After several months of legal challenges, an Arizona teen accused of smoking marijuana and driving had his charge dropped in December. The teen, who said he has never tried the drug, is now trying to get the DUI charge removed from his record.
The teen was pulled over and taken into custody after law enforcement officers suspected him of using marijuana in a Phoenix suburb in August. He said he veered into his vehicle after bending over to pick something up. A Maricopa County deputy determined signs of impairment and issued a field sobriety test. The teen said that he hadn’t used the drug but was with people who had. He further claimed that he didn’t do well on field sobriety tests.
A subsequent blood test showed no illegal drugs in his system. A spokesperson with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office reported that 5 to 6 percent of all cases come back with no drugs showing in the blood. He explained that medical issues, prescription or synthetic drugs and other reasons could lead to a negative drug test. However, he added that the courts convict offenders in between 94 and 95 percent of cases.
His lawyer has been fighting on his behalf and helped get the charge dismissed. However, the fact of his arrest will remain on his record permanently unless he can legally have the charge expunged. When he began to apply for college, he knew the charge would show up on his record, which could have affected his chances of entering the school of his choice. His lawyer is seeking the removal of the arrest from his criminal record.
DUI expungement from a person’s record can be challenging, even for someone who shouldn’t have been charged in the first place. A criminal defense attorney might be able to help clients have an arrest completely removed from their record so that it will not affect their future school, employment or housing opportunities.