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If you have been arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs, you are facing a serious charge. There are several laws in California that deal with this offense, and understanding how these laws affect your case is crucial in making the right decisions to protect your freedom and finances.
What is Considered a Drug?
You are considered driving while under the influence of drugs if you consume anything that affects your ability to safely drive. If you have taken too many Aspirin™ and are pulled over, you can be arrested. The consequences of driving while under the influence of drugs, or DUID, are similar to those of driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are pulled over and suspected of being under the influence of drugs, the officer will likely arrest you and order a blood test to confirm that you are driving while under the influence.
What to do if You Are Arrested for DUID
The most important thing you can do if you have been arrested is to remain silent. Don’t tell the officer that you just had a few pills or that smoking marijuana is legal. Don’t suggest that you have been out partying, or that you have had other related offenses in the past. Simply keep quiet until you have had a chance to consult with your attorney. Do not become angry, insistent or attempt to leave the scene. Remember that any statements you make can be used against you in court.
Defenses to Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs
There are few defenses to driving while under the influence. Even if you have a legal prescription for the drug, you can still be charged and convicted if that drug impairs your ability to drive safely. There are some medical conditions that mimic being under the influence of drugs. If you have such an issue, your lawyer can argue on your behalf and show that your erratic driving was due to a medical, not a substance abuse condition. This is a challenge to prove, so your attorney will have to gather as many facts as possible to defend this assertion.
Penalities for DUID
If this is your first offense, you may face up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,000. The judge may also elect to suspend your driver’s license. Other penalties may include substance abuse treatment, the installation of an ignition interlock device or community service. In some cases, you may be required to sit on a victim’s impact panel. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may be subject to case “enhancements.” If you were driving more than 20 miles over the speed limit, had a child in the car or had a previous conviction for a DUI/DUID, you may be subject to higher fines and longer jail terms. You may also have your license suspended for a longer period of time.
Fighting Your DUID Case
Make no mistake, a driving while under the influence of drugs conviction is serious. You may lose your ability to drive, which will restrict your freedom and your ability to earn a living. You may also face time in jail and a permanent strike on your record. Having a DUI/DUID on your record will disqualify you for many jobs and make it hard for you to get certain licenses.
You need a skilled attorney who can fight your case. You need an attorney who knows the law and can challenge the charges against you. If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs, don’t wait. Call today.