Los Angeles Prescription Drug DUI Lawyers Helping Clients Fight Their Drugged Driving Charges
In the state of California, it is possible for a person to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while taking legal drugs. The use of drugs, including prescription drugs like Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, or even over-the-counter medications, can result in a DUI arrest and subsequent conviction similarly to an alcohol-related DUI. Even though the driver may have been taking medications legally, they can still be arrested for a DUI from legal drug use if their driving is impaired in any way. If you are facing charges, it is important to speak with an L.A. drug DUI lawyer.
Attorneys Fighting For The Rights Of Drivers In The State Of California
Section 23152(f) of the California Vehicle Code reads: “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”
This means that a person can get a DUI if they are caught driving under the influence of legal drugs including prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication. As experienced attorneys, we have represented several clients accused of drugged driving. Here are some of the most common questions we receive:
How Can A Prescription Medicine Affect Your Driving Skills?
Many medications have warning labels that list the possible side effects you may experience if you take the medication. However, how the drug will affect you specifically is hard to determine, and your doctor may not adequately warn you of the side effects. This means that it’s possible that your driving could be impaired without you realizing it.
The effect that each medication has on the body is different, and it can depend on:
- The type of medication that was taken.
- The quantity that was taken.
- The time it was taken.
- The tolerance level the individual has to that drug.
Some typical side effects of legal drugs that can affect your ability to drive include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Slower movement than normal
- Unable to focus
How Do Prosecutors Prove That You Were Under The Influence Of Prescription Drugs While Driving?
Prosecutors use blood tests to determine whether or not the driver was under the influence of drugs, but only if the test was legally obtained. If a test is administrated by a drug recognition expert (DRE), they are required to follow Title 17 procedures. Title 17 is meant to ensure that chemical tests for DUIs are accurate and a violation of any of the procedures can produce inaccurate tests. If the Title 17 rules are not followed, this could be used as a possible defense to the DUI charges.
It is also possible for prosecutors to use a driver’s admissions to prove that the driver consumed the medication. This is only if the admission was obtained legally after the driver was read their Miranda Rights.
In addition to proving that the driver was under the influence of drugs, the prosecutor will also have to determine that the driver was impaired by that drug. They can attempt to do this by demonstrating that the driver’s balance or focus was impaired due to the traces of drugs found in the tests.
Cases can typically be dismissed when challenges to the legality of a traffic stop, an arrest based on field sobriety tests, and the extraction of a driver’s blood succeed.
How To Fight A DUI Charge For Prescription Drugs Like Xanax, Ambien, or Lexapro?
When fighting a charge for driving under the influence of prescription drugs, a skilled DUI attorney from Braden & Tucci will use the following defenses:
- Physical appearance
- The police officer who arrested you may claim that you looked like you were guilty of driving under the influence of legal drugs. This does not prove that you were intoxicated, and an attorney can challenge this in court.
- Unlike alcohol, many drugs can stay in the body for weeks. If a chemical test is administered and the results came back positive for a drug, a skilled attorney may be able to challenge the evidence and potentially help you avoid a conviction.
- Your Rights Were Violated
- Your DUI case may be dismissed if you were stopped or arrested without probable cause, arrested without being read your Miranda Rights, or were subject to illegal searches.
What Are The Penalties For A Prescription Drug DUI Arrest?
Generally, the penalties for a DUI on drugs and a DUI while under the influence of alcohol are the same. If there are any other aggravating factors such as having a child in the car or causing any injuries, the penalties are much more severe. Here are some of the penalties you may face:
- License suspension
- Drivers who are charged with a Drug DUI will be subjected to a driver’s license suspension for up to six months, and while they are unable to drive, they will have to pay for another mode of transportation. When the suspension is up, the driver will have to pay an administrative service fee and a reissuing fee that costs a total of about $170.
- Jail Time
- Jail time for DUI is a minimum of two days and can be up to six months.
- A fine of up to $1800
- Safety Classes
- The driver may be required to enlist in a treatment program. The payment for these programs is the driver’s responsibility, and they can cost up to $650 or more depending on how many hours are required.
- Criminal Record
- A DUID will stay on your criminal record for ten years. This can make it challenging to seek insurance and employment. It will also harm your reputation. If you are arrested for DUI again within the next ten years, a DUID will count as a prior, subjecting you to increased penalties.
In addition to these penalties, with each prior DUI charge, the consequences become even more severe.
Remember, just because your test results came back positive, it does not mean necessarily mean that you will be convicted of DUI. Certain drugs can remain in a person’s bloodstream for weeks after use which makes it difficult to determine whether a DUI charge is warranted even after a blood test is administered.
Contact A Los Angeles Prescription Drug DUI Law Firm Today
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, the reputable DUI defense lawyers of Braden & Tucci can help.
We offer years of experience and have successfully represented clients throughout Southern California and the surrounding communities.
To learn more about your legal options following a DUID arrest, contact our law firm by calling (213) 935-7550 today.