A recent report suggest that an increasing number of high school seniors are smoking marijuana while driving a motor vehicle. This trend could be attributed to recent shift in public opinion supporting marijuana legalization coupled with a lack of awareness for the dangers and consequences of Drugged Driving.
You're Officially An Adult
High School Seniors find themselves on the threshold of adulthood. While beginning to enjoy greater freedoms and responsibility, limited life experience still limits the ability to foresee the consequences of certain actions.
When it comes to criminal conduct, a high school senior who has reached the age of 18 will be treated as an adult and subject to the criminal justice process. Consequently, a criminal charge can become a criminal conviction resulting in a permanent criminal record.
By going for a cruise to smoke some weed or partake in a "clam bake," a person, high school senior or otherwise, can increase their exposure to police contact. The mere mobility of the car may not be the basis for a traffic stop or vehicle search but it certainly opens the door to any number of potential motor vehicle violations that could result in a traffic stop.
A person charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana can face a permanent record of a criminal drug conviction, probation, and a 6 month license suspension for a first offense regardless of whether a driver or a passenger. Additionally, the period of license suspension increases for a subsequent or future drug conviction.
However, an experienced Harrisburg Marijuana Possession Defense Lawyer can protect your rights and defend your freedom. If a person accused of a drug crime has no prior criminal history, options may be available to avoid a conviction and license suspension. Alternatively, a knowledgeable and skilled Dauphin County Criminal Defense Attorney will be able to identify any potential defenses. For example, any time a person is charged with drug possession incident to a traffic stop, an attorney will examine the basis for the stop and the circumstances surrounding the seizure of the drugs and any other evidence to determine if there is a basis to suppress or throw out evidence that was illegally obtained by police.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
For a high school senior who is not even of legal drinking age, it is not difficult to imagine that when they think of DUI, they think of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drunk Driving. However, a person who has smoked marijuana and gets behind the wheel of a vehicle could be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Drugged Driving.
Additionally, a person accused of Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana is treated the same as a person with the highest rate of alcohol or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Thus, a person charged with drugged driving and has no prior DUI convictions would face mandatory minimum jail time and a 1 year license suspension.
However, with an experienced Harrisburg DUI Defense Lawyer, there may be an opportunity to avoid the most severe penalties whether by negotiation or litigation (fighting the evidence and charges).
Harrisburg Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney
If you, your high school senior, or someone else you care about has been accused of Marijuana Drug Possession or DUI, contact a professionally aggressive and compassionate PA Criminal Defense Lawyer today for a free phone consultation.