A driver can be charged with a DUI for a drug-related impairment the same way they can be for an alcohol DUI. Drug DUI cases are taken seriously and carry significant penalties in Mecklenburg County. If you are facing charges, reach out to a dedicated Mecklenburg County drug DUI lawyer immediately. An experienced DUI attorney could advocate for you and help protect your rights.
For the most part, the penalties for a drug DUI are the same as an alcohol-related DUI. However, there are some variations. For example, an alcohol-related DUI can be punished more severely if the defendant has an elevated blood alcohol level.
For a drug DUI, there is no elevated drug level in the bloodstream to bring about aggravated consequences. If a person is convicted of a drug DUI, there is no mandatory minimum sentencing.
A first-time charge carries the penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Subsequent offenses will carry harsher penalties. When someone is facing these penalties, they should consult with an accomplished drug DUI lawyer in Mecklenburg County right away.
People can be charged with driving under the influence if they are impaired from a legal or prescribed drug. Before taking a legal or prescribed drug, the person should look on the warning label to see if it advises them not to drive. In addition, if their prescriptions do not have that warning and the legal drug or over-the-counter drug has impaired their driving, that could be enough evidence for them to be convicted of DUI.
There are several mistakes to avoid in drug DUI cases. It is essential for a person to understand they do not need to consent to any testing in a drug DUI case, which could include a blood test. For law enforcement to conduct such a test, they must obtain a search warrant. This warrant would be issued only by a neutral judicial officer such as a magistrate. If the person consents to a test, they are waiving their rights to have the police go through a neutral judicial officer.
People should also avoid answering investigative questions from the officer. They should remain silent as anything they say could be used against them. It is also a mistake for an individual to fail to contact an attorney. A Mecklenburg drug DUI attorney could help protect a person’s rights and walk them through the legal process.
The first time a person is charged with refusal to take a blood test, it is a civil penalty, and for that refusal, their license to drive will be suspended in Virginia for one year and they will not be eligible for a restricted license. Subsequent refusals will bring criminal charges, and they could face up to 12 months in jail.
In addition to a chemical test such as blood alcohol analysis or testing for drug intoxicants in the blood, law enforcement officers frequently record their interactions with suspected drivers, using body cameras and dash cameras. The evidence of the driver as they appear on the video is often used in court as the evidence of intoxication, plus statements made by the driver regarding intoxication or consumption of substances will be used as evidence to prove intoxication. Officers often use field sobriety tests, only a few of which have ever been shown to have any level of reliability, yet they are frequently accepted as sufficient evidence of intoxication in court hearings.
A Mecklenburg County drug DUI lawyer has experience building successful defenses to these cases. If you are facing charges, call an accomplished defense attorney today. Let us fight for you.
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