Marijuana DUI Arrest

Top Tier Marijuana DUI Defense Attorney

Former District Attorney Office Experience!

☎️Call or Text Matt Direct at 310-686-1533

You Will Not be "Passed Off" To A Secretary or Case Manager

DON'T PLEAD GUILTY TO A MARIJUANA DUI UNLESS YOU ARE EDUCATED ABOUT THE SCIENCE BEHIND CANNABIS IMPAIRMENT! Unfortunately, too many people go into Court after an arrest for drugged driving and are intimidated into pleading guilty or no contest to DUID because they are unfamiliar with the laws and science behind pot and how it affects driving. Don't let this happen to you.

Many unsuspecting individuals get arrested for driving under the influence of cannabis and show up in Court without a lawyer only to get steamrolled by an aggressive prosecutor looking to get an easy conviction. The fact is that you are 3 times as likely to get convicted of DUI VC23152f if you do not have an experienced lawyer. Matt knows that toxicology tests can falsely state a person is positive for THC, at least the impairing type of THC, and unless your attorney is versed in the science you will not get the DISMISSAL you likely deserve. Top Rated Marijuana DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff fights and wins marijuana driving under the influence cases! For over 25 years Matt has been vigorously fighting and winning driving under the influence cases involving cannabis with extraordinary success. Matthew Ruff is a TOP TIER DUI LAWYER with a SUPERB rating and was nominated in the TOP TEN attorneys for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 .

The Highest Success Rate!

Matt was hired by the parent of a 20 year old that was involved in a crash in South Los Angeles. The client had struck two parked cars and the police were called out by on-lookers who reported she was "on someting". When the police arrived they had her perform various eye examinations and then several field sobriety tests including the walk and turn test. She was arrested for VC23152F and they collected her blood. The report later showed the presence of Cannabinoids and the District Attorney charged her with driving under the influence of a drug. Matt went to Court and entered a plea of not guilty, he then requested a retest of the blood sample and other items of discovery such as the audio recording of the arrest. Upon review of the entire case Matt discovered a number of defenses and weaknesses in the prosecution's case and he filed motions to dismiss. The case was set for trial and the DA still would not drop the charges so Matt pressed on and finally obtained a DISMISSAL of the charges on February 28, 2020 in Department 7 of the Downey Court.

Matthew was retained by a client arrested at a DUI checkpoint in West Hollywood. He was asked if he had anything to drink, he said no but admitted to taking two hits of marijuana within the last hour. He was asked to exit the car and perform various field sobriety tests which the officer claimed he failed to perform correctly. He was arrested and his car was searched whereupon the officers discovered open containers of cannabis, concentrated cannabis, pipes, and other edibles. A blood sample was collected which later revealed both cannabinoids and Cocaine. Matthew filed various motions and enlisted the assistance of a toxicologist. He was eventually able to get all of the DUI and drug charges DISMISSED in the Los Angeles LAX Airport Court.

People arrested for driving with marijuana in their system often pose no danger to the public, unlike drivers with alcohol and other drugs. Indeed, studies have shown that drivers that have ingested pot responsibly can drive safely, in some cases better than those who have not. However, police and law enforcement in general believe that most people who smoke pot are "stoners" and pot heads who deserve to be mistreated and are not worthy of a fair shake. Moreover, California law does not allow police to confiscate a drivers license under the APS laws if the driver only has marijuana, no alcohol, submits to a test and is not a medical danger, however, many cops take the license anyway and serve a pink notice of suspension causing needless stress and inconvenience to the suspected impaired driver.

Matthew is a recognized authority in the area of marijuana DUI and is asked to speak and lecture on the topic quite regularly. Here is one recent newspaper article on the topic: DAILY BREEZE ARTICLE on DRE use in marijuana DUI arrests

Astonishingly, many prosecutors continue to charge people with marijuana related DUI in cases where the toxicology shows only THC metabolite. A great example of this is a recent case Matt handled in Fullerton California, an affluent region of Orange County. There, the DA filed criminal VC 23152 (e) allegations against a citizen who was arrested after his wife falsely claimed he struck her and fled the home in his vehicle. A DRE was called out who opined the person was impaired by cannabis and he submitted to a blood test which later reported a level of 9.5 nanograms of Carboxy THC. Attorney Ruff argued the evidence was insufficient to show impairment and the District Attorney eventually relented by dismissing all charges against the client in June of 2017.

