The Bay Minette resident is accused of striking a state worker along Ala. 59. He is charged with assault and driving under the influence of marijuana. Officers found several containers of synthetic marijuana in the pickup and decided the defendant was under the influence. Bay Minette police are also accusing him of trying to flee the scene.
Police also charged him with second-degree possession of marijuana.
An Alabama DUI defense attorney can make several observations here.
-Depending on what police are calling synthetic marijuana, an experienced attorney may seek a dismissal of the charges. A substance is either illegal or it is not.
-Just because a driver has drugs or alcohol in his or her possession (or fake drugs or alcohol in this case), does not mean he is under the influence. Blood, urine or breath test results can be challenged. As can field sobriety tests, if they were performed.
-Even if a driver has THC — the active ingredient in marijuana-in his system, it does not mean he was under the influence at time of arrest. Marijuana can remain in your system for 30 days after consumption — long after its effects dissipate.
-There is no evidence the defendant attempted to flee. Many times, there is no safe place to stop in a construction zone and a motorist must travel on in search of a suitable stopping point.
-An attorney will challenge the assault charge. While our road construction workers perform a valuable service, and are no doubt at increased risk of an accident, they sometimes act as if they own the road. When it can be shown a worker was acting irresponsibly, or is partly to blame for an accident, a reduction or dismissal of the charges in possible.
This is a classic case of extenuating circumstances — road construction — leading to an accident and questionable arrest. Had law enforcement not found marijuana — or fake marijuana — the motorist may not have been charged. In some of these cases, it is possible for an experienced Alabama defense attorney to show there is a lack of correlation between the presence of drugs and any negligence associated with the accident.
Without legal representation, the defendant here faces some pretty serious charges. With experienced defense counsel, it's possible he walks.
In recent years, the U.S. Department of Transportation has invested in training so-called “Drug Recognition Experts.” These officers are given “training” that allegedly allows them to tell whether a driver is under the influence of drugs.
Guess what? Typically an officer determines — Ta Da! — that a motorist is guilty!
The truth of the matter is that such “test” results are even more suspect than the results of field sobriety testing. Whenever a determination of your guilt is left in the hands of a person whose job it is to find you guilty, things typically don't go well.
No matter. What you are charged with is immaterial. All that counts is whether or not you are convicted in a court of law.
If you have been arrested contact Birmingham DUI Defense Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.