It’s illegal to drive under the influence in California. Many people assume this means under the influence of alcohol, but it also means under the influence of drugs. If you’re driving while under the influence of an illegal substance or even a prescription drug that’s in your own name, you’re breaking the law. California vehicle code section 23152 ( c ) VC defines driving while addicted to a drug. It’s illegal, and it comes with harsh penalties for anyone who is charged with this crime and later convicted of the same crime.
Driving While Addicted to Drugs
What does it mean to be addicted to a drug? California laws are strict pertaining to addiction, and many people are unaware what it means. It means you cannot stop using this drug even if you want to. Your body requires this drug to create a high or another feeling. The more you use it to experience the high you love so much, the more your body becomes accustomed to the drug. As your body becomes more accustomed to this drug, it also requires more of the drug to achieve the same high.
– Your body will go through withdrawal if you no longer use the drug
– Your body is emotionally dependent on the drug
– Your body has developed a tolerance to the drug in smaller quantities
If you’re addicted to a drug and caught driving, the prosecutor must be able to prove two things to win a case against you. They must prove that you were driving the vehicle in question and you were addicted to the drug while you were driving. If you are an addict and you are arrested, it’s going to be a little easier for the prosecution to prove you are an addict. It does not take long for an addict to start the withdrawal process and symptoms once they’re unable to use the drug to continue the high. If you’re in jail for a few hours, it might become obvious and you might require medical attention.
A doctor will know the difference between an addict in the beginning stages of withdrawal versus someone who is a casual drug user coming down from a high. They will notate this in your medical records, and it makes it much easier for the prosecutor to prove his or her case against you.
Penalties for Driving While Addicted
If you know what a DUI case entails, you are familiar with the penalties for driving while addicted to a drug. Driving while addicted could include mandatory drug rehab, time in jail, monetary fines, loss of your license, or more if you are a repeat offender. California laws require first-time offenders spend 48-hours in jail following their arrest for driving while addicted. This means withdrawal symptoms are a guarantee, and you must call an attorney right away.
You won’t be prosecuted for this particular vehicle violation, but it doesn’t help your DUI case. This is something many people fail to realize, and it’s why so many people operate their vehicle while using or addicted to drugs. If you’re arrested and charged with driving while addicted to a drug, it’s imperative you call an attorney right away.
The arresting officer is required to read you a set of rights called the Miranda rights. These rights include the right to an attorney, which you are free to ask for immediately following your arrest. If your arresting officer fails to give you this version of your rights or attempts to deny you an attorney, your case could be thrown out.
Call an attorney to see what rights you have. You need to find out what your defense means for you and how you can ask for reduced charges if you are guilty. Your attorney is here to work for you to provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the law. This helps you prove you are not guilty of driving while addicted, or at least file for a lesser charge or smaller sentence when you are convicted of this crime. It’s up to you and your attorney to prove you are innocent of this crime.