As mentalities around the use of marijuana have changed over time, so have laws surrounding the drug. New York has legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes throughout the state and lawmakers are fighting to legalize its recreational use. While opinions are changing throughout the state and the country, the law does not show any bend to driving under the influence of the drug. In New York, Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) is a violation of the law and comes with certain consequences as a result. It is because of this that all marijuana users within the state should know their rights when operating a motor vehicle. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney if you were charged with a DWAI.
What are the Consequences of a DWAI?
It is important to know that being charged with a DWAI in New York does not carry as severe of penalties as a DWI or Aggravated DWI. It is not a criminal charge, but instead it is a traffic violation. While this is true, the charge does come with a range of consequences as a result of breaking the law of the road. This can include the following:
- Fines between $500 and $1000
- A maximum of one year in jail
- A driver’s license suspension for a minimum of six months
In the event of second and third DWAI convictions, an offender will face additional penalties. The charges can also impact a person’s insurance rates and their job or future employment.
What is a Drug Recognition Expert?
In New York, there are certain police officers that exist solely to identify signs of intoxication in drivers. These individuals are known as drug recognition experts, or DREs. They have specific training in order to examine drivers who are accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol.
Will Marijuana Show Up on a Drug Test Weeks After Consumption?
It is important for all individuals who use marijuana to be aware that the drug can stay within a person’s system for about 30 days after consumption. This means that if you have smoked or ingested marijuana within a month before you were pulled over on the road, it can show up in a urine test. If you choose to refuse a urine or other chemical test, a refusal hearing can take place where a judge may recommend a license suspension.
Contact our Firm
Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.