What about Field Sobriety Tests (FST) when Marijuana is suspected? Many officers are trained to administer the NHTSA Standardized FST battery of HGN, Walk and Turn and One Leg Stand when conducting ANY driving under the influence investigation on the roadside. The problem with that training is that these "tests" have almost no efficacy when cannabis is the impairing drug. For example, HGN is not an indicator of impairment of THC. In addition, the other two tests are only validated to detect BAC levels of .08 or more. Many law enforcement officers will try and assert that SFST are designed to predict impairment of marijuana in suspected DUID drivers, however, the truth is these "tests" were only scientifically validated to predict blood alcohol levels above .08. Matt knows the studies and history of the tests in order to cross examine and discredit them when used in Court on a DUI involving cannabis.

Matt knows the scientific literature better than most prosecutors, that's why he wins his cases. An example of this is a recent case in Los Angeles where the DA wouldn't drop a case where the officer relied on the presence of HGN as a reason to arrest his client for VC23152F (DUI Drugs). Matt knew this was bogus and he filed motions to dismiss, he pursued the DISMISSAL even though the District Attorney offered a "wet reckless" deal and eventually obtained the DISMISSAL.


Many law firms give you a slick sales speech to get you to hand over your money, however the lawyer you talked to on the phone never handles your case. You go to Court and it's somebody different, often with little experience. Matthew handles all of his cases personally so you get his 25 years experience and sterling reputation standing beside you in Court.

With the passage in California of the legal use of recreational marijuana, comes the concern that more drivers may decide to get behind the wheel after using pot. In fact, AAA announced their concern that more needs to be done to understand when all people are impaired by cannabis in order to enact legislation to establish per se levels of impairment similar to the .08 levels for alcohol. In response to the new laws allowing for the free use of pot, many police departments and the CHP are ramping up their training of officers in the area of DUI enforcement involving drugs such as cannabis. Should you or a loved one be facing charges of driving under the influence of any form of marijuana (Vehicle Code 23152e) attorney Matthew Ruff can help.

Question of the day: Why do I still have a Court case if the DMV set aside the arrest and suspension? The DMV can only take action administratively under the APS laws if the driver has alcohol in their system or refuses to submit to a chemical test. As long as you take a test and no alcohol is present the action initiated by the "pink piece of paper" will be set aside. On marijuana DUI cases the DMV leaves it up to the Court case to determine if you will be suspended. If you are convicted of VC 23152e the DMV will strep in and suspend at that time.

Top Tier Defense Lawyer Matthew Ruff knows the science and the law to win marijuana related DUI cases in California. If the lawyer you hire does not understand the scientific principles behind the testing and evidence collected you have little chance of winning. A brief explanation of the terminology is as follows: Marijuana or Cannabis is “Delta-9-Tetraydrocannabinol” (THC). THC is primarily metabolized to “11-hydroxy-THC (THC-OH or OH) which is psychoactive or active. The 11-Hydroxy-THC is then rapidly metabolized to the 11-nor-9-car-boxy-THC (THC-COOH, THC-A or COOH) which is non-psychoactive or inactive, meaning your body is not being impaired either mentally or physically if only metabolite is present. The DA or prosecutor most likely does not understand the biochemistry associated with the testing and will only see what he or she wants to see to convict you of driving under the influence, your attorney must be able to interpret the lab findings to beat the charges. The law in California is clear: If the accused is not impaired by the drug he or she is not guilty of DWI. Furthermore, most experts will agree that a blood concentration of THC at the time of driving can never predict the pharmacological effect or impairment of a driver.

Bottom Line: Marijuana Metabolites alone in your blood sample are not sufficient evidence to prove impairment. The Supreme Court of Michigan recently addressed the pharmocological nature of Carboxy THC in the case of People vs Feezel (2010) 486 Mich. 184. The Court found "experts ...agreed that 11-Carboxy-THC itself has no phamocological effect on the body, and its level in the blood correlates poorly, if at all, to an individual's level of THC-related impairment. (Feezel, Supra at 193). Moreover, many scientific studies make it clear that the non-psychoactive metabolite carboxy-THC remains in the body for appreciably longer than the active ingredient, Delta 9 THC. (see "Cannabinoid Assays in Humans" Willette, 1976). At the end of the day, when you are facing a criminal charge of DUID, (marijuana impaired driving), the prosecution must prove actual impairment at the time of driving. The government must have admissible evidence of all elements of the case. The mere presence of Carboxy THC (THCCOOH) in your blood or urine proves nothing other than you were exposed to marijuana sometime in the past week.

