Diving while under the influence of prescription medication could lead to DUI charges. This is the case even if the medication is prescribed to you. Given the potentially harsh and long-term consequences of a prescription DUIcharge, accused individuals should reach out to a seasoned DUI drug attorney immediately. An experienced Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI lawyer could explain your rights and advocate on your behalf.
A prescription drug DUI offense is charged the same way as driving while impaired. To be charged with a prescription-drug DUI, a person must be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of prescription drugs. If a person does not have a prescription for the drugs that lead to a prescription-drug DUI charge, they will have no legal basis for having the drug in their system. If an individual relies on medication to function and it affects their ability to drive, their case will not be treated any differently from any other person driving while impaired. However, if a person was experiencing an unexpected side-effect, it could be used as a potential defense against a DUI charge. That being said, this defense is not likely to be successful if there was a label on the drug warning of the side-effect, or if the drug was commonly known to have such a side effect. In such circumstances, the accused may likely to have been considered not to have done their due diligence.
Some examples of prescription drugs commonly linked to prescription-drug DUIs are pain relievers or anxiety relievers such as Xanax that are not available over-the-counter.
A drug-recognition expert could be helpful in a person’s defense against prescription-drug DUI charges if they are able to testify at the trial that impaired driving was not a side effect of the drug that the driver was allegedly taking. They may be able to testify that driving impaired is not a known side effect that would affect the person’s ability to drive or operate machinery safely. A Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI attorney could help accused individuals find a drug-recognition expert to speak on their behalf during their case.
If the case is charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant is looking potentially up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The individual could also lose their driver’s license for one year. In some cases, the defendant may be eligible for a restricted license depending on the circumstances. This would require them to complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety and Action Program (VASAP) and, given the circumstances of their arrest, have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle.
When preparing a defense, a prescription drug DUI lawyer in Fredericksburg will want to gather as much information about the charge and the events leading up the charge. The attorney will wish to know:
The questions are likely to vary depending on the facts of the case. It is also important that a defendant provide all prescription and medical information to their legal representative in a case where prescription drugs are involved. The lawyer may rely on this data to prepare a robust defense.
Even if a person believes they can fight the charges on their own, they are unlikely to be able to do so successfully. Laws governing prescription DUIs are complicated, and an individual facing a prosecutor and the arresting officers might have little chance of winning. The defendant may not know the law, what motions to file, what questions to ask, and may generally be unprepared for the ordeal. This is why a defendant should reach out to an experienced Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI lawyer.