are glass bongs illegal to carry with you? or can you get arrested

With all the new legislation about marijuana hitting many of today’s largest states, it’s natural to wonder the dos and don’ts of smoking. Responsible smokers are citizens just like anyone else and they want to follow the law even while engaging in behavior that is still illegal in some places. If you carry glass bongs with you when you travel, here’s a short primer on the do’s and don’ts.

What are glass bongs?

A bong in general is an apparatus that people use to smoke herbal mixtures. You can use a bong to smoke a legal substance like tobacco or a tobacco mixture or you can use a bong to smoke something illegal in some states: Marijuana. It’s common sense that a glass bong is a bong made out of glass. People prefer the glass body for many reasons. First of all, the glass is incredibly durable and reliable time and time again. Glass bongs are sometimes easier to clean than other types of bongs. It’s natural for some people to gravitate toward them when smoking mixtures. The question is, can you carry one with you without falling on the wrong side of the law?

Are Glass Bongs Illegal To Carry With You?

This question is answered by your state’s laws about drug paraphernalia. The majority of states DO consider glass bongs to be drug paraphernalia because the glass bong itself can be used to ingest drugs like marijuana. Carrying one with you COULD result in drug paraphernalia charges, however unfair that may seem. Some would argue that you could simply tell officers that you use a glass bong to ingest a legal substance like tobacco, but because of the majority of users finding glass bongs desirable for marijuana, you still might face charges. A good lawyer will be able to argue your side.

Can you get arrested?

It is up to the officer as to whether or not to arrest you for drug paraphenalia charges. They COULD arrest you. Some of it will depend on whether they find residue on your bong. If there’s any type of residue in there, there’s good reason for the officers to suspect that you’ve been using the glass bong in the commission of a crime (smoking marijuana in places where marijuana or other substances are illegal). For this reason, many lawyers recommend that you don’t travel with a glass bong, especially if you’re going to be carrying it with you in a number of different public locations or your car out in the open. This doesn’t mean that you will always face charges. If no residue is found, you might get off with a warning.

Accepting the law

Given the nationwide push for legalization of marijuana, it can seem unfair for states to ask you not to carry something with you that could be used for something that’s completely legal in a year or two. However, lawyers are here to keep you on the right side of the law. Make sure that you follow your state’s laws on having drug paraphernalia with you. Remember that even alcohol containers can get some people arrested, despite the fact that it’s legal. Most people concur that they don’t want to see certain things in public places. Always make sure that you follow the law and try to keep your glass bongs at home.

If you are charged with this type of crime, a good lawyer may be able to get you out of the situation IF there were no drugs found at the scene. In some instances, they can get the case thrown out if it’s a first charged or the charges reduced if you’re attempting to do better. Call a lawyer immediately if charged.

Does the License Suspension Following a Los Angeles DUI Arrest Come from the Courts or the DMV?

Individuals often have to interact with both the Courts of Los Angeles and the DMV in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. That having been said, the two are completely separate organizations. Each one has to obey its own set of rules, and they follow different procedures when dealing with the consequences of an arrest. Dealing with an arrest with one of them, such as by having the DUI charge dismissed in a courtroom, will not settle the matter with the other.

In this case, the DMV is completely responsible for dealing with the license and any suspensions that apply to it. It has the authority to revoke driving privileges without dealing with the Courts. On the other hand, it cannot issue fines, require jail time, or issue most other penalties under its own authority. The Courts do have the authority to issue those sentences to people who are convicted of DUI, but they cannot revoke a person’s driving privileges.

Revocation Requirements

While the DMV has broad powers to restrict an individual’s driving privileges, those powers are not absolute. They can only do so when the individual meets two requirements. First, that person has to have been driving the vehicle. That person must also have been found to have a blood alcohol content of at least .08 when tested. If the person does not meet these two requirements, the DMV cannot suspend their driving privileges after a DUI arrest.

The DMV determines if these requirements have been met independently of the Courts. It does not have to acknowledge any of the arguments that were made in the courtroom regarding a criminal charge of DUI, and it can reach a different conclusion from the Courts. That can happen both because the two organizations are independent and because they are trying to determine different things. The Courts need to decide if the defendant was found driving while intoxicated beyond reasonable doubt, while the DMV only needs to decide if he met the two conditions or not.

Examples

That may seem complicated, but it is easy to understand the process by working through an example. Suppose that a person gets arrested for DUI after being found asleep in his vehicle near the side of the road. His Blood alcohol content is .09, which is above the legal minimum for intoxication by a small amount. That is enough to investigate someone for DUI, but it is not a clear case.

When this person goes to court, his attorney can argue a few key points in his favor. His blood alcohol content is right on the edge of the minimum, so it is not entirely clear that he was really intoxicated. He was also found sleeping, rather than driving, which also introduces the possibility that he may not have been controlling the car while intoxicated. He may have been, but there are reasons to doubt that, so the Courts may choose to reduce the charges.