Did the officer confiscate your driver's license and give you a pink paper informing you your license will be suspended? This happens very frequently and is improper if you are over 21 and had no alcohol in your system. MATT CAN IMMEDIATELY HELP TO GET YOUR LICENSE RETURNED.

Did you know that driving after ingesting marijuana is not necessarily illegal. In fact, many folks who have been smoking pot earlier in the day and later get in their car and drive are not "impaired" to the degree necessary to be considered DUI, however most cops are not properly trained to distinguish the guilty from the innocent, particularly in Los Angeles and Kern County. Unlike alcohol, marijuana use is not subjected to "per se" laws that prohibit driving after reaching a certain level so the investigation and arrest is very subjective from officer to officer, this leads to injustice in many cases.

Many people now use marijuana legally in California. However, it remains against the law to ingest cannabis to the degree you are impaired to drive, regardless of the reason you use it. Recently the state enacted Vehicle Code 23152(e) which makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug. But what does "under the influence" actually mean in the eyes of the law? To be illegal the person first must be impaired to an "appreciable degree", something more the simply showing signs of use. The law requires the the person be no longer able to drive with the same caption as someone that is completely sober? There is no per se level of intoxication when it relates to a drug vs. alcohol. If you or a family member is facing a charge of DUI involving marijuana in Los Angeles, Kern County or anywhere else within the state of California. Many police officers will try to say the driver had such things as a "lack of convergence", rebound dilation of their eyes, dilated pupils, "green tongue", blood shot and watery eyes and other alleged signs of impairment. However, Matthew knows the science behind these claimed observations, how the officers are trained and how to discredit these and othere observations to obtain a favorable result in your case.

Call Top Marijuana DUI Attorney direct at 310-686-1533

Matthew Ruff is the Lawyer who knows the scientific facts of Marijuana and driving: THC peaks rapidly in the first few minutes after inhalation, often to levels above 100 ng/ml in blood. In the decline, it quickly comes down to single-digit levels within 1 hour. High THC levels are therefore a good indication that the subject has smoked recently. THC can remain at low levels, 1-2 ng/ml, for 8 hours without any measurable sign of impairment. Chronic users can stay at 2 ng/ml for 24-48 hours after ceasing use.

Why most cops get it wrong on the roadside when it comes to marijuana DUI impairment detection: First, most officers, depending on their training will misinterpret some or all of the symptoms of impairment allegedly caused by pot. Notably, many officers will contribute bloodshot and watery eyes as being associated with a person being under the influence of cannabis. However, the DRE studies all point to a conclusion that this symptom has NOTHING to do with impairment. Moreover, the commonly reported symptom of "lack of convergence" is very often misunderstood by many officers because they fail to conduct the tests properly. They do not adhere to the proper protocol and misjudge the distance from the bridge of the nose to the stimulus and therefore improperly conclude the suspect failed the test. Further, the "rebound dilation" observations and "reaction to light" are almost always overstated in an effort to find the individual to be impaired.

Most chemical tests used by law enforcement may be flawed when it comes to determining levels of impairment. Indeed, one of the more common tests administered to those arrested for drugged driving is the ruin test, however many scientists concur that this mode of testing is seriously flawed. In one scientific study it was revealed that urine tests do not detect the psychoactive component in marijuana, THC (delta-9-tetrohydrocannabinal) and therefore in no way measure impairment; rather they detect the non psychoactive marijuana metabolite THC-COOH (Carboxy), which can linger in the body for days or weeks with no impairment effects. Because of THC-COOH unusually long elimination time, urine tests are more sensitive to marijuana than other commonly used drugs.

A common question is can the Police search my car without consent if they smell Marijuana or find a small legal amount of pot in and open area? The answer is NO. Law Enforcement cannot justify a full search of the interior of your car simply because they find a small usable amount of cannabis in the vehicle. Many cops will "tear apart" the vehicle looking for anything illegal once they see a joint or container of weed. If you are the victim of an unlawful search contact Matt for a consultation about your rights and potential defenses.

