If you’re arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana in Chester County or Delaware County, Pennsylvania, you want the charges dismissed. How can that be done? Each case is unique, and you may have valid arguments, but the system may be working against you.

If you’re facing marijuana DUI charges, contact attorney Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm about your case and your options. He will listen to your story and suggest what steps you should take.

Call (610) 436-1410 for a free and confidential consultation about your alleged marijuana DUI.

Defending Against a Marijuana DUI in Pennsylvania

Generally, DUI defenses come down to constitutional protections and scientific or technical claims that the drug test was improperly handled or administered, so the results aren’t trustworthy.

Constitutional Defenses To Marijuana DUI Charges

The Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution – protects all US citizens. Guarantees include the presumption you are innocent until proven guilty, due process of the law, and the right to a fair trial. This is true for all crimes.

Potential constitutional violations include anything the officer did illegally or improperly concerning:

  • Stopping your vehicle
  • Detaining you for questioning
  • Your arrest
  • Collection of evidence

These defenses could result in evidence being excluded from use and or charges being dropped. They include:

  • There was no “reasonable suspicion” before pulling you over
  • There was no “probable cause” to arrest you
  • You were not given Miranda warnings of your rights when you were detained
  • Your vehicle was illegally searched

Scientific or Technical Defenses To a Marijuana DUI

These defenses mostly try to exclude the use of specific evidence. Without enough evidence, the prosecution can’t prove your guilt. We may be able to argue the evidence was improperly obtained in a way that makes it unreliable or untrustworthy, so it shouldn’t be allowed at a trial. If police misconduct is involved, it could also be argued that the court allows or encourages misconduct if the evidence is permitted.

Scientific defenses can sometimes be challenging to argue. It takes understanding the science behind chemical testing and how it’s done. The presence of chemicals in your body that may be evidence of marijuana use is found through blood tests. A breathalyzer device can measure how much alcohol is in your blood, but there’s no such machine to test for marijuana.

Defenses could include how your blood was collected and stored. There are stringent rules that regulate sample collection and what can be done with it. A documented “chain of custody” must show who had the sample and where it was to discourage tampering and reduce the chances of samples from different people getting mixed up.

Testing for marijuana in the blood is usually a two-step process. The sample is screened using a rapid, inexpensive procedure to determine if there’s evidence of marijuana use. Another method confirms or contradicts those results.

Blood test results must be at least half a nanogram – or 0.00000000002 of an ounce – of THC per milliliter of blood for results to be used as evidence in court. That amount translates to half a billionth of a gram in a thousandth of a liter of blood – or in 0.033815 of a fluid ounce. Given these tiny amounts, accurate and reliable testing is critical.

Get the Help You Need From Attorney Skinner

Pennsylvania’s criminal system can be daunting. It’s critical to have an attorney on your side who understands the process and the law. Chester County defense attorney Michael Skinner will walk you through the process, defend your rights, and tirelessly pursue the best possible result. With experience and technical knowledge in marijuana DUI cases, Michael is ready to put his skills to work defending you.

Contact Skinner Law Firm today at (610) 436-1410 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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