Frederick DUI Drug Lawyer
A person can be charged with driving under the influence offenses for drug-related impairments. If they are under the influence of drugs or are impaired by a controlled dangerous substances while behind the wheel of a vehicle, they can be charged. When someone is facing these serious charges, they need to attain a seasoned Frederick DUI drug lawyer immediately.
An experienced drunk driving attorney can help a person through this process. There can be serious and long-term impacts for a driving under the influence of drugs charges. The biggest mistake a person should avoid is assuming they can handle a DUI-related charge on their own. DUIs, even though they are misdemeanors and are common offenses, have complex, constitutional law issues. Only a lawyer with experience handling these cases can properly advise someone on the most appropriate defense and the best way to prepare that kind of case. You should consult a Frederick DUI drug lawyer right away if you are facing drug-related DUI charges.
Drug DUI and alcohol DUI fall under the same statute but under different sub-sections. They still carry the possibility of a period of incarceration as well as points on a person’s driving record and related fines.
Legal or Prescribed Drugs
People often make the mistake of assuming that because they are properly prescribed a medication they should not be prevented from driving while taking the medication. People should adhere to the warning labels on medications and make sure they are aware of possible impairment when they get behind the wheel of a car. Otherwise, they could be in violation of a criminal statute without realizing that they are under the influence or impaired by a controlled dangerous substance; even when it is legal or properly prescribed.
The charge is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is actually legal when it is consumed properly and not consumed above a certain limit so as to potentially cause impairment of somebody’s driving. A person who consumes a legalized substance and gets behind the wheel of a car can be charged with an alcohol-related DUI. The same applies to legal medications or legal drugs.
Generally, involuntary intoxication is not a defense. Involuntary intoxication or voluntary intoxication still prompts a person to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. There is no intent requirement the prosecutor must prove to go forward on these kinds of charges.
There is no intent requirement that the prosecutor must prove to show someone is guilty of voluntary intoxication. They only need to prove that the person was impaired or under the influence of the controlled dangerous substance. It is the person’s responsibility, when consuming medications or drugs, to make sure they understand how the substance might impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle. There is a fine line between legality and illegality regarding the consumption of the drugs or medications.
Testing for the Presence of Drugs
Usually, authorities test for the presence of drugs by calling on a drug recognition expert (DRE) to conduct formalized testing of a person to make sure that the controlled substances the person is under the influence of or impaired by at the time are detectable. The DRE uses their expertise to identify the level of impairment. Additionally, the authorities might test by way of urinalysis or blood screening to see what substance a person had in their system at the time they were driving.
Right to Refuse Drug Testing
A person has a right to refuse these tests; unless they are in some way connected to medical treatment or they are unconscious at the time that fluids are drawn from their body for testing purposes. A person has the ability to refuse. A refusal can be a mark against an individual in court when a finder of fact determines whether the government proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is one factor of the many fact finders must consider. Refusal is not an automatic conviction for the criminal charges being brought against the person.
Benefits of a Lawyer
An experienced Frederick DUI drug lawyer understands the parties involved as well as the sophisticated arguments needed to get the best possible outcome for the client. For example, the police officer who is qualified as a drug recognition expert must be authorized as such by the state. There are certain protocols and guidelines for that qualification. If the certification is not done properly, no matter what experience the officer has, their testimony may not be admissible. The prosecutor must provide the appropriate notice or additional documents to utilize that officer’s testimony in court. Only a local lawyer with vast experience handling these kinds of cases knows what kind of arguments to make with respect to those kinds of charges.