DUI & Prescription Drugs
Few topics in DUI law more complicated that driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs such as Xanax, Percocet, and Hydrocodone may be an essential part of your medical treatment plan. However, these medications have side-effects such as drowsiness, poor focus, blurred vision, and other consequences that can create dangerous driving situations.
Chicago DUI lawyer Michael O’Meara knows that people are often unfairly accused of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. He will listen to your side of the story, ensuring every detail is analyzed. Once all the information has been gathered, he will create a DUI prescription drug defense that will give you a fighting chance in court.
To find out how you can avoid the criminal consequences of a DUI, call 312-909-0706 now.
Being Charged with Prescription Drug DUI
You may get arrested for a DUI involving drugs if the police have probable cause to believe you are operating your vehicle while under the influence of a chemical substance. In court, the prosecutor needs to prove this fact beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s not necessary to prove that you were operating your vehicle in an erratic or dangerous manner. To make things worse, it’s relatively easy to prove the presence of a drug in your system – blood or urine samples, a confession, or the recovery of prescription drugs in the vehicle can all be used as conclusive evidence.
Consequences of a Prescription Drug DUI
If the police suspect that you are driving under the influence of prescription drugs, the consequences will be harsh. If you fail or refuse a chemical test, your license will be suspended for six months or one year, respectively. After you have been arrested, you will also have to attend a criminal trial, unless you accept a plea deal or win your case at the pretrial stage.
The criminal penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include, but are not limited to:
- Driver’s license suspension for one year (over 21)
- Driver’s license suspension for two years (under 21)
- A jail term of up to six months
- A minimum fine of $1,000
- Between five and 30 days of community service
If you end up losing your court battle, you will have to face a number of collateral consequences once you are released from custody. With the creation of a criminal record, many employers will dismiss you as a criminal who cannot be trusted. Your attempts to continue your education might also be stifled. Many colleges and universities screen applicants for criminal histories before admitting them, and the majority of scholarships are off-limits to those with conviction histories. If you’re an immigrant, you may face deportation proceedings over your criminal record.
How Michael O’Meara Can Protect Your Rights
Fortunately, there are a number of effective defense strategies that an attorney can employ on your behalf. One of the best legal defenses in DUI cases is proving that your rights were violated at the time of your arrest. Usually, this means the police did not have a valid reason to pull you over and invade your privacy It might also be the case that you were taking prescription medications as part of your daily regimen and your driving abilities were not negatively affected.
With the help of Chicago DUI lawyer Michael O’Meara, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. To find out what defenses may be available to you, call 312-909-0706 for a free consultation.