Marijuana OWI with Possession
By Andrew Mishlove on March 12, 2020
In the past few years, many states have introduced laws to decriminalize marijuana. However, in Wisconsin, marijuana use is still illegal, and if someone is found to be under the influence of marijuana while driving, they face serious charges. Marijuana DUI charges can result in penalties including fines, driver’s license suspension, and jail time. These penalties may be even steeper if there are extenuating circumstances, such as possession.
Drivers charged with marijuana OWI with possession should work with a knowledgeable OWI defense attorney to fight to have charges reduced or dismissed. The attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert are some of the few to successfully challenge marijuana lab results and have OWI charges thrown out.
Determining Marijuana OWI
When drivers are stopped for suspicion of OWI, their blood is likely to be tested. Most people are familiar with the legal limits for blood alcohol content (BAC). In Wisconsin, as in most other states, anyone who has a BAC of .08 or higher can be charged with DUI, or OWI. Marijuana OWI charges are different in that there is no set limit for the amount of drugs that can be found in the system. Marijuana OWI charges can be brought in two circumstances:
- Incapable driving: If a driver is exhibiting unsafe or erratic behavior as a result of drug or alcohol use, OWI charges can be brought.
- Marijuana in the system: Even if a driver is not exhibiting incapable driving, marijuana OWI charges can be brought if there is any trace of the drug in the system.
Penalties for Marijuana OWI
The penalties for a marijuana OWI charge vary based on how many offenses have been brought against the driver. For a first-time offense, marijuana OWI charges carry a penalty of a fine between $150 and $300. For subsequent offenses, the penalties get more severe:
- Second offense: Fines between $150 and $300, jail sentence of five days to six months, minimum one-year license suspension (and up to 18 months)
- Third offense: Fine between $600 and $2,000, minimum 30 days in jail (and up to one year), minimum one-year license suspension (and up to two years)
- Fourth offense: Felony charges, fine between $600 and $10,000, minimum six months in prison (and up to six years), license suspension of two to three years
Penalties for Possession
Possession charges may be added to marijuana OWI charges if marijuana is found on the person or in the car at the time of arrest. Possession charges can increase OWI penalties. If a small amount of marijuana is found and it is a first-time offense, the charge may result in a ticket or misdemeanor charges. However, if there is a large amount of marijuana, or if it is the driver’s second offense, felony charges can be brought. A felony possession charge can involve a license suspension of up to five years.
Do I Have a Defense?
Since even a trace amount of marijuana in the blood can be evidence for OWI charges in Wisconsin, many lawyers decline taking on a marijuana OWI defense. However, attorneys Andrew Mishlove and Lauren Stuckert have fought and won numerous marijuana OWI cases. Our law firm will consider multiple defense strategies, including challenging lab results, so that our clients have the best chance of having OWI charges reduced or dismissed. With the serious penalties that a marijuana OWI can carry, it is always worth fighting for a lighter sentence.
If you are facing OWI charges, you need a knowledgeable OWI defense attorney on your side. To learn how the attorneys at Mishlove and Stuckert can help you fight your charges, contact us at your earliest convenience, or call (414) 206-6219.
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