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What to Do After You’ve Received a Marijuana DUI in California

Girl Smoking Marijuana does she received Marijuana DUI when driving?

Marijuana and the use of it has long been a hotly contested debate among Americans. We know that marijuana can have several healing effects and benefits, but we also know that the continued abuse of marijuana can quickly lead to addiction. Trying to find a happy medium on a line as thin as this has proven to be a struggle for decades. 

In 2016, however, a lot of that changed in California when residents voted to legalize marijuana. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) made it legal for adults over 21 years of age to possess, privately use, and give away no more than one ounce of marijuana. AUMA also makes it legal for residents to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use (not for distribution) only. The commercial sale of marijuana is also covered under the AUMA when sold in state-licensed shops and stores. While these freedoms are now written into the law, local governments can determine if they will allow for pot shops and businesses to open up in their areas. 

The AUMA and associated laws are not shocking, as California has always led the way in liberal thinking and acting. That is why many Californians do not see a problem with the use of marijuana, as it has become socially and culturally accepted in that part of the country. So, it comes as no surprise that being pulled over and charged with a marijuana DUI is an event that happens frequently in California.

Legal Repercussions of a Marijuana DUI in California

If you are charged with DUI in California because you were driving while high on marijuana, you are likely to face consequences. The more marijuana-related DUI’s that you get, the more severe the legal repercussions can get. Consider the following penalties:

  • First DUI:
    • Up to 6 months in jail
    • $390-$1,000 fine
    • 3 or 9 months DUI school
    • 6-10 months suspended license 
  • Second DUI:
    • 96 hours – 1 year in jail
    • $390-$1,000 fine
    • 18 or 30 months DUI school
    • 2 years suspended license 
  • Third DUI:
    • 120 days to 1 year in jail
    • $390-$1,000 fine
    • 30 months DUI school
    • 3 years revoked license

Even though marijuana is legal in California, driving while under the influence is not. This is easily likened to alcohol being legal but driving while drunk being illegal. So, what should you do if you receive a marijuana DUI in California?

What to Do After You’ve Received a Marijuana DUI in California

If you receive a DUI because you were driving under the influence of marijuana, the first thing you should do is remain calm and find a safe way to get home from the jail. Yes, you will be brought to jail if charged with a DUI, however your stay is likely only limited to a short period of time (or until you are sober enough to be released/bail has been paid). At that point, get home as safely as possible and begin planning what to do next. Consider the following:

  • Know your court date — Prior to leaving the jail, you will be assigned a court date and you will be required to show up on that day and at that time. If you have any other events or responsibilities on that day already, make sure you cancel and/or reschedule them. Do not forget to show up at your court date, as doing so will only make problems worse.
  • Figure out if you will need legal support — Whether or not you will need legal support to help your DUI charge is going to depend on a few factors. For example, if you plan on pleading not guilty because you feel like you were not tested appropriately or a misunderstanding occurred, getting a lawyer is a good idea. If you are ready to plead guilty because you know you were caught doing something wrong, representing yourself is usually ok to do. Lower-level drug charges like DUI’s are often handled very quickly in court because of how black and white the situation typically is. 
  • Make sure you have a ride — You will not be able to drive because your license will be suspended, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have other responsibilities that you need to keep up with. Whether it is an Uber or a friend who gives you a ride to where you need to go, by all means, do not attempt to drive yourself anywhere. It can be tempting to just get behind the wheel and run to the store real quick but if you are caught driving with a suspended license, the legal repercussions become much more serious. 
  • Do your prep work — You will appear in court on the date provided to you while you were in jail. It is imperative that you prepare yourself for that appearance by gathering any and all paperwork you will need. If you are planning on pleading guilty then the amount of work that you will need to do prior to your appearance will be minimal. However, if you have a lawyer and are planning on entering a not guilty plea, you will have more prep work to get done. Also, ensure that regardless of your plea, you have something appropriate, clean, and modest to wear on your court date. 

Getting a DUI, especially if it is your first, can be jarring to say the least. The most important thing you can do is sober up, maintain your best behavior, and put forth a plan that supports the plea you will enter into the court. 

Marijuana Rehab in Orange County, California

If you are struggling with marijuana abuse or addiction, call Asana Recovery right now. We understand that it is a common misconception that people cannot get addicted to marijuana. But, if you are addicted to marijuana, you know that is far from the truth. 

Reach out to us right now to get the help you need so that you can stop running into the law and start living a healthy life. 

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