If accused of driving under the influence of drugs or a controlled substance in Virginia, the following is what you need to know about how your impairment will be proven in court. To learn more or discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation with an Arlington DUID lawyer today.
The test for the presence of drugs occurs in several ways. The first is at the initial stop where they are looking at you and testing you even though you don’t know it. They are assessing your coordination, your ability to communicate, your eyes and whether they’re bloodshot or glassy, and any odor you may have. That is one way they’re testing you even without you realizing it.
The next way that you will be tested is through your performance on field sobriety tests. During these field sobriety tests, they’ll be looking at your coordination, your ability to follow instructions and what’s called your “divided attention” or your ability to do two things at once.
You do have a right not to take the field sobriety tests, and they cannot be used against you at trial as evidence of your guilt. However these are still a common tactic to see how impaired someone is.
The third and final way you will be tested if you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or under the suspicion of the police, is through a blood test. Law enforcement is allowed to take your blood pursuant to Virginia Code, and that’s another way to test for the presence of drugs in your system. If you are arrested, you cannot refuse the blood sample.
Authorities are always looking at any evidence that they can show to prove that you are impaired. The typical ones are the field sobriety tests and the blood test afterwards. Additionally, they’re looking at statements you might have made. For example, if you tell the police, “Yes, I snorted eight lines of cocaine before you pulled me over,” that will be used against you and help prove their case.
They can also use other witnesses, like other motorists on the road and passengers in your vehicle to comment on your driving behavior, and sometimes even people you are with when you ingest the drug. Those are other ways that they use to prove your case.
Lastly, they will typically search your car if you’re arrested for driving under the influence. Once they do that, they will use any drugs they find in your possession and perhaps suggest that you have used that drug before driving. Used smoking devices, syringes or things like that can also be evidence against you that you’re driving under the influence of drug.
DUI drug-related charges are a very nuanced and complex area of the law, so it is most important that you get an experienced attorney. Experienced attorneys will know the process. They will be able to guide you through the process. They will be able to help you make an informed decision on whether to plead guilty or to go to trial. They’ll be able to spot any constitutional issue that may arise from police conduct.
They will also know whether the evidence is sufficient to convict you of the offense based upon their past cases. They will be able to negotiate with a prosecutor to get you an offer and then will be able to advise you whether to take that offer or not. If you go to trial, they will be able to cross examine the police and know what areas of law to look at to help give you the best chance to win at trial.
In some cases, hiring an attorney who’s experienced in DUI drugs is the best way that you can ensure you have the best possible outcome if you go to court.
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