While prescription drugs are legal if you have a valid prescription, driving while under the influence of prescription drugs is still a crime. Whether you are under the influence of legal or illegal substances, driving while impaired constitutes a crime and you could face penalties as a result. If you have been charged with a prescription drug DUI offense, consult a knowledgeable prescription drug DUI attorney. Your lawyer could work with you to build a solid case and mitigate the West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI penalties you face.
Consequences of a Prescription Drug DUI Conviction
West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI penalties are the same for marijuana DUI charges and for alcohol DUI charges. If a person gets a conviction on their record, they go on probation, they have fines and court costs, their license will be suspended, they have to do a bunch of classes, they have to have their vehicle immobilized, and they will be subject to random drug and alcohol testing. They will have a lot of stuff to do the same as if they had a regular DUI. The question on DUI is whether or not the person was driving under the influence and whether or not the person was impaired. It does not matter whether or not it is prescription drugs, alcohol, or illegal narcotics. If a person is impaired while driving, it is a DUI.
Escalation of Drug Charges
Prescription drug DUI charges are aggravated if the defendant is found to be in possession of those drugs at the time that they were arrested. If they test positive for drugs but they are not prescribed, the officer and the court will only be concerned with the DUI. They are not concerned with possession, sale, distribution, or cultivation. They are only concerned with whether or not the person is driving under the influence of that drug.
If someone is charged with a prescription drug DUI, tests positive for Xanax, but does not have a prescription for Xanax, it means that lawyers cannot use the medical defense that this is a normal dose, that this person takes this to function, and that this is something that they have been taking for a while. If a person does not have a prescription, it does not aggravate it, but it takes away some defenses that the person may have. It is still a DUI. It does not make it an aggravated DUI because the person is taking medication that they are not prescribed as one may have given to the person.
Importance of Sharing Medical Information With the Attorney
If a person has been charged with a prescription DUI offense, they should share their medical history with their lawyer because the attorney wants to know what prescriptions they take and who prescribes them to demonstrate that the person was lawfully prescribed this medication. The attorney needs to know all of the pertinent medical information so that they can get a medical professional to testify or provide information about the medication that was prescribed, the dosage that was prescribed, and if taken correctly and as directed would not impair the person.
It is important to give the attorney every piece of information that one has so the attorney can decide what is important and what is not important. Lawyers can only protect a person from what they know about, so the accused needs to tell their attorney everything. The defendant’s legal team could use that information to build the individual’s defense and potentially mitigate the West Palm Beach prescription drug DUI penalties that they face.