What Are Your Rights if You Have Been Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?
With recreational and medicinal marijuana now legal in Nevada for adults ages 21 or older, law enforcement agencies across the state have increased their focus on enforcing regulations and other laws involving cannabis, including driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana. As we have discussed on our blog, there are a number of unique issues involved in marijuana DUI cases, as well as concerns over how law enforcement can definitively prove when a motorist is considered “too high to drive.” These issues, as well as the serious potential penalties at stake, make it essential for anyone charged with driving under the influence of marijuana to know and understand their rights.
At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno criminal defense attorneys have established a reputation for aggressively defending the rights, freedoms, and futures of clients charged with all types of criminal offenses, including allegations involving DUI. If you or someone you love has been charged with a marijuana DUI, remember that you have rights within the criminal justice system, and that our experienced DUI defense lawyers can help you protect and assert them.
Below are brief explanations of your most important rights when charged with a marijuana DUI:
- Your Right to Remain Silent – One of your most important Constitutional rights is the right to remain silent. Under the Fifth Amendment, you cannot be compelled in any criminal matter to be a witness against yourself. Essentially, this means you are protected from self-incrimination, and do not have to speak to law enforcement or answer any questions they may ask as part of an investigation, pre- or post-arrest. If you have been arrested, talking to law enforcement cannot change that. Instead of taking a risk and saying something that can be used against you, whether it’s a statement that is misconstrued or not, you should exercise your right to remain silent and request a lawyer who can help you handle any communication with law enforcement as needed.
- Your Right to Legal Representation – The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, provides you with the right to legal representation. By exercising this right and working with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can receive guidance as you navigate the criminal justice system, as well as the insight and representation to help you seek the most favorable outcome. While criminal defendants in the American criminal justice system can work with a court-appointed public defender, it is important to remember that public defenders are often overburdened with large caseloads, and may not have the necessary time to devote to your case.
- Freedom from Search & Seizure – Under the Fourth Amendment, you have freedom from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. Though you may have already been arrested, evaluating all circumstances surrounding your traffic stop, investigation, and the protocol of law enforcement for possible Fourth Amendment violations is an important factor in any criminal case. That’s because law enforcement must abide by strict rules and procedures whenever they stop or investigate you, and when they seize your property or make an arrest. Violations of these rights (i.e. not having probable cause) can be major breaking points in a criminal case, and can potentially result in certain evidence being inadmissible, or a case being dismissed.
- Raising a Defense – You have the right to challenge the government’s allegations against you. This includes challenging the merits of their claims to ensure they meet their burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt), pre-trial or at trial. However, doing so, and even determining whether waging a defense, going to trial, or seeking alternative resolution may be the best or most appropriate option in your particular situation, is a matter that demands the attention of a proven attorney. Defense attorneys can help you explore your options for pursuing the most positive outcome in your case.
The criminal justice system is bound by strict laws and subject to the Constitutional rights of defendants. When navigating the process after an arrest, knowing what rights you have, how to best assert them, and how to best pursue a favorable resolution can be immensely difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with how these proceedings work and what laws apply. For these reasons, working with a criminal defense attorney can make all the difference.
Our legal team at Joey Gilbert Law is committed to helping clients protect their rights after an arrest from the very moment they reach out to us. If you have questions about a recent DUI arrest, or any other criminal allegation, our firm is here to help. Contact us to request a free consultation and learn how we may be able to fight for you.