Your Virginia Legal Team

Alexandria Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer

There is a common misconception that just because you have a prescription for something means that it is okay to drive while taking that medication. That is simply not true. Any medication, even prescribed, that affects your driving behavior negatively could be the basis for a driving under the influence of drugs charge.

It is extremely important to be aware that although certain people have to take medication, such as for epilepsy or seizures, courts often find that that medication alone is going to make it dangerous for you to drive, depending on the medication. A lot of medications have side effects that could impair your ability to drive. A prescription does not protect you from being arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI in Alexandria.

A seasoned Alexandria DUI drug lawyer can help build you a strong defense by bringing their experience and their knowledge of the Alexandria area to your case.

Being Charged with a Prescription Drug DUI

In Alexandria, for somebody to be charged with a prescription drug DUI there has to be probable cause that the person was driving under the influence of prescription drugs and the prescription drug was impairing their ability to drive. The same type of probable cause as somebody failing the field sobriety test or any of the other indicators often seen by police officers when they investigate DUI is needed for somebody to be convicted.

Prescription drug DUI charges in Alexandria are different if the individual did not have a prescription for the drugs. Without a prescription for the drug, an individual may be charged for illegal possession of a prescription drug as well as the original prescription drug DUI. The additional charge may elevate the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the type of drug used.


A prescription drug DUI charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Penalties can include a fine of up to $2,500 and a maximum jail time of 12 months. The type of prescription drug and whether or not the person previously had a prescription for that drug is taken into account when deciding a charge’s penalty. If and individual had a prescription for the drug, an additional charge for potential possession of an illicit substance may be added. The ramifications and penalties for a prescription drug charge vary based on the facts of each individual’s case.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

In order to get a conviction for a prescription drug DUI charge in Alexandria, the prosecution has to prove that the person is under the influence, that they have some type of prescription drug in their system, and that the person’s driving behavior was affected by this prescription drug. The prosecution is going to have to prove there is some other type of situation involved, such as driving behavior, failure on the part of the field sobriety test, or problems with the driving. They need to prove that what is affecting the person’s driving is actually a result of prescription drugs.

Role of a Drug Recognition Examiner

A drug recognition examiner is a person with experience identifying and understanding the different types of prescription drugs and their effects on individuals. If during the arrest for an individual’s drug DUI, a a person has their blood taken, a drug recognition examiner will review it. If they can determine the accused was under the influence of a prescription drug, or if they were able to identify the drug based on the drugs confiscated during or after an individual’s arrest, the examiner would be called in to testify at the accused’s trial.

Importance of a Lawyer

A person should not fight the case without an attorney for the same reason that somebody should hire an attorney for driving under the influence of alcohol case. Driving under the influence of drugs is going to be treated the exact same way, even if you have a prescription. If police officers suspect you of driving under the influence of prescription drugs, they are still going to make you do the field sobriety test. If they suspect you of being under the influence of drugs, they are going to do a blood test. They are going to be able to do that to find what is in your system.

The ramifications and potential problems related to a DUI apply to somebody who is pulled over, charged, and investigated for driving under the influence of drugs, even in situations where they have a prescription. Having an experienced attorney guide you through the process can help ensure that your rights remain protected and that you understand the procedure of these charges.

How a Lawyer Prepares a Defense

The type of information necessary to prepare a robust defense in your Alexandria prescription drug DUI case depends on the facts of your case. However, there are some consistent types of information that an Alexandria attorney should get to prepare, including the lab results that are testing and identifying types of prescription drugs, statements from the officers, any statements that you made to the officers, any video of you performing field sobriety tests, and any other video that would be available in your case. Additionally, attorneys would try to find any witness statements, and will talk to you about what you remember in order to help create and craft an individualized and strong defense for your case.

It is important to provide all of your prescription drug and medical information to the defense attorney so they will have an idea of what the side effects you may have experienced and how those could be explained by the drug. This can give the attorney evidence to indicate you did have a legal basis for possession of the drugs and help avoid additional charges beyond an Alexandria prescription drug DUI.

Contact Us

Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.

Copyright 2024 Virginia Criminal Lawyer. All rights reserved. Disclaimer/Privacy Policy