Brunswick County Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer
A prescription drug is any substance obtained by the individual through a prescription from a doctor and procured through a pharmacy. Anti-anxiety medications are commonly linked to prescription drug DUIs as well as painkiller prescriptions. These types of substances often have a sedative effect. They can interact negatively with alcohol and often lead to someone being impaired while driving.
Prescription drug DUI charges carry significant penalties and long-term repercussions. If you are facing charges, get in touch with a Brunswick County prescription drug DUI lawyer today. A dedicated drug DUI attorney could fight for you and possibly help you reach a favorable resolution.
What if the Defendant Needs Medication to Function?
When someone relies on medication to function, that plays a key part in their prescription drug DUI trial. Whether they are held accountable for consuming the medication and driving depends on the facts of the case and the warnings for the specific medication on which they rely.
Sometimes, the warnings and listed side-effects on someone’s prescription do not include warnings about avoiding driving or operating machinery or anything that would lead a reasonable person to believe they should not drive because of the possibility for increased drowsiness. This factor makes for a much stronger case for the defendant. A person whose prescription warnings do include drowsiness or warn not to operate machinery or drive is much more likely to be convicted of a prescription drug DUI. It is important to discuss this information with a Brunswick County prescription drug DUI attorney.
Prosecuting Prescription Drug DUIs
The prosecution must prove that the defendant was driving and the prescription drug was present in their system. They must also prove that the driver was impaired to an unsafe degree because of the consumption of the prescription drug.
The prosecutor attempts to prove that with facts obtained through the observations of the officer, from body camera video footage, and through the field sobriety tests if the driver performed those for the law enforcement officer.
For a person to be charged with prescription DUI, law enforcement needs to have probable cause of impaired driving. That could be evidence of weaving in and out of a lane or other unsafe driving observed by the law enforcement officer. After investigating the driving, if the officer has any reason to believe the driver consumed a drug, including a prescription drug, they can pursue a prescription drug DUI arrest.
Prescription Drug DUI Penalties
A first prescription drug DUI charge carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, loss of the license for one year, fines, and often alcohol or drug counseling. A skilled prescription drug DUI lawyer in Brunswick County could help a defendant with fighting against these penalties.
When someone takes medicine that is prescribed to them, some leniency might be afforded to them, especially when they rely on the prescription to function or they experienced an unexpected side-effect. However, when someone takes an expired prescription, it means they took it outside of their doctor’s orders. It could mean they take it more for abuse of the prescription rather than for necessity. When an individual takes someone else’s prescription, that could be considered taking a prescription drug for recreational purposes as opposed to medical necessity.
Preparing a Defense
When building a defense, a Brunswick County prescription drug DUI lawyer needs all information related to the prescription, including the history of the prescription, how long the driver took a specific substance, and for what reason they take that substance.
Any changes in the prescription or treatment of the medical condition for which the prescription is of benefit is also critical to share with the attorney. Other information related to alcohol or drug consumption leading up to the arrest on the date of the arrest is also important.
The more information an individual provides to the attorney and the sooner they provide it, the more likely their attorney is able to craft a successful defense on their behalf.
Prescription drugs can be a complicated field, especially when it comes to symptoms and circumstances of impairment. An individual wants their attorney to have as much time as possible to research the specific prescription they take, and how it might have affected them on the date of their arrest to prepare for a possible testimony of a toxicologist.