“How To Beat a THC DUI in Montana: 5 Mistakes Prosecutors & Other Defense Attorneys Make”
In Montana, DUI crimes related to marijuana (cannabis) or THC are on the increase. We’re expecting even more marijuana DUIs in the coming months as law enforcement and prosecutors adapt to our state’s new marijuana laws.
Beating a THC DUI in Montana requires the most experienced and highly trained DUI defense attorneys, like the team at the Judnich Law Office.
Our team effectively understands and defends clients in these very complicated and specific cases. Because THC DUI cases are so specialized, here are the 5 mistakes that prosecutors and untrained defense attorneys make (and how the Judnich Law Office avoids them).
Misunderstanding (or Not Understanding) Chromatography & Mass Spectrometry
This is how the results of a gas chromatography analysis look. Most defense lawyers in Montana have NO CLUE what they’re looking at and almost NEVER request this information from the crime lab.
This is how the results of a Mass Spectrometer for THC and Metabolites look. Most defense lawyers & Prosecutors in Montana have NO CLUE what they’re looking at and almost NEVER request this information from the crime lab.
Pretty confusing and sophisticated, isn’t it! The active THC that blood is tested for has large variations in quantity, quality, and effective timespan between marijuana, hemp, edibles, liquids, vapes, etc. Knowing the differences in all of this, and how to actually read and interpret the above actual result information is the only way to find effective representation when you are accused of such a crime.
The DUI defense team at the Judnich Law Office have all completed advanced chromatography training, and even participated in clinical blood testing labs at the University of Texas. There we learned the procedures, performed them ourselves, and received a hands-on education about the process, the science, and most importantly the mistakes that can be made in all aspects of the drug testing process.
Chromatography is the science behind how blood is tested for drugs in Montana, Washington, and Arizona where we are licensed to defend the accused.
It’s extremely sophisticated. High-tech lab equipment does all the work. Most THC DUI defense attorneys, most prosecutors, and most judges can’t even begin to understand how the equipment works or how to interpret the results.
If you are looking for an attorney for a THC DUI charge, ask them to explain chromatography in blood testing to you. If they can’t do it, FIND ANOTHER LAWYER!
This knowledge is critical in defending a THC DUI and is something the Judnich Law Office has invested heavily into. Don’t trust any lawyer with your DUI defense. Your future depends on it.
Evidence Inspection & Collection
In any case where blood evidence is collected from a suspect, 2 blood samples are drawn — each in its own vial. The government will test 1 vial but leave the other vial sealed and untested.
The sealing procedure of vials and how they are treated, transported, cooled, and handled can have an impact on testing results. Our firm physically inspects the blood vials from our client’s cases to ensure any mistakes that have occurred are caught.
Recently, a Montana State Crime Lab tech told the Judnich Law Office that we are the only firm that ever requests to actually inspect the vials. Every other defense attorney just relies on what the government tells them.
That should tell you something!
As mentioned above, 2 vials of blood are always taken from a suspect as part of any case where blood is drawn.
One vial will remain sealed and untested at the crime lab. The other vial is tested and retained.
This is to allow the defense to test that sealed vial of blood independently and compare those results with the crime lab results. Not only do few other defense attorneys know and do this, but very few have a team of experts ready to perform these tasks by court certified testing laboratories to actually get it done for our clients. The Judnich Law Office does!
If different results are obtained by our independent tests, it can make a SIGNIFICANT difference in the outcome of your case.
Chain of Custody Errors
The government must produce an unbroken chain of custody of the suspect’s blood from the time it was drawn to where the blood ended up. This ensures that it was not tampered with or mixed up with anyone else’s blood. Most prosecutors are aware of their responsibilities, but in our experience, most defense attorneys never pay attention to this critical piece of evidence.
We scrutinize the chain of custody and look for errors that may allow us to challenge evidence and have it thrown out.
When blood is tested by the crime lab, if THC is detected, it logically must also detect THC metabolites. Metabolites are the byproduct of the body processing the active THC chemical. There are several types of metabolites that mean very different things in terms of time in a person’s body.
A true understanding of metabolites can significantly assist your DUI defense. Our lawyers can use metabolite data to determine the time requirements the government must prove when charging you with DUI.
Most prosecutors and defense attorneys just have no idea how metabolites correlate to the testing process and results.
Ready to fight a THC DUI charge? The Judnich Law Office is on your side!
Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.