DUI Drug Lawyer
Driving under the influence is an incredibly serious offense. With a DUI charge, individuals can see hefty fines, loss of their license, jail time, and difficulty finding employment in the future. A drug DUI charge can be particularly severe. Along with charges associated with an alcohol related DUI, a drug DUI includes further investigation into the controlled dangerous substance used and whether or not the individual had a prescription to use it. Charges can be lesser or greater depending on these certain factors. A drug DUI does not necessarily mean that the substance used is illegal. It could very well involve an individual under the influence of a drug they’ve been prescribed, that has impaired their driving to a degree where it is an extreme danger to both themselves and the people around them.
It is incredibly important in these circumstances to hire an experienced DUI drug lawyer. If you’ve been charged with a drug DUI, it is crucial to have an attorney by your side who knows your particular case, has your best interests in mind, and is able to help reduce any undeserved hardships or penalties associated with the crime in question.
DUI for Drug-Related Impairment
Driving under the influence of marijuana or any other controlled dangerous substance is a crime. For a first-offense, an individual may face incarceration of up to 1 year; a fine of up to $1,000; a license suspension of up to 45 days; and the required completion of a drug/alcohol education program. An experienced DUI drug lawyer can often help in reducing such penalties.
Roles of Legal or Prescribed Drugs
If an individual is entitled to the use of a controlled dangerous substance, it is an affirmative defense. However, this does not apply to marijuana. Maryland’s Compassionate Use Act will subject patients to criminal penalties, but a medical necessity will be considered in order to mitigate the penalties received. Additionally, because of the broad language of the law, i.e. it is illegal for an individual to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any substance that could potentially impact their ability to safely drive, the substance does not have to be illegal. A DUI drug attorney can assist in determining the classification of the substance in question. An individual can still be charged with a drug DUI for prescription drugs given to them by a doctor.
Voluntary vs. Involuntary Defense
Involuntary intoxication is a complete defense, because it means that the individual was not voluntarily consuming drugs. Voluntary intoxication is also a defense, but only when the individual is able to prove that they were using the medication as prescribed. The individual must also prove that they were unaware that the drug would make them incapable to drive safely. Additionally, the individual may be able to prove that they were unaware of the possible side effects of combining certain drugs. These defenses are incredibly difficult to form a case around without the knowledge of a dedicated DUI drug lawyer.
Consenting to a Drug Test
Any person, who drives or attempts to drive a vehicle in Maryland, has consented to a chemical test if an officer believes that they are driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance. Unless the case involves an accident that resulted in death or serious bodily injury, they may not be compelled to take a chemical test. A DUI drug attorney will know the specific legal ramifications if an individual refuses to submit to a chemical test. Such a refusal will result in the individual’s license being suspended for up to 45 days.