Actual Cases Matt Has Handled

Matthew was called upon to defend a client facing DUID charges in Los Angeles California. The client hired Matt soon after the arrest so the attorney could get a jump on things and obtain the best results. Matt assembled a comprehensive strategy to get the charges dropped, particularly since the client was a college student and would soon be entering the job market. After weeks of hard work the CHARGES WERE DROPPED and the client never had to appear in Court.

Matt was retained for a Marijuana DUI case occurring in Hawthorne California. The client was charged with DUI, Open Container and resisting arrest. A breath test revealed low levels of alcohol. A blood test showed THC, Cannabinoids and Cocaine. Matt filed numerous motions and challenged the toxicology on the grounds the blood results failed to show the client was actually impaired at the time of driving. After months of litigation all charges were dropped in the LAX Court.

Matthew was hired by a young man charged with being under the influence of marijuana and alcohol in Los Angeles County. The client was pulled over for weaving on the 405 freeway at 1a.m. near Long Beach. The CHP officers that stopped him alleged he failed a number of field sobriety tests and he's was given a breath test on the side of the road showing a .07 BAC, lower than the legal limit, but they suspected he also had marijuana in his system as well. He was arrested and given a blood test which did reveal active cannabis in his bloodstream. Matthew had the sample analyzed and argued the levels were insufficient to prove impairment. After months of fighting in Court the District Attorney relented and dismissed the DUI charges allowing him to plead to a charge not involving drugs or alcohol.

Driving under the influence of marijuana is perhaps the most overcharged crime in California because most police officers lack the training and experience to adequately determine impairment of the drug. With the passage of California compassionate use laws, more and more folks are ingesting marijuana legally and the police are finding more ways to arrest them for possible DWI. In California, a DUI can occur one of two ways. The first is when a person has been consuming alcohol and is too impaired to drive or has a .08 % or more of alcohol in his blood. The second and far less common is when the individual has ingested some drug such as marijuana and the ingestion of that marijuana has impaired the person's ability to drive a motor vehicle. No particular concentration of cannabis in the person's blood is required, unlike that for alcohol. Typically the police officer will testify to a variety of objective symptoms of impairment in order to justify the arrest and prosecution for "driving while stoned". Drug cases, and in particular marijuana, present a host of issues in the criminal case due to the lack of scientific correlation studies on impairment related to the operation of a motor vehicle. In many cases a Lawyer knowledgeable with marijuana criminal driving under the influence charges and its legal aspects can defend a person charged with the crime of DUI.

One of the more disturbing issues that has arisen in the last few years is that of passive inhalation of pot and the effects it has on a urine test. In a recent study, volunteers were subjected to second hand smoke in a small room and later they were tested for the presence of THC in their urine, it showed positive. The standard test for a marijuana DUI is a urine test. In California ordinarily a person arrested for driving under the influence will be required to submit to either a breath or blood, however when drugs such as marijuana are suspected the choice is limited to blood or urine. Because most people will choose to pee in a cup over having a sharp needle stuck in their arm, the most common test seen is that of urine. Problems can come into play with marijuana urine tests. The most often asked question is how long does marijuana stay detectable in a persons urine?

It is fairly well accepted in the scientific community that marijuana metabolite (a breakdown product) is detectable in urine for an extended period of time compared to other drugs. Initially, it is important to define what is meant by marijuana metabolite. Ordinarily this term refers to a specific breakdown product of marijuana called delta-9-carboy-tetrahydrocannabinal (otherwise known as THC). What is crucial to understand in the context of DUI prosecutions is that carboy THC is not psychoactive and has no effect on ones physical performance or ability to drive an automobile safely. Car boxy THC is an oily substance that accumulates in a person's body fat over time after marijuana ingestion and is slowly released into the blood and excreted into the urine as a waste product. This is the primary reason why carboy THC is detectable in the urine for extended periods of time compared to that of other drugs and their metabolites. Since the effects of marijuana seldom last beyond several hours, the presence of carboy THC in the urine sample collected after an arrest for DUI does not necessarily prove that the individual was "under the influence" or impaired by the marijuana at the time of driving his or her motor vehicle.

How long the THC will stay in a person's system and be detectable by a urine test depends on many different factors. How frequent the person ingests marijuana, how sensitive the test is, and the recency of the consumption all come into play. Recent scientific studies in the area have revealed that the smoking of a single marijuana cigarette can stay in a person's system from one to sometimes three days. Other studies have shown that heavy smokers of marijuana (daily use for six months or more) can show positive for THC in their urine for up to two months after the last consumption.

