It could be either. The statute basically provides that if you are under the influence of a drug and you are unable to operate a vehicle, it doesn’t matter if the drug is a prescription medication taken legally or a controlled and dangerous substance taken illegally.
What Are the Most Common Drugs that People are Getting Stopped For?
Typically, people aren’t pulled over as much for the general drugs as they are for the DUIs. A wide variety of drugs can cause problems, many of them are incidental that people. For instance, people on marijuana don’t pay good attention to things so they are more apt to make little traffic infractions that they’re pulled over for. If the officer has any indication that the person’s under the influence, they can try to test them in different manners to see if they are under the influence.
Does the Amount of Marijuana that Someone Has Matter Even if it’s Just a Very Small Amount?
In Maryland law, if you have under 10 grams of marijuana, it’s generally enforced as a civil citation, so you don’t go to court and you don’t get a criminal record. You get something similar to a parking ticket on which you pay $50 to $100 fine.
If they have a larger amount than 10 grams, then that’s a different story because that is still under the criminal code, it’s a misdemeanor and has up to $1,000 in fine and a year in jail. Also keep in mind that even with the small amount of marijuana, the paraphernalia law is still in effect so that somebody who could have a one gram of marijuana, which is a civil citation, but the bagger or the container of that marijuana is considered paraphernalia which is a misdemeanor with the maximum $500 fine.
If Someone Claims that drugs found in their car aren’t theirs, is that Hard to Prove?
Maryland has a presumption that a driver knows what is in his vehicle, but that is not an absolute fact. It is a rebuttable presumption, and a proper defense, proper testimony, and the right facts can essentially prove that it belongs to somebody else. The factors courts look into are who owns the car, how long have they had the car, who was driving the car and if other people have access to the car.
We’ve had cases where people have had work vehicles that had been driven by many people and that’s one of those cases where you can overcome a presumption because if you took the company truck out at 9 o’clock and you got pulled over at 9:15 and there were some drugs in there that were located under a seat or in some concealed area of the vehicle, the person who’s driving it would have a good defense to say that they didn’t belong to them.
How Are People Usually Arrested for a Drug Related DUI?
Here’s the Arnie Philips’ two-law rule: You never break two laws at the same time, especially if one of those laws has to do with traffic and the other has to do with drugs. Typically, most drug arrests are made either in one of two ways. Either by investigation for the police officers such as getting a confidential informant to give him location of drugs or somebody who has drugs and get enough information for a search warrant when they come in the house and can search everything! However, the more common method is a simple traffic stop.
Somebody going down the road at 5 miles or 10 miles over the speed limit or somebody who has a license plate cover that’s illegal or somebody who has windows that are overly tinted or any little infraction is what officers look for when they’re doing drug interdiction.
A lot of people coming through Garrett County are arrested on certain days that the police target for the interstate and usually those are matched up to coincide with certain rock concerts or music festivals and police are always looking for people who are dressed in music festival gear, have camping gear in their vehicle and when they see them, a lot of minor traffic infractions result in traffic stops followed by an immediate K9 search and very often an arrest.
What is the Most Common Drugs that Police Find?
The most common drug that’s found is marijuana.
How Can it Be Proved that Drugs Found Do Not Belong to the Defendant?
That’s a fact specific scenario. What were the drugs found and where were they found in the vehicle. If you’re driving and there are drugs sitting in the center of console, you can have a very difficult time to say, “These are not mine and somebody else’s”. If you’re just looking at a trace of drugs, you might have a little bit better of an argument there. That can be a good defense but again, you want to generally need to show facts to the court that will make the court believe that you didn’t have knowledge of possession.
For more information on Drug Related DUIs & Prescription Drugs, please call (301) 892-6007 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.