the legal limit is .08 and as long as they think they're under that limit it's okay to drive. The truth is that a .08 is when you have severely crossed the line and are are serious danger to people around you. It does not mean you should get behind the car in an altered .07 rate and try to drive. The fact remains that though the legal limit is .08, at a mere .02 people tend to demonstrate of poor judgment and a slower reaction time. What it all boils down to is that after you consume one drink, your judgement becomes impaired and the lives around you are at stake. Whether it is the life of a child, a father, a whole family or your very own life, the question remains, was it worth getting behind the wheel?
The limit acceptable by law may be .08, but the limit acceptable by mothers, brothers, sisters and other family members of drunk driving victims is zero percent. Many families have been destroyed and many more are yet to be torn apart because of another individual’s bad choices. Don't become one of these statistics. Make the wise choice for yourself, and for others. Get educated on the facts about alcohol and the effects it has. Be prepared by arranging alternate transportation if you plan on drinking. It is time to take a stand against this devastating epidemic in our streets and it all starts with one person doing the right thing: Do not drink and drive.
Rand often blogs about the effects that drinking and driving has on people’s lives. You may visit his website to find more information how a Houston criminal defense attorney can help with the repercussions of drunk driving.
- Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving (highschoolhealth.wordpress.com)
- New bill seeks to deport illegal immigrants guilty of drunk driving (examiner.com)
Anyone who has ever been to a lawyer or court knows that there are fees for having to deal with legal business. From time to time there are fees that have to be disputed. Knowing how to take care of business will help keep the process simple and highly effective to get what is deserved. In order to get desired results keep things organized and keep copies of each any every record.
Going through the process of disputing legal fees is best accomplished by being prepared. Make sure to have a copy of the legal bill that was mailed by the charging attorney. Do not forget to have a copy of the contract with your own attorney and all records that show the services the other attorney provided while they were retained.
To start the process, make sure the bill that you received gives detailed information of all services that were provided. Obtain a fee schedule from the attorney and all hourly rate listings for court time and research time. The bill and fee schedule should be compared to show any problems. If there are any problems found, list them out in a logical order and send them to the attorney for examination. Be knowledgeable of the agreement between yourself and the attorney. By knowing what was said and signed for you can eliminate any possible delays. Should the attorney not want to resolve the problems, there is aid from outside sources that can be used to help in the pursuit of correcting the issues.
- WHY YOU Need Legal Help (socyberty.com)
- Capturing Value from Legal Spend: A Partnership with Your General Counsel (spendmatters.com)
Being convicted of drunk driving is not what it used to be. There was a time when a person would only be given a small fine or suffer no punishment at all. There wasn't even much of a social stigma attached to it. Throughout time, society has changed greatly. Not only are the fines greater but a person can spend time in jail and lose their license for long period of time. Society no longer tolerates drunk driving. Hiring an experienced DWI Lawyer is crucial. Learn more about the consequences of a DWI at http://mariomadridlaw.com/practice-areas/dwi.
Even with the stiffer penalties, people are still getting caught driving while intoxicated. If you fall under this category and are going through the penalty phase, you may wonder what your future is with auto insurance. Even if you still have a license, you need to be insured. The first thing to know is that your insurance rates are going up. Almost one third of accidents resulting in a fatality involve alcohol. Insurance companies do not like drivers with a DUI. If fact, a DUI conviction may result in your insurance being cancelled. The Law is set up so that they will be notified so there is no chance in hiding your conviction.
In most states if a driver has had his license suspended, he will have to show proof of insurance before he gets it back. This makes it impossible for a person to get a policy without an insurance company knowing about the conviction. If the conviction does not result the loss of a driver’s license, an insurance company will still check with the department of motor vehicles before renewing your policy. If your policy is cancelled, there are companies that are known for insuring people with a DUI, but the premiums are very high. You can get several quotes to get the lowest cost policy, but the best bet is not to drink and drive to begin with.
- How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance (mamoonkay.wordpress.com)
- Online Auto Insurance Asks Drivers to Be Safe During Holidays (prweb.com)
Mario enjoys writing about a variety of legal issues. If you need information about criminal defense attorney in Houston that represents clients charged with alcohol related offenses, visit his website at http://mariomadridlaw.com.