Defending a Prescription Drug DUI in Manassas
A criminal charge for driving under the influence of prescription drugs is a serious matter. While it may be completely legal for someone to take prescribed medicine, usage of it behind the wheel can lead to an arrest.
Successfully defending a prescription drug DUI case often requires help from an experienced Manassas attorney. Your drunk driving attorney could investigate the circumstances of your charge and scrutinize the evidence against you.
What is Required for a Drug DUI Conviction?
Before someone can be convicted of a prescription drug DUI in Manassas, the prosecution must prove two things: that the defendant was operating the car and that they were intoxicated at the time. To prove that someone was operating a car, the officer would usually testify that the individual was driving or that they were in the car with the keys in the ignition. Virginia law says that if a person is behind the wheel, and the keys are in the ignition, they are operating the car.
The prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was intoxicated at the time they were operating the vehicle, which could be more difficult to prove.
The Commonwealth often proves this element through testimony from a toxicologist. These experts will often talk about the amount of a substance found in the accused individual’s blood and the possible effects that can have on driving behavior. A toxicologist will, in many cases, be the chief witness for the prosecution who could tie their evidence together and explain that the test showed the defendant was driving under the influence.
How a DUI Lawyer Prepares a Defense
In order to analyze a case and prepare a defense, a prescription drug lawyer should get all of the evidence that is available in ordinary DUI cases, such as witness testimony, video evidence, testimonial evidence of driving behavior, and performance on field sobriety tests. In addition, in a DUI case involving prescription drug use, Manassas attorneys often gather all of the relevant information about the defendant’s medical history and current prescriptions.
One of the most crucial pieces of evidence is the result of any chemical tests. When a person is charged with a prescription drug DUI and police perform a blood test, attorneys typically subpoena all the information about that test. This includes the procedures that were in place, how they were followed, and the certifications for everyone who handled the samples. This is to assess the validity of the tests and make sure that there is no incomplete information.
The Importance of Disclosing Information to an Attorney
Whenever prescription drugs are involved in a DUI case, it is important for an accused individual to provide all relevant information to their attorney, especially regarding any other prescriptions or medical information. This is particularly true if the interactions between prescriptions or other medical diagnoses affect their performance on field sobriety tests or their driving ability. Medications may be present but might not be an indication of intoxication.
In some cases, the driver’s medical condition could play an important role in the case. When presented with this evidence, the jury may see no indication of guilt.
Find an Attorney to Defend Your Prescription Drug DUI Case in Manassas
It is important to have all of the facts when defending your prescription drug DUI charge in Manassas. Your hard-working attorney could use their past experiences with these cases to fight for your best interests. For more information, schedule a consultation today.