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In the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of narcotics, whether the substance was prescribed by a doctor or not. A Fairfax DUI drug lawyer who is familiar with this area of Virginia law can help reduce the negative effect a potential DUI drug charge could have on a person’s permanent record and lifestyle.
While drug DUIs are similar to alcohol-related DUIs in some ways, for example they carry the same penalties, they do differ in other key ways—such as the type of evidence required to prove impairment, especially in the case of drugs that do not have specified legal limits.
For this reason, it is essential to your defense that your Fairfax drug DUI lawyer be familiar with the unique ways in which a prosecutor will need to prove you were impaired by drugs while driving.
Most people are aware of the prohibitions against drinking and driving, but the laws governing what constitutes driving under the influence of drugs in Virginia comes as a surprise to some drivers. Driving under the influence of illegal drugs is obviously prohibited, but many commonplace prescription medicines or over-the-counter medications could land you in trouble for a drug DUI as well, depending on how the drugs affected your driving.
Driving under the influence charges, whether the intoxicant is drugs or alcohol, often carries strict penalties. Whether you received DUI charges for being impaired by legal or illegal drugs, you will need to consult an experienced Fairfax drug DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
You could also be charged with a DUI for driving with both alcohol and drugs in your system, even if your blood alcohol content is not over the legal limit. Rather, the issue turns on whether the alcohol and drug combination impaired your driving in any way. Make sure your Fairfax drug DUI lawyer has experience handling DUI cases involving both alcohol and drugs if your charges involve being impaired by a combination of substances.
Certain drugs carry specific legal limits for driving, just as alcohol does. A driver can be charged with a DUI if he has a blood content certain drug sunder Virginia Code 18.2-269
If a chemical test is completed and the blood concentration violates the following limitations, a DUI drug charge may result:
Just like with alcohol, however, a driver can still be charged with a DUI even if the drug blood content does not surpass the legal limit. Instead, the court will consider the totality of the evidence and whether the driver was impaired to the degree that he was unable to safely operate the vehicle.
It’s important to know that a DUI drug charge can only be founded on facts. From the moment a police patrol signals the car to pull over, each interaction is of importance to the case. By ensuring a skilled Fairfax DUI drug lawyer knows each facet of the occurrence, a DUI drug charge can be defended from start to finish.
The DUI penalties for a drug DUI are the same as for an alcohol-related DUI, though if you are found to be in possession of any illegal drugs, you may face additional drug charges. Fairfax drug DUI attorneys are able to handle both drug possession charges and DUI charges.
A first-time DUI charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and fines between $250 and $2500. In addition, you will face up to a year-long license suspension. Enhanced penalties can occur for subsequent DUI convictions and for other offenses, such as having a minor in the car at the time the DUI occurred.
The penalties for a DUI drug offense are similar to DUI alcohol convictions. However, in the event drugs were found on a person, a different level of possession penalties will result.
If an individual is caught with possession of Schedule I or Schedule II drugs, they will be charged with a Class 5 felony. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison. The drugs in these two categories include cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, LSD and others.
If an individual is caught with possession of Schedule III drugs, including codeine and hydrocodone, they are charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If prosecuted to the full extent, they may serve 12 months in jail and/or pay up to a $2,500 fine.
Schedule IV drugs include Xanax and other tranquilizers, and those convicted of possession could pay up to $1,000 and spend six months in jail.
Schedule V and VI drug possession could result in a fine of $250 to $500 and are classified as either a Class 3 or Class 4 misdemeanor. If you are dealing with charges related to any type of DUI drug charge, do not hesitate to contact one of our Fairfax DUI drug attorney immediately.
There are many variables when it comes to assessing and defending a DUI drug charge, and a trustworthy Fairfax DUI drug lawyer has the skills needed to protect your individual rights. When encountering the Virginia court system, hire a knowledgeable Fairfax DUI drug lawyer who is on your side and can shed light on the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, affording you the fairest possible treatment.
Contact our firm to speak to one of our experienced DUI drug lawyers today. Our legal team is standing by to take your call and conduct your free initial consultation.
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