You can be charged with a DUI if you take Prescription Marijuana

Cannabis_sativa_leaf_Dorsal_aspect_2012_01_23_0830Medical marijuana is currently not legal in PA.  Just because marijuana has become legal in some states that does not mean that you will not be prosecuted for it in PA.  This may especially cause a problem with the charge of DUI Drugs (DUID). That is because marijuana and its metabolites, including inactive metabolites, can remain in the bloodstream for weeks. If a cop pulls you over you could get cited for a DUID and the blood tests would likely support that charge.

Even if you claim that you are legally taking marijuana for a medical condition (as a Pennsylvania or other state medical marijuana licensee), you may still be arrested if the officer believes that you are driving with marijuana in your system. At that point you may have to submit to a blood test or refuse to take the test. Refusal to submit to drug testing can be admitted into evidence against the driver in a criminal case as “consciousness of guilt” and it will carry with it a potential loss of your driver’s license for 12-18 months, regardless of the outcome of your criminal case. If the test returns positive for any marijuana, even for the non-impairing inactive metabolite, the Commonwealth of PA may prosecute you for a DUID.

Currently, any DUID conviction carries with it penalties in the Highest Tier. If convicted for a first offense, you can face up to six months in jail, up to $5000 fine, and a 1 year license suspension, even if you are taking it for a medical condition. Not to mention that a DUID stays on your record for background checks. It brings with it higher car insurance premiums and the social stigma attached stays  for a lifetime.

This is why it is important to get the best legal help available when dealing with complex cases like DUI prescription drugs. The attorneys at The McShane Firm are highly trained in the scientific and medical aspects of these cases and have the experience needed to protect your rights. Please call 1-866-MCSHANE for a free consultation.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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