Arrested for DUI of Drugs?Get a Board Certified DUI Defense Attorney on your side.
Orange County DUID Defense Lawyer
Were You Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?
According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f), it is against the law for any person to operate a motor vehicle if their functions are compromised by legal or illegal drugs. Both controlled substances and prescription medications can significantly inhibit a person's ability to drive. Anyone who chooses to drive while under the influence of drugs (DUID) will be subject to criminal penalties if they are detained by law enforcement.
Local law enforcement is cracking down on drug-impaired drivers, so if you or someone close to you has been arrested for DUID, you need to act now and speak with an Orange County DUI attorney. When you contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, we can offer the immediate assistance you need. Our lead attorney, Virginia Landry, is a board certified expert in DUI defense, so you can trust that your future will be in good hands.
Examining the Penalties for DUID in California
In California, the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same as those that apply to driving under the influence of alcohol. If this is your first, second, or third DUI or DUID offense, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. If, however, you have been convicted of three prior DUI offenses, you have previously been convicted of a felony DUI offense, or your driving has caused a traffic accident, you could face felony charges.
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor DUID offense, you could face:
- Up to six months of drug education classes
- Up to six months’ imprisonment in county jail
- Driver’s license suspension for up to six months
- Informal probation for a maximum of five years
- Base fine of $390 to $1,000, and additional penalty assessments
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, your first course of action should be to contact an Orange County DUI lawyer at the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry. We are ready to protect your rights.
Prescription Drugs Can Also Impair Your Ability to Drive
Any driver can be considered impaired due to use of prescription drugs. If you have the presence of a legal prescription drug in your system and your driving is negatively impacted, you can be arrested for DUI. Whether the drug alters your mood or changes vision or reflexes, the results are the same: you may be an impaired driver that is a threat to other drivers.
You can also be arrested for DUID if you use a substance in such a way that it could alter your mind. This category commonly includes inhalants such as household products that include solvents and gases. Other accessible drugs emerging on the market that could potentially warrant an arrest for DUI of drugs include "spice" (synthetic cannabinoids), salvia and bath salts.
Can Police Officers Search My Vehicle for Drugs?
If the police suspect you of driving under the influence of drugs, they may ask to search you or your vehicle. In some cases, they may not even ask you -- They may simply tell you to step aside while they search your vehicle.
In accordance to the 4 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement officials cannot search you or your property without just cause or a valid search warrant. If the police violated search and seizure laws, any evidence they obtained during the search will be considered inadmissible and thrown out of court.
How Do the Police Spot “Drugged Drivers?”
The behavioral effects of prescription medications vary widely, depending not just on the drug but on the person taking it. Some, like anti-anxiety medications, can dull alertness and slow reaction time; others, like stimulants, can encourage risk-taking and hurt the ability to judge distances. Mixing prescriptions, or taking them with alcohol or illicit drugs, can exacerbate impairment and sharply increase the risk of an accident, researchers say.
The complex chemistry of drugs makes their effects more difficult to predict than alcohol's. Determining whether a driver took drugs soon before getting on the road can be tricky, since some linger in the body for days or weeks. Prosecutors in DUID cases rely heavily on the testimony of "drug recognition experts," law enforcement officers trained to spot signs of impairment in drivers. But there are only about 7,000 such officers nationwide.
Legal Defenses Available in a DUI of Drugs Case
When a case involves DUID charges, it does not matter whether the driver took a legal or illegal drug. Even if the drug was prescribed by a legitimate physician or medical professional, you could still be convicted of this offense if the prosecution can prove that you were, in fact, impaired by the drug. Whether or not the driver was "under the influence" is the main point in any DUID case, and as long as your lawyer can provide evidence to show your abilities were not affected by a drug, you will have a good shot of beating your drugged driving charges.
There are a number of legal defenses available in a DUID case, including:
- You were not actually impaired by drugs (legal or illegal)
- Your physical condition was mistaken for drug impairment
- You were not advised of your Miranda Rights prior to questioning
- The officer did not have probable cause to initiate a traffic stop
- Your blood or urine sample was improperly handled or tested
- The prosecution is unable to establish ingestion times and/or shelf life of the drug
Call Our Orange County DUI Attorneys for a Free Case Review!
DUID cases tend to be rather complex, which is why they warrant representation from a lawyer. At the Law Office of Virginia L. Landry, we provide top-notch representation to people who are facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs in Orange County, California. Drug-related DUI is prosecuted similarly to DUI cases involving alcohol, and as such, has the potential to end in serious consequences. For this reason, it is imperative to retain legal representation from a skilled DUI attorney who is experienced defending clients facing DUID charges.
Virginia L. Landry will fight your charges in an aggressive manner in order to prevent you from suffering the harsh penalties that could follow a conviction.