Driving while intoxicated, whether it be drugs or alcohol is against the law and, given that there is now a greater accessibility to marijuana now that it is legal in several states, more and more people are able to get their hands on it. However, the possession of marijuana is still illegal in Texas. That said, the state has seen a drastic increase in the number of arrests made for driving while intoxicated by reason of the introduction of marijuana. What will happen to you if you are arrested for a marijuana DWI?
A Breakdown of the Penalties for a Marijuana DWI
Driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is not a matter that any state takes lightly. In Texas, if you are convicted of this charge, the penalties can be rather steep, especially for subsequent offenses. Below is a list of the penalties you could potentially face for driving under the influence of marijuana in Texas:
- First-time offenders: If this is your first offense, the penalties you face can potentially include a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year. Most first offenders receive 1 to 2 years’ probation, some hours of community service and DWI classes. The probation option will prevent your driver’s license from being suspended again - anywhere from 72 hours to 180 days of jail time.
- Second-time offenders: As mentioned above, subsequent offenses for driving under the influence of marijuana are treated more severely. For a second offense, the maximum fine is $4,000. The potential jail time is a minimum of 3 days to 1 year in the county jail. Additionally, if you take probation you still must spend 3 days in the county jail as a condition of probation and a license suspension that could last anywhere from 180 days to two years. This does not include the additional fine, court costs, community service hours and DWI classes that will be required of you.
- Third-time offenders: For third and any other subsequent offenses, this becomes a felony. Penalties can potentially include a $10,000 fine, between two and 10 years’ worth of prison time, many hours of community service if you are placed on probation, and a license suspension that could last up to two years.
As you can see, driving under the influence of marijuana is a serious offense that packs some substantially heavy consequences if you are convicted. This is why it is imperative that you seek skilled legal representation as soon as possible. The sooner retain legal counsel, the better your chances will be of securing a favorable result.
Some Common Signs Law Enforcement Officers Look For
When a cop pulls someone over, he or she will look for certain telling signs that the driver is likely under the influence of marijuana. Some noticeable signs of marijuana usage include:
- Odor of marijuana on your person or in the vehicle
- Compromised memory
- Impaired or altered senses
- Difficulties with body movement
- Trouble problem-solving or thinking
- In higher dosages, one might experience delusions, psychosis, or hallucinations
Experienced and Aggressive DWI Attorney in Fort Bend County
If you were arrested for a DWI, we understand that this is likely a difficult and overwhelming time for you. However, it is imperative that you do not hesitate to obtain the skilled legal help you need to protect your rights and future. At Stornello Law Firm, P.C. in Fort Bend County, our criminal defense team is backed by decades of experience and a proven history of success. Moreover, our trusted attorney was a former prosecutor, which means you will have an advocate on your side who knows exactly what to look for in a prosecutor’s case.
Your future and freedom are on the line, so it is vital that you work with an attorney who is dedicated to aggressively standing up for your rights and defending you with the skill and passion for justice that is necessary to achieve the best possible results.
Remember you only have 15 days from the date of arrest to request an ALR hearing with DPS to contest the initial suspension of your driver’s license. Quickly retaining an attorney to protect your rights is imperative.
Get started on your DWI case today and reach out to our law firm at (281) 761-7160 to request a free initial case evaluation with our attorney and learn more about your legal options and how we can help you.