A lot of people make the mistake of believing that if they have a legal prescription for something, then they cannot be found guilty of a DUI. That, however, is simply not true. A person can be charged with a DUI if they are found to be under the influence of a prescription drug, an over-the-counter drug, or a combination of those two things.
When these types of charges are alleged, it is important to contact an Arlington prescription drug DUI lawyer as soon as possible to build a strong defense. A DUID attorney can immediately begin to build a defense to help mitigate any penalties you may be facing.
To be charged with a prescription drug DUI, an individual must first give law enforcement some probable cause that they are under the influence of drugs. Normally, the way that this will come about is when field sobriety tests are performed, which tend to indicate that a person is under the influence, but when a breath test is administered there is no alcohol in their system. Based upon that, an individual will often be arrested and then administered a blood test to determine what is in their system.
If the blood tests show that an individual had a prescription drug, illegal drug, or any combination of those two in their system, the government is going to need an expert witness to explain to the judge what the effect of that drug would be on the individual.
In order for a person to be convicted of a prescription drug DUI in court, the government is going to have to show two things:
In order to show that an individual is under the influence, the Commonwealth is going to have to bring forward evidence in the form of an expert witness to explain why the concentration of the prescription drug found in the individual’s system caused them to not be able to safely operate a motor vehicle. An Arlington prescription drug DUI lawyer can assist in establishing a proper defense against the prosecution’s expert witness.
A drug recognition examiner is a police officer who has special training in conducting specific types of field sobriety tests to determine if a driver may be under the influence of drugs, not just alcohol. The Commonwealth may try to offer this witness to be an expert witness in court.
A DUI involving prescription drugs is punished the same as other types of DUIs. If a person is convicted of a first offense, they are normally penalized by suspended jail time, a fine, a 12-month suspension of their license, completion of the VASAP program, as well as an installation of ignition interlock on any vehicle that the individual drives for a period of at least six months. These penalties make it extremely important that a DUI prescription drug attorney in Arlington is contacted as soon as possible.
It is important for an individual to provide all of their prescription information to their attorney when prescription drugs are involved, because the defense in many cases may utilize an expert of their own to rebut the Commonwealth’s assertion of what certain drugs may have been doing to influence or affect a person’s behavior during a traffic stop.
It is sometimes the case that there are other drugs that a person may be taking, which are not tested in the standard test that may nevertheless have an impact on an individual’s behavior. It is important for the lawyer to be aware of all of the prescriptions that a person takes.
To prepare a proper defense on a prescription drug DUI, the Arlington prescription drug DUI lawyer is going to need to learn all of the facts and circumstances of the case and is going to need to examine police reports, see video, or obtain other evidence in the case. The prescription drug piece of it is important, but it is only one part of the case. Just like any other DUI, there are going to be defenses having nothing to do with the prescription drugs, which a lawyer is going to need to prepare for and have information related to in order to have an effective defense.
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