In Fredericksburg and the rest of Virginia, prescription drugs require a doctor’s authorization and cannot be purchased over-the-counter.
To be charged with a prescription drug DUI, a person must be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of prescription drugs. The prosecution will need to prove that there were infact drugs in their system while operating a vehicle. A Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI lawyer can help you fight the accusation that you were driving while under the influence of medication.
Some examples of prescription drugs commonly linked to prescription-drug DUIs are pain relievers or anxiety relievers such as Xanax that are not available over-the-counter. DUIs for those types of drugs are extremely rare in Fredericksburg.
An individual who relies on medication in order to function and it affects their ability to drive is not going to be treated any differently from any other person driving while impaired.
For a person to be convicted of a prescription drug DUI in Virginia, the prosecution must prove that the person was driving under the influence. There is no separate statute applying just to prescription drugs. The test the prosecution must meet is similar to that of driving under the influence of alcohol, so it must show that a drug was in the driver’s system and that they were legally defined as impaired while operating machinery or a motor vehicle.
The penalties for prescription-drug DUI charges are 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 if the case is charged as a misdemeanor offense. The individual also could lose their license for one year. In some cases, the individual may be eligible for a restricted license depending on their circumstances. That would require them to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety and Action Program (VASAP). Depending on the circumstances of their arrest, have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle.
A drug-recognition expert could be helpful in a defense against prescription-drug DUI charges if they can testify that driving impaired is not a side effect of the drug the driver was taking. They may be able to testify that driving impaired is not a known side effect that would affect the person’s ability to drive or operate machinery safely.
It is important that a person provide all prescription and medical information to a Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI lawyer. If a person does not have a prescription for the drugs that lead to a prescription-drug DUI charge, they will have no legal basis for having the drug in their system.
The offense is charged the same as driving while impaired. The only defense likely is that it was put in their system involuntarily, and they claim involuntary intoxication.
A Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI lawyer may collect information about the arrest from the individual in order to help them create a defense. A person should contact a prescription-drug DUI lawyer because even if they think they can fight the charges on their own, they are unlikely to be able to do so successfully.
Laws governing prescription DUIs are very complicated, and an individual up against a prosecutor and the arresting officers has little chance of winning.
The individual is not likely to know the law, what motions to file, what questions to ask, and in general will not be prepared correctly.
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