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Can I Get a DUI for Smoking Medical Marijuana in the Car?


Medical Marijuana and DUI Charges

Medical cannabis for therapeutic purposes in Ohio has been permitted since House Bill 523 was passed in 2016; to this effect, the Ohio Revised Code has been revised, and several regulations have been implemented. Interestingly, the laws related to operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) have not been amended.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the various substances that law enforcement agencies will test for when handling suspicious OVI incidents. If an officer from the Columbus Police Department pulls you over on suspicion of smoking marijuana while driving, there is a chance that you may be arrested even if you carry an Ohio medical marijuana card, but this does not mean that you will have to suffer all the consequences of an OVI offense. A criminal defense attorney can certainly help you towards obtaining the best possible outcome.

  • For the most part, OVI cases that end up in court will present the following factors:
  • The driver is stopped by law enforcement agents.
  • The driver is detained and/or arrested.
  • The driver is tested for substances and impairment.

Each of the factors above can be challenged by an experienced criminal defense attorney; in some cases, all three can be questioned at once.

Parked Car Situations

The ethos of American law enforcement has changed over the last few years. Police officers are being indoctrinated in ways that give them plenty of valid reasons to initiate action. There is no line between valid reasons and reasonable suspicion; this is why they would have no qualms about approaching a parked car if they get a hunch that an occupant is inebriated.

While police officers can concoct many theories about possible intent to operate the vehicle and having physical control of the car when the incident occurred, these conjectures can be challenged in court for the purpose of dismissing cases or reducing charges.

Contact a Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, it's imperative to talk to a Columbus criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You shouldn't have to face the charges alone because doing so could result in penalties that you shouldn't have to pay. Call on the team of experienced attorneys at The Meranda Law Firm in Columbus for comprehensive representation.

call us today at (614) 707-4239 to discuss your situation and begin building your defense.