Regardless of their choice, he also has to face the DMV. It can also choose to reduce the length of the suspension, but it does not need to do so, even if the Courts reduced the charges. In this case, the argument that he may not have been fully intoxicated is not relevant. The DMV is only concerned with the blood alcohol content being over .08, which was the case. On the other hand, the fact that he was found sleeping rather than driving is relevant, since the driving is a requirement for a suspension. Since that suspension requires both elements to happen, he may not receive one. If he does, it will be within these maximums:

  • 1st offense, no aggravating circumstances: 4 months
  • 2nd offense, no aggravating circumstances: 1 year
  • 3rd offense, no aggravating circumstances: 3 years
  • 1st offense, refusal to take chemical test at time of arrest: 1 year
  • 2nd offense, refusal to take chemical test at time of arrest: 2 years
  • Any offense, under the age of 21 with any alcohol content, 1 year

Hearings Count

Arguing the facts of the case before the DMV can often lead to reduced or even eliminated suspensions. Most people lack the expertise to do it on their own, which is why having a lawyer with experience in Los Angeles’ DUI law is always vital. It’s just as true at the DMV hearing as it is in the Courts.

The Benefits of Hiring a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer to Handle Your Los Angeles DUI

Hiring a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is the best decision you can make when you have been arrested for driving under the influence. Most people who are arrested for this crime are likely to serve jail time, pay big fines, or have his licensed suspended. Although you are not actually charged with drunk driving during the time of the arrest, it’s still extremely important to have an experienced lawyer represent your case. Since the officers may believe that there is enough evidence to charge you with drunk driving, you need a knowledgeable criminal attorney that has the skills necessary to drop the charges before they are even made.

The primary goal of a DUI lawyer is to prove to the prosecutors that there is not enough evidence to officially bring a case before you. Because the police department usually has a good relationship with your attorney, he/she will be able to obtain important information quickly and smoothly.

Once the evidence is received, the lawyer can determine the details of the accident and the officer’s current position on the matter. Some questions that the lawyer will ask himself are “Does the police officer think my client is quilty? If so, what evidence helps him reach that conclusion?” Through logical thinking and reasoning, the lawyer will eventually find the gaps in the legal process and arguments to ensure that the prosecutor will not formally charge you with a DUI.

Before the prosecutors have a chance to officially press charges, the attorney will present strong defenses and demonstrate weaknesses informing them that charging you with a DUI will be a waste of the prosecutor’s time and the county’s resources. The attorneys’ working relationship with the police department will enable him to contact the prosecutor quickly, thus possibly having a conversation outside the courtroom.

Knowing these advantages to hiring a DUI lawyer, you also need to know the factors to consider when choosing representation. Here are the benefits of hiring a lawyer of H & M Law Firm in Los Angeles, California.

  • Opportunity to schedule an initial consultant with a DUI attorney to determine the role he will play in working to drop the charges.
  • Since 97 percent of the firm’s clients never go to jail or pay any penalties after the case is resolved, you can be assured that you are in good hands.
  • The lawyer is knowledgeable in the latest requirements for breath tests, blood draws, and field sobriety tests.
  • Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys know the players involved in the prosecution including the judge, prosecutor, and local officer.
  • Our firm offers flexible payment plans so that you can afford our services.
  • We make sure our lawyers for your case specialize and have extensive experience in DUI matters.
  • At H & M Law Firm, our clients work with a team of the best Los Angeles DUI lawyers who confront district attorneys on a regular basis to ensure that cases are dismissed.

The decision to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately after you have been arrested has many benefits. An experienced lawyer will be able to contact the right persons to resolve this matter even before a case is filed. Additionally, the lawyer that will be assigned to your case regularly practices DUI law; as a result, he will thoroughly understand the applicable law and the local prosecutors. The attorney also understands the options related to a drunk driver case in your jurisdiction, but know that his ultimate goal is to convinced the prosecutors not to press charges. Requesting the help from an expert lawyer should not be a possibility but a necessity. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, you should not refuse to hire a DUI lawyer just to save money. After being arrested for a DUI, you want to immediately enlist the service of a professional who can drop the charges instead of battling with the criminal justice system. In order to ensure that the issues are resolved in a timely matter, contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at H & M Law Firm immediately after you are released from custody.

Attacking Probable Cause in a Los Angeles DUI Case

If a law enforcement officer stops you for suspected DUI, it is important to know what is acceptable behavior during the stop and what warrants the stop. Probable cause is needed for the officer to stop you. Two examples of probable cause would be if you were weaving over the lines frequently or if you were speeding. If the officer has a legal and valid reason to stop you and ask questions about possible intoxication, a judge will honor the officer’s decision in court.

Probable Cause Exceptions

There are two exceptions to the probable cause rule. In Los Angeles, officers usually set up DUI checkpoints across the city on holidays or during other big events that many residents celebrate by drinking or using illegal drugs. Their checkpoints are legal, and the officers are free to randomly question or stop people who pass through the checkpoints. The other exception to the probable cause rule is when a police officer conducts a welfare stop. Police officers do not make welfare stops unless they have a valid reason to believe that you are in danger. For example, if you appear to be falling asleep at the wheel or if a passenger was hitting you, a police officer who observed such behaviors could stop you to conduct a welfare check.

