Gilbert Drug DUI Lawyer

Driving under the influence of drugs is a dangerous activity, but is rarely done with malicious intent. Most impaired drivers simply underestimate the effects of the substances they have taken. These mistakes pose a significant risk to life and property, however, so there are strict laws and harsh penalties associated with impaired driving.

A trusted DUI attorney from Grand Canyon Law Group can help you fight these charges to avoid conviction. Having an experienced Gilbert drug DUI lawyer in your corner can provide invaluable support to improve the outcome of your case. Please call us NOW to learn more.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Per Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-1381(A), a person may be convicted of driving under the influence if they were operating or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while at all impaired by the effects of any drug or other intoxicating substance. But what exactly does that mean?

Intoxicating Substances

Under A.R.S. § 28-1381(A)(3), a DUI charge could apply if a driver has any criminally controlled substance in their system at the time they were operating or controlling their vehicle. These substances include contraband amphetamines, hallucinogens, barbiturates, and cannabis.

However, some legal substances can cause impairment as well. A person may still be convicted of a DUI if they legally consumed the intoxicating chemical. Driving in Gilbert while under the influence of a doctor-prescribed sleep medication, for example, could be grounds for a DUI if the driver is shown to be even slightly impaired by the drug’s effects. If this situation applies to your case, call our team today to discuss legal options.

Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle

A driver may be convicted of a drug DUI even if they were not in motion at the time they were confronted by law enforcement. Generally, a person is considered in “actual physical control” of a vehicle if, based on the circumstances of their case, they had the potential to operate it. If they were impaired by a drug at the time, they could be convicted of a DUI.

The Arizona Supreme Court provided several factors to consider to make an “actual physical control” determination in the 2009 case State v. Zaragoza. These factors include:

  • Whether or not the vehicle was running
  • Whether or not the keys were in the ignition
  • Whether the defendant was awake or asleep in the vehicle
  • Where the vehicle was parked

The elements for DUI can be subjective standards for the state to prove. A drug DUI attorney in Gilbert can challenge the prosecution’s case by demonstrating their client was not impaired or did not have actual physical control of the vehicle.

Penalties for a Drug DUI Conviction

The severity of criminal penalties for drug DUI convictions are based on the number of prior DUI convictions a defendant has and the presence of any aggravating circumstances.

First Offense DUI

A first conviction for a DUI without any aggravating factors can lead to a minimum of 10 days in jail, a fine of $1,250 or more, per A.R.S. § 28-1381(I).

Second Offense DUI

A person convicted of a DUI within 84 months of a prior DUI conviction, provided that both convictions did not include aggravating factors, may face a minimum of 90 days in jail and a fine of $3,000 or more.

Aggravated DUI

Aggravating factors for a DUI include committing the offense while on a suspended or revoked driver’s license, driving under the influence for the third time in an 84-month period, driving the wrong way on a highway, or having a passenger under 15 years old at the time of the DUI.A person convicted of aggravated DUI faces up to two years in jail and fines more than $4,000.

Many DUI convictions mandate participation in drug education programs, license suspension, community service, and the installation of ignition interlock devices on the defendant’s vehicles. Grand Canyon Law Group can explain how you could get a lower sentence for your drug DUI charge.

Get Help Immediately From a Drug DUI Attorney in Gilbert

Knowing the elements of a DUI charge and how to disprove them is crucial for avoiding conviction, but it can be difficult to do on your own. Call us for help! Working with a knowledgeable Gilbert drug DUI lawyer can help improve your chances of a favorable case outcome, so reach out to the Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as possible.

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