Over the last several decades there has been a very vocal, and increasingly powerful, movement to make the use of medical marijuana and/or recreational marijuana legal across the United States. Although the movement has been successful in a number of states in getting medical and/or recreational marijuana laws passed, Nebraska is not one of the states that has relaxed their marijuana laws to date. If you live in Nebraska, you likely know this. You also likely know this means you can be charged with a criminal offense if you are found in possession of marijuana within the state. What many people fail to realize, however, is that driving under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, is a crime. If you find that out the hard way, by being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, or DUID, do you need a marijuana defense attorney? The simple answer is “yes.”
The Law in the State of Nebraska
Just about everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Likewise, just about everyone knows that being found in possession of marijuana is illegal. What many people don’t know is that driving under the influence of marijuana is also a crime in many states, including Nebraska. Nebraska Revised Statute 60, 6-196 governs the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug. It is the last part that people are often unaware of, and which can lead to an arrest and conviction for a driver who is under the influence of marijuana. The relevant statute reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or be in the actual physical control of any motor vehicle:
(a) While under the influence of alcoholic liquor or of any drug;
(b) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of his or her blood; or
(c) When such person has a concentration of eight-hundredths of one gram or more by weight of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of his or her breath.
How Do the Police Prove I Was under the Influence of Marijuana?
One of the biggest differences between the way DUID cases and DUI cases are handled is usually found in the chemical test you are asked to submit to after being placed under arrest. If an officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol, a standard breath test will be requested. A breath test, however, can only detect the presence of alcohol in your breath. Drugs, including marijuana, do not register on a chemical breath test. For this reason, you may be asked to submit to a urine or blood test if the officer suspects marijuana use instead of, or in addition to, alcohol.
What Happens If I’m Convicted of DUID in Nebraska?
Once upon a time, a first time conviction for DUI or DUID was not taken all that seriously. An offender typically received the proverbial “slap on the hand” for a first offense. Today, however, you face serious judicial and noon-judicial penalties for even a first time DUID conviction. Along with the potential for jail time and hefty fines, you may also spend a considerable amount of time on probation and/or be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle if you wish to be able to continue to drive. You could also face professional discipline, lost job opportunities, and even interference with custody or visitation with your minor children if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs.
A Marijuana Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of marijuana in the State of Nebraska, the best thing you can do for yourself is to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska marijuana defense lawyer. Not only will your lawyer prepare a defense for your case, but he/she will protect you and your rights throughout the prosecution of your case.
If you are currently facing marijuana related charges in Nebraska, it is certainly in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska marijuana defense lawyer right away. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.