Prescription drugs in the city of Richmond are classified as drugs for which you have a prescription from a doctor. These drugs are can be anything from Tylenol 3 to Oxycodone to Valium or Percocet. If an individual receives any sort of criminal charge due to the use or misuse of a prescription drug, it is important to contact a Richmond prescription drug DUI lawyer, as these charges can result in a felony conviction and serious jail time.
To be charged with a prescription drug DUI in Richmond, an individual must be operating a motor vehicle in a manner that shows impairment. In addition, the individual charged will have provided either a statement to the officer or some sort of evidence, such as failed field tests, to the officer that shows some level of impairment.
The prosecution has to show that the individual has operated a motor vehicle with signs of impairment, or that such operation of a vehicle resulted in the individual failing field tests after an officer pulled them over. The prosecution must also show the results of a blood test, which must prove either a high level of prescription drugs mixed with alcohol and/or a level of prescription drugs that would not be allowed underneath a doctor’s care.
A drug recognition examiner explains the levels of the drug in a blood test, and whether the levels of impairment shown might be associated with the blood test. They can also explain the impact of the drug on the individual’s behavior and ability to operate a motor vehicle.
The penalties can vary greatly in prescription drug charges. If the case is DUI related, each misdemeanor charge can result in up to a twelve-month jail sentence and twelve-month loss of license. If it is a simple possession charge of prescription drugs, whether the individual has more than prescribed or if the prescription is expired, a felony charge and possible conviction could result.
A DUI charge can be aggravated if the individual does not have a prescription for the drug, which causes the court to call into question why the individual possessed the drug in the first place. This could result in a felony possession charge.
A Richmond prescription drug DUI lawyer must be provided with an individual’s medical and prescription information, what sort of treatment and/or prescriptions they may be receiving, and for what purpose, to start building a strong defense. The attorney is going to want to use that information to raise a defense. One of the most common defenses in a prescription drug case is that the impairment was inadvertent or unexpected. In this situation, an attorney could use this documentation to show that the individual did, in fact, comply with the terms of their prescription, but it had an unexpected effect.
If it is an issue of substance abuse, the attorney will want information about any counseling or treatment the individual has received as a result of the prescription abuse. The attorney will want to collect information regarding any blood tests that were done as well.
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