Fredericksburg Prescription Drug DUI Penalties

Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI penalties are the same as an alcohol-related DUI because it is a Class One misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a Class One misdemeanor is technically a full year in jail, although it is extremely rare to see somebody receive significant jail time for a DUI if it is their first offense, as long as they do not have a terrible record or serious extenuating circumstances involved. If you face serious penalties for a prescription drug DUI offense, consult an accomplished prescription drug DUI lawyer that could build a solid defense for you.

Role of a Drug Recognition Expert

In prescription drug DUI charge, an expert will testify as to the amount of drugs and/or type drugs that were found in the person’s bloodstream and describe the effects that those drugs might have on a person’s ability to drive. Specifically, in a prescription drug DUI case, the expert would be asked (either by the prosecutor or by the defendant) whether the level of use of that prescription drug would generally cause somebody to be intoxicated, and whether the symptoms that were seen with this defendant exhibited symptoms that one would expect (or would not expect) to be exhibiting after using that prescription drug. A drug recognition expert’s testimony could impact the severity of the Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI penalties that a person may face.

Aggravating Factors in Prescription DUI Cases

If someone is charged with driving under the influence and an analysis of their blood indicates the presence of prescriptions drugs that they do not have a prescription for, that person is very likely to be charged with possession of those drugs. For example, if someone took Xanax and their blood test shows they have taken Xanax, many prosecutors in Northern Virginia will charge that individual with possession of Xanax in addition to charging that individual with a DUI.

Differences Between DUIs and Prescription Drug DUI Penalties

Rather than being charged with one offense of DUI, which is a Class One misdemeanor and can carry a maximum penalty of up to one-year incarceration, an individual charged with a prescription drug DUI offense can be charged with possession of the same substance as well. In such a case, that person could be charged with another misdemeanor (or felony, depending on the exact substance that is found). Many of the substances that are associated commonly with prescription drugs DUIs are actually Schedule One or Schedule Two substances, meaning that it is a felony to possess them. As an example, most painkillers, amphetamines, and Adderall are one Schedule I or II in Virginia. Generally speaking, when someone is facing their first DUI charge related to prescription drugs, the prosecutor will have the person attend classes and have their driver’s license suspended, and jail time will usually be suspended while they are on probation.

It is not uncommon for someone suspected of DUI to submit to a blood test which comes back positive for any number of substances like Oxycodone/Oxycontin or other painkillers, positive for Schedule one or Schedule two substances. Once the blood test results are available, that individual is brought back to court and charged with an additional offense. This can be a much more serious offense, e.g., possession of a Schedule One or Schedule Two substance is a Class Five felony and, unlike a misdemeanor that carries a maximum of one year in prison, a Class Five felony carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. A capable prescription drug attorney could attempt to mitigate the Fredericksburg prescription drug DUI penalties that a person may face.

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