Mecklenburg County Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer
An individual can be charged with a DUI if they are under the influence of a prescription drug. They can still be charged if the drug is prescribed to them. The most commonly seen prescription drugs seen in DUI cases are anti-anxiety drugs such as barbiturates, Xanax, and Ativan.
DUI charges are taken very seriously and carry significant penalties. If you are facing charges, contact an experienced drug DUI attorney today. Let a Mecklenburg County prescription drug DUI lawyer fight for you.
Prescription Drug Charges
For someone to be charged with a prescription drug DUI, a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe that an accused individual was driving under the impairment of a substance.
To be convicted of a prescription drug DUI, the prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the individual was in fact operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. They also must prove that that person was doing so not simply while having a prescription drug in their system, but that it caused them to be impaired to the level they were unable to operate the motor vehicle safely.
Aggravating Factors in Prescription Drug DUI Cases
If a person is found to have prescription drugs in their system for which they do not have a valid prescription, that can be an aggravating circumstance in their case. A judge may see that the defendant was using the drug for recreational use instead of a legitimate medical benefit. This fact could prejudice the judge against their DUI case and make it more likely that they are convicted.
Unexpected Side Effects as a Defense
People sometimes suffer unexpected side effects when taking a prescribed drug. Unexpected side effects could in some circumstances create a defense to a DUI, but the case will rest on whether the evidence demonstrates that they were impaired. If they are not aware that they could be impaired, the judge would still expect them to stop driving as soon as they begin to feel signs of impairment. After reviewing the facts of the case, an experienced prescription drug DUI lawyer in Mecklenburg County could determine which defense strategies could be available.
What if a Person Relies on Medication to Function?
The judge will not discriminate against someone who requires medication to function, but the judge might determine, depending on the facts, that the person should have not been driving if their medication impairs their ability to drive safely. Individuals do not have an absolute right to drive even if transportation is necessary to their lives and if they require medication to function. Some people have to rely on alternative transportation modes to avoid possible prescription drug DUIs. That is why it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the best possible defenses they have when facing a DUI charge and need prescription drugs to function.
Prescription Drug DUI Penalties
Prescription drug DUIs carry up to one year in jail and the loss of their license to drive for a year in Virginia, although they will often be eligible for a restricted license. A defendant also faces significant fines and court costs. A conviction could also impact a person’s personal and professional life. When someone is facing penalties, they should contact a Mecklenburg County prescription drug DUI attorney right away.
Collecting Information for a Prescription Drug DUI Defense
A person facing a drug DUI should provide all prescription information to their attorney because that could provide valuable information to their defense. When someone is consulting with their attorney, it is crucial that they provide the lawyer with as much information regarding their medical condition and their case as possible.
This information will include any specific information about prescriptions, including recent ones that may have lapsed or expired, or new prescriptions that may have recently begun. Contact a dedicated Mecklenburg County prescription drug DUI lawyer today to begin working on your case.