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Prosecution of Henrico County Drug DUI Charges

All DUI cases are prosecuted harshly in Henrico County, and DUI drug cases are no exception. When faced with DUID charges, it is important to understand how local prosecutors will approach the case, and to retain an experienced Henrico County DUI drug attorney. An attorney will help you to understand the process of the case and will advise you on the best course of action to take when defending against the charge.

What the Prosecution Needs to Prove in Henrico DUID Cases

In prosecuting a drug DUI case in Henrico the state needs to prove that you were operating a vehicles, that your driving or actions provide probable cause for you to be stopped or questioned by law enforcement and that your behavior or actions led the officer to believe you were impaired. The state needs to show that you were then under the influence of drugs while operating your vehicle. The state will do this via results of the blood test and your field sobriety tests. In addition, the state will need to demonstrate the drug levels in your system and the type of impairment which those substances can cause. Finally, the prosecution needs to show that a blood test was conducted, who conducted the test, and then how the blood was handled after those tests were done.

The mix of drugs and alcohol can greatly impact the way a case is handled for the defendant regarding a DUID charge in Henrico County. A lot will depend on the drug or alcohol levels. Again, the issue will come down to one of impairment. If you fail your field tests, if the driving indicates levels of impairment, and then if the blood alcohol level or the drug level indicate any signs of impairment, they will move for a conviction.

Impairment

It is actually harder for the state and prosecutor to prove that an individual is under the influence of drugs while operating a vehicle since the standards for measuring drug intoxication or being under the influence differ greatly from those for alcohol intoxication. With an alcohol charge, you are presumed intoxicated if your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. In a drug DUI case in Henrico County, the levels of intoxication can vary greatly since studies have shown that each body metabolizes drugs differently.

Common Defense Strategies for Henrico DUID Charges

Legal defenses for a Henrico DUI drug case usually revolve around the circumstances of the police officer’s initial stop. They can also greatly depend on the test which was conducted and the results of that test.

They start with challenges as to whether there was probable cause to begin with for the officer to stop you and give you those tests. In other words, did the officer have a reason to stop you? Next is how the blood test was conducted and whether the officer conducted the correct and proper test. Then it evolves into how that blood test was handled.

In other words, was the chain of custody clearly documented in each step of the process? Last but not least is what the results of the drug test were. Do the results of the drug test clearly show impairment and do they clearly show which drug impaired you? These are all important factors that go into how the defense will be brought against the prosecution in a Henrico DUI drug case.

Litigating DUID Charges

In cases of inadvertent intoxication, we will speak with the court prosecutors regarding the situation. We will seek medical documentation from the individual or the doctor who originally prescribed the medicine. Then, if it comes down to a trial, we will seek a few medical professionals to testify in court regarding the medication which was used and the possible unforeseen reactions that it could cause.

Penalties for a Henrico DUID Charge

The penalties for someone facing a drug DUI charge in Henrico County can definitely be more serious if both drugs and alcohol caused the impairment or are found in your system at such a level as to indicate clear impairment. In other words, if your blood alcohol level is above .08 and there are levels of opiates in your system which clearly indicate impairment, then yes, the court will take a much harsher stance against you.

We routinely see cases where an individual mixes a small amount of alcohol with a prescription drug and gets a DUI or a DUID charge. Unfortunately, in these cases the responsibility is on the individual to regulate their intake of alcohol and the prescription drug, and also to follow the guidelines and directions of that prescription drug. In other words, if the drug clearly states not to mix with alcohol, then it is the responsibility of the driver not to do so.

Unexpected Interactions

We see cases where an individual can follow all the prescription rules and guidelines from their doctor and still be impaired. They either have an adverse reaction from a small amount of alcohol or a reaction in the way their body processes the prescription that causes an impairment. These cases, while rare, do exist. It comes down to our burden to show that you did nothing contrary to your prescription, but that your body had an adverse reaction to the medication or alcohol which would not have happened otherwise. In these cases, we need to have your doctor or another expert testify in court about this reaction and provide documentation stating the same.

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