To combat this problem the police, in recent years, have began implementing DRE programs. DRE stands for "Drug Recognition Examination" the process involves a multi step approach of field evaluation. The object of the DRE is to detect and identify specific drug impairment of the driver arrested for a DUI. Marijuana and other drugs are purported to be detectable using the process. However, the examination is not as accurate as the police claim and the DRE is often not performed in the correct manner. The DRE evaluation takes about 30 to 40 minutes to perform correctly. Although some Courts have ruled the procedure admissible in a criminal prosecution, many attorneys and legal scholars have argued the contrary.

One of the interesting nuances of a marijuana DUI vs. an alcohol related drunk driving is that the DMV cannot suspend a person's license under the APS laws. What this means is that ordinarily when a police officer makes an arrest for VC 23152 he takes the driver's CDL and issues a pink notice called an APS notice of suspension and temporary license. However, marijuana does not trigger an action under this law. In some cases the officer may confiscate the license if a blood test was given and the alcohol results are unknown, in these cases a DMV hearing should be requested to challenge the case.

In recent years the California DMV has begun taking licenses from pot smokers under the medical provisions of the Vehicle Code that permit a suspension if an addiction to drugs or other medical condition causes a person to be unable to drive safely. These actions should be contested by way of a reexamination which is handled by the Driver Safety division of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In Conclusion, you can see how marijuana can stay in a person's system for one day and up to 2 months depending on the potency, and frequency of ingestion. however since what is at issue in a DUI or driving under the influence prosecution is whether the person is at that time impaired by the drug, these factors can create significant defenses if handled by an experienced attorney familiar with this area of the law. Attorney Matthew Ruff has defended hundreds of these types of DUI cases throughout the state of California with exceptional results. It is important to act quickly to obtain vital information necessary for a proper legal defense when charged with marijuana DUI. For example, having the sample re-tested, making motions to exclude the test, challenging the constitutional aspects of the stop,and arrest are all possibilities in these cases. An attorney is also crucial to ensure your license is not suspended by the DMV.

Are DRE Officers Reliable? A DRE is a special officer brought in to evaluate a person suspected of driving under the influence of a drug. These officers go through special training but are not Doctors or Scientists. DRE officers are often wrong in their conclusions about drug impairment. The best way to establish this in your case is to obtain the "Rolling Logs" that an officer is required to maintain. These logs can be acquired in the criminal discovery process and can yield very important data about the past arrests they made.

Top 4 Ways To Get A Marijuana DUID Case Dismissed!

1. The Officer Pulled You Over Unlawfully. This is one of the biggest reasons cases are dropped. You see, the Constitution gives all citizens the right to be free from governmental siezures unless the officer can articulate, in Court, an objectively reasonable basis for detaining you. Many times cops will stop a car on a hunch or whim and this is not sufficient. Matt has had many DUID cases dropped for bad stops.

2 The Cop is Improperly Trained. Many police officers lack the specialized training to detect drug impairment vs. alcohol. The top cops have a DRE background which is the highest level of training. The next level down is the ARIDE trained cop who has a higher level of instruction, and last is the beat cop with academy only training. Matt knows how to destroy the opinion of an improperly trained officer and get the case dropped!.

3. You are Innocent. The tests done on people suspected of DWI Marijuana are sadly lacking in scientific veracity. Further, the laboratory tests are often insufficient to establish impairment by cannabis. Matt knows the science and knows many folks are falsely accused of driving while impaired and he can prove that in Court.

4. The Officer Never Read You Your Miranda Rights. Ordinarily Miranda Rights are not a big issue in DUI cases, however with regard to DUID Marijuana cases this can be a significant issue. You see, officers will need to establish a time of ingestion in order to build a strong case. In a drug impairment case the time of use is more important because there is no 3 hour presumption and no per se level of impairment. Therefore, officers will interrogate the subject on his or her use throughout the day and if this interrogation takes place after you are placed in custody and the officer does not read you your miranda rights these statements can be suppressed sometimes causing the case to be dismissed.

Our office has an unparalleled track record in criminal cases where DUI is alleged due to the ingestion of marijuana alone. Call us today for a complimentary consultation directly with the attorney who will defend your case. Toll Free at 1-877-213-4453

Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

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