Why Probable Cause Is Important

If an officer does not have probable cause to stop you for observation, allowing such behavior to result in convictions could lead to widespread misconduct among law enforcement officials. A judge will often dismiss a DUI charge if the arresting officer cannot provide evidence that the individual was intoxicated and demonstrate that there was probable cause for the stop. In cases with felony charges against a driver, a lack of probable cause could lead to a reduced charge if the case is not completely dismissed.

Probable Cause Or Not?

To better understand what constitutes probable cause, consider a few examples. In the first example, imagine that a woman is out drinking with her friends. She only has two drinks but feels stable enough to drive home safely. On her way home, she runs a stop sign and is pulled over. The officer questions her about drinking, and she admits that she had two drinks. A breathalyzer reveals that she is over the legal limit, and the officer arrests her. In this instance, running a stop sign constituted probable cause for stopping the woman.

In another example, imagine that a man is driving perfectly. A police officer in the other lane believes that he sees the man lift a bottle to take a drink. The police officer stops him and discovers that the man has a bottle of water in his drink console next to him. He questions the man about alcohol consumption, and the man says that he has not consumed any alcohol that day. After conducting several tests, the officer decides that the man is under the influence and arrests him. In this case, the judge would likely dismiss the case since the officer did not have probable cause. He did not see the man driving erratically and did not see an open alcohol container in the vehicle.

For a final example, consider a situation where a man is driving home at night and is weaving. An officer pulls him over for his poor driving. The man is tired and is slurring his speech. He is unable to pass the balance test conducted by the police officer, and the officer arrests him for suspicion of driving under the influence. Testing shows that the man is completely sober. In this case, the DUI charge would be dismissed. However, it would be dismissed because the man was sober. The officer still had probable cause for stopping him.

Determining Questionable Probable Cause Cases

If you were arrested and charged with a DUI but feel that the officer did not have probable cause to stop you, it is important to talk to a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney in Los Angeles. Free public defenders do not always comb through the details of your case to see if probable cause was evident. Hiring a private attorney could be the difference of keeping a clean record or getting a lifelong blemish on it.

Does my Prior DUI Have an Effect on Current DUI Charges?

When someone is arrested and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, there are several steps taken before your case is prosecuted. The officers who arrest you gather the evidence they find at the scene, which could include anything from a witness who watched you drinking from a beer bottle as you drove down the freeway, the results of your field sobriety tests, or even your own admission you were drinking and driving. When they have their evidence and make an arrest, they send the evidence to the prosecutor’s office so he or she can make the decision whether to bring your case to court.

If the evidence is insufficient, your charges might be dropped immediately and nothing comes of your DUI. If the evidence is substantial or telling, the prosecutor will bring your case to court and work on a conviction. This conviction could send you to jail, it could cost you thousands of dollars, and it might even cost you your driver’s license for several months or longer. There is no set consequence in place for any DUI arrest without knowing specifics and bringing a case to court. However, there are some factors that might just make a difference in your DUI case.

Getting Your DUI Dropped

If you’re arrested for a DUI, this is the best possible outcome. If the blood alcohol level you were arrested with is close to the legal limit but doesn’t cross it, the prosecutor might drop the case. If his or her office is already backed up, there is a greater chance your case could be dropped. If you are a first-time offender and your level isn’t much higher than the limit and you can argue you simply didn’t feel drunk at all, you might be let off.

If you were pulled over and charged with a DUI because you took prescription drugs your doctor just prescribed and had no idea they’d affect you like this, it’s a good argument that the prosecution might consider worth letting go. Essentially, there are ways you can get your charges dropped if you didn’t hurt anyone, if you didn’t damage anything, and if you have a relatively decent explanation for what happened when you were arrested.

Prior DUIs

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in the past, however, you don’t have much of a chance of seeing your DUI charge go away. In fact, you’re no longer being charged with a misdemeanor DUI. You’re being charged with a felony. You did it before, were arrested and convicted, and you didn’t learn from that even though part of your conviction was a promise to uphold the law from that point forward.

Your past DUI will haunt you for many years. Say you were out with friends and decided you would be their designated driver. This means you had one beer at the beginning of the night that was it for several hours. Even if you are pulled over after that and register a .02 on your blood alcohol test, you’re being arrested and charged with a DUI because it’s your second offense. Someone who has no prior DUI arrests or convictions and this level of intoxication during a traffic stop is generally given a warning and let go as long as they can get a ride home.

Your prior DUI stays on your record, and it makes your life more difficult. This is not to say you cannot get an attorney to drop your charges or have them reduced if you are arrested, but it is more difficult to make that happen when you’re a repeat offender.

An attorney is the first call you make when you are arrested for DUI the first time or the second. Attorneys who handle DUI cases regularly know the law, they know what to do to increase your chance at a reduced sentence or even dropped charges, and they know how to help you when you need it the most. You can fight your own charges, but that prior conviction changes the entire game when you’re arrested for a DUI the second time around. Let an attorney help you make your case when it’s time to speak to a judge.