Alexandria DUI Drug Lawyer
There are two primary ways that an individual can be charged with a DUI for drug-related impairment in Virginia. The first involves a situation where a person is found to have certain concentrations of substances in their blood after a test. In that case, there will be a presumption that the driver is under the influence. It is important to note that there is no legal minimum for having a mixture of drugs and alcohol in one’s system. Second, in the event that no blood test was administered, someone can still be convicted if the prosecution can build a strong enough case. The way they will try to do this is to bring forward evidence and use expert testimony to show that the combination of drugs or the level of drugs in the defendant’s system would have been sufficient to impair them. If you find yourself facing charges, it is important you contact an Alexandria DUI drug attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate the process and build a defense to achieve the best possible outcome.
Any substance that a person ingests that leads them to be considered impaired to a level where they cannot safely operate a motor vehicle, can be used to support a conviction for driving under the influence. This includes generally harmless and mainstream drugs, such as Benadryl or cough syrup: when they are ingested in disproportionate amounts and active at the time the driver is operating the vehicle, there can be grounds for a DUI charge.
Even if the drug causing the erratic behavior has been prescribed, a driver under its influence can still be charged with a DUI. This is because even legal drugs in amounts that are larger than prescribed or in improper doses can cause a person to be an unsafe driver.
With regard to penalties, there is no significant difference between those imposed for a DUI involving alcohol and one involving drugs. The two offenses are viewed as equally problematic in the eyes of the law and therefore make it important that those accused consult with a DUI drug lawyer in Alexandria.
There are a number of common mistakes someone can inadvertently make during the course of a DUI drug stop or the ensuing case. Two of the biggest mistakes to avoid are
- Answering all the police’s questions at the stop, and
- Attempting to defend oneself without legal representation in court
Cooperating with police, taking tests, and answering questions during the traffic stop may seem advisable at the time. However, these things are specifically designed to create a base of evidence that will be used to against a defendant in trial. Without a drug test, it is virtually impossible for the prosecution to prove that a person was under the influence of illegal drugs or even legal drugs in a combination that caused them to be rendered under the influence. The presence of drugs is tested for by using blood tests and an individual is fully within his or her rights to refuse them. However, it is important to note that, just like refusing a breathalyzer test in an alcohol case, if a court ultimately finds that there was probable cause for an individual’s arrest on the DUI, then he or she may also be convicted of a refusal charge, which can result in a one-year loss of license without the possibility of getting a restricted permit.
As for representation in court, it is critically important to get the guidance and advice of experienced counsel. This is because a DUI drug attorney in Alexandria will be much more familiar with the intricacies of the local laws. That knowledge, coupled with experience defending similar cases will be invaluable in fighting the charges.
Building a Defense
Involuntary intoxication is a valid defense in Virginia, although it is remarkably difficult to prove. Involuntary intoxication takes place when a person has ingested either alcohol or drugs to a level that impairs them, but they have not done this knowingly. For example, if a person’s drink was mixed with a drug without their knowledge, and the resulting intoxication manifested itself once the person was driving, an involuntary intoxication defense would be applicable. However, simply not being aware of the interactions of certain drugs is not going to support that kind of a defense
How An Attorney Can Help
It is important to contact an experienced Alexandria drug DUI lawyer if you are facing these charges, because the consequences of a conviction can be serious and long lasting. An experienced local attorney will have the particular expertise to help guide you through the process, building the strongest defense available in order to achieve the best result possible.