If you are accused of driving with drugs in your system, you need to take the situation seriously. The police could charge you for driving under the influence of controlled substances. Upon conviction, you face jail time and significant fines, even for a first offense.
After a drug DUI charge, get in touch with a local criminal attorney at Grand Canyon Law Group immediately. There are many defenses that a New River drug DUI lawyer could raise to clear you of the charge or resolve it with minimal impact on your way of life.
Arizona Revised Statute §28-1381 makes it a crime to drive or have control of a vehicle while impaired to the slightest degree by any drug, vapor-emitting substance, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. In addition, driving while under the influence of an illegal drug or a metabolite of an illegal drug could lead to a DUI.
A driver could face a drug DUI charge even if the substance were legal. Some prescription drugs that could lead to drug DUI allegations include:
To defeat a drug DUI charge, our New River lawyers can show that a driver was prescribed the drug by a medical professional or argue that there is no compelling evidence of impairment.
A driver need not show any signs of impairment to face a drug DUI charge if the drug in their system is illegal or if there is a metabolite of an illegal drug in their body. Although the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, driving with marijuana or its metabolites in your body could lead to criminal charges. Working with an aggressive New River drug DUI attorney is critical in these cases.
A first-time drug DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to six months in jail. The mandatory minimum prison sentence is ten days. Our local drug DUI attorneys could work to get the judge to suspend nine days of the sentence, but the defendant must serve at least 24 consecutive hours in jail. They must also pay a hefty fine and surcharge, complete a drug screening, and lose their driver’s license for 90 days.
Sentences increase if a defendant has prior convictions. A second DUI offense requires the defendant to serve at least 30 days of a mandatory 90-day jail term. A third DUI within seven years is a felony, and a judge must impose a mandatory eight-month term in prison. The judge could sentence a repeat offender to prison for up to two years.
Like in all criminal cases, the prosecutor’s ability to obtain a guilty plea or conviction at trial depends on the evidence. The evidence in a drug DUI case is often flimsy and could be vulnerable to challenges from a skilled lawyer at our firm.
If there was no evidence of impaired driving, the officer must have had reasonable suspicion to suspect the driver was under the influence of drugs and pull them over. If there was insufficient evidence to support the traffic stop, a judge might dismiss the drug DUI charge. Similarly, the police must have noted signs of drug use to justify a chemical test.
The police evidence is critical in a drug DUI case. If the police claimed to notice indications of impairment, our New River drug DUI lawyers could challenge the evidence by subpoenaing police body cam footage and other available video footage. If the police relied on a sobriety test and toxicology to determine whether a suspect was under the influence, we could dispute the results on the basis that those tests are designed to detect alcohol, not drugs.
A drug DUI is a serious criminal charge with severe consequences. However, it is also a highly defendable charge if you have help from a seasoned attorney.
A New River drug DUI lawyer will provide your best chance at resolving the charge favorably. At Grand Canyon Law Group, we believe you have a future worth protecting. Call us today to discuss your defense.