Virginia Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer
A prescription drug is any drug that a doctor has prescribed for a person to legally use. There are a number of classes of drug, which can impair a person’s ability to drive and which can interfere with their gross motor function or in some cases can simply make them sleepier and disoriented. This can include everything from benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Ativan, and Klonopin to opiates such as Oxycodone, Percocet, or even morphine.
If a person does not have a prescription for those drugs and they are found to be in possession of them, they may be facing an additional perhaps more serious offense. For example, if a person were found in possession of a prescription opioid such as oxycodone or Percocet that they did not have a prescription for, in addition to the DUI they may find themselves charged with possession with a schedule one or two drug, which is a felony in Virginia. A Virginia prescription drug DUI lawyer can attempt to mitigate those charges. If you have been charged with a prescription drug DUI, seek the counsel of a qualified DUID attorney who will fight for you.
In order to be convicted of a prescription drug DUI, the government has to prove two things. The first is that the person was operating a motor vehicle, that means either they were driving the motor vehicle or that they were even sitting idling with the engine of the vehicle engaged. It will also be considered operating under Virginia law if a person is sitting with their keys in the ignition.
The second is that they are going to have to prove that the person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol to a degree that made them unsafe to drive. In the case of this drug, the government is going to need an expert who can explain the effects of that drug and what level of that drug would be needed to render a person under the influence, under Virginia law.
The Virginia prescription drug DUI lawyer is going to need to know what prescriptions the person has, how long the person has been taking them, whether the dosages have changed, and what those have been prescribed for. They are also going to need to see the arrest warrant from that evening. Ultimately, they will obtain for themselves police reports and other information from the government that will allow them to do a full analysis.
Prescription drug DUIs are punished the same as any other DUI. For a first offense, it typically is going to involve a suspended jail sentence. It will also involve a minimum fine of $250, alcohol education classes of at least 20 hours, 12 months of license suspension, and an ignition interlock on any vehicle the defendant drives in the event that they do ask for a restricted license from a court for a period of at least six months.
Role of an Attorney
It is never smart to try to fight a DUI on one’s own regardless of the case that the person has. Simply having a prescription for the drug that is in the person’s system at the time of a DUI is not going to provide the person with a defense in the case. If a person is found to have even an over-the-counter drug in the person’s system to a level that impairs them, the person can be found guilty of DUI. This is also true and then perhaps more true in the case of prescription drugs, which would otherwise be illegal for a person to possess without that prescription. A Virginia prescription drug DUI lawyer will have a better understanding of the nuances involved in prescription drug DUI cases and will use that understanding to defend you against these charges.