Although it can be legal to take certain drugs with a prescription, consuming intoxicating medications before driving a motor vehicle is against the law. When facing criminal charges, especially ones as complicated as driving under the influence, it is important to contact a Manassas prescription drug DUI lawyer who is experienced with local law and procedure. Your dedicated DUI attorney could inform you of your rights, advocate for you in court, and guide you through the proper steps of the legal process.
The prescription drugs that are most commonly linked to DUIs in Manassas are stimulants and painkillers. Individuals are commonly charged with driving under the influence of painkillers based on the results of a blood test. However, many different types of medications could lead to a DUI charge, especially if the driver does not have a prescription for them.
Commonwealth law categorizes drugs in five tiers. Although there is no legal definition in Virginia of a prescription drug, there can be prescriptions for medications in any category except for schedule I. Schedule I substances are the most dangerous and have no accepted medical uses. Any other scheduled drug can be prescribed. Possession of a schedule II drug without a prescription is a felony charge, whereas possession of a schedule III or schedule IV drug without a prescription is a misdemeanor.
Before someone is charged with a DUI, the officer must have probable cause that the driver is intoxicated. Because blood test results can take several weeks, officers often base their probable cause on the individual’s appearance, their driving behavior, and sometimes their performance in a field sobriety test.
When an officer conducts a DUI investigation, they look for clues such as the individuals speech pattern, performance, appearance, behaviors, balance, and their coordination as they perform certain tasks, such as retrieving their wallet and stepping out of the vehicle. The officer will also observe the individual’s performance on a field sobriety test and look for particular signs regarding how the individual retains and follows instructions. Although most tests involve balance or walking, how someone listens to the instructions and implements them can be as important as their physical performance.
The penalties for a prescription drug DUI in Manassas are the same as the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol. Consequences include a mandatory fine, a loss of license for one year, and a requirement to complete the Virginia Alcohol and Drug Safety Accident Program.
They also will be required to have an ignition interlock installed on their car for a period of six months if they want to have a restricted operator’s license. The maximum penalty for conviction of a DUI in Virginia is one year in prison, but it is unlikely that someone who is facing their first DUI will receive a full year in jail.
The DUI procedure can be daunting for people who are unfamiliar with it, but help is available from an experienced legal professional. A Manassas prescription drug DUI lawyer could help you achieve a fair hearing. Place a call now to discuss your case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law