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Marijuana Evidence Excluded from Trial, Thanks to Science.

July 2017

The Court Appearance Record Granting our Motion to Exclude Evidence.

We had a case in which our client was stopped because his tail lights were out in his rental car. His head lights were on. But his tail lights were out. (Not sure how that happens).  Anyway, the officer who stopped him asked him to step out of the car because he detected a slight smell of alcoholic beverage.  One thing led to another, and our client was arrested for DUI. He was returned to the Sarasota County Jail, where his breath test was .022, about one-quarter of the legal limit.  The officers were perplexed, and asked him to give a urine sample.

The urine sample was analyzed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the only thing they found was a second-generation metabolite of marijuana called "carboxy-THC."  (To learn more about carboxy THC, take a look at our article on the subject here.) Carboxy-THC isn't impairing, and its presence shows only that someone may have been exposed to marijuana within the last month.  

Florida courts have made clear that testimony about a non-impairing by-product of marijuana has no "probative value" which would outweigh the "smear value" of labeling someone a pothead. For that reason, such evidence must be excluded in a DUI case. And this judge did the right thing, and ordered that the evidence could not be used against our client.

Practice area(s): DUI / DWI

Court: Sarasota County Court

Tom Hudson

Known nationwide as a leading DUI defense lawyer, Tom has tried over 350 jury trials, including numerous death penalty cases. He now limits his criminal practice to DUI defense. His civil practice is devoted to getting fair compensation for the victims of negligence. Tom has attained multiple verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million, and is a Life Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In 2008, Tom Hudson passed the National Board Certification Test for DUI Attorneys in Honolulu, Hawaii. NOTE: The State of Florida does not yet recognize DUI defense as a Specialty.

Why We're Different

Board Certification as a DUI Specialist by the National College for DUI Defense. Formal NHTSA Certification as an Instructor of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests given by police in DUI cases. Formal training as a NHTSA Drug Recognition Evaluator. ("Drug Evaluation & Classification") Formal training to operate the Intoxilyzer 8000, Florida's official breath test instrument. Extensive experience in teaching other attorneys how to handle DUI cases. Hundreds of jury trials both as defense lawyer and as prosecutor.