Prescription drugs are medications only available with a written order or prescription from a licensed medical professional. Many individuals in Manhattan and throughout Kansas take prescription drugs to treat various medical conditions, such as chronic pain, anxiety, and ADHD. However, some of these medications have side effects that make them dangerous to take and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of a prescription drug, you should enlist the help of an experienced DUI drug attorney. A Manhattan prescription drug DUI lawyer could thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your case and construct a solid defense on your behalf.
Some of the medications that are most prevalent in the Manhattan prescription drug DUI cases our attorneys handle include:
Drugs like these cause mood-altering states and drowsiness, which can impair a driver’s ability to focus and react quickly, increasing their likelihood of being stopped by a police officer for committing a traffic violation or causing an accident.
For a person to be charged with a prescription drug DUI, there must be proof that they were driving under the influence of the prescription drug and that it was affecting their ability to operate safely operate the vehicle. This means that the prosecution must be able to directly link the impaired driving to the prescription drug use.
Whether the driver was aware that they could become impaired or if they were experiencing unexpected side effects does not change the case. The DUI is a per se violation, meaning that the person can be charged regardless of whether they knowingly or intentionally took the drug. The only thing the prosecution has to prove is that the person took the medication, and it affected their ability to drive safely.
When a person has prescription drugs in their possession without a valid prescription, they can be charged with possession of those drugs. In Kansas, possession of most prescription drugs without a valid prescription can rise to the level of a felony, even if the person only has one or two doses.
The legal consequences for a prescription drug DUI charge are the same as those for alcohol-related DUI charges. For a first offense, the penalties may include:
For a second offense, the penalties are increased. The offender may be required to pay a minimum fine of $1,000 and serve at least five days in jail.
In a prescription drug DUI case, a toxicologist’s role is to analyze the blood sample taken from the offender and testify about what drugs were found in their system and the dosages involved. However, the toxicologist’s testimony can also be used to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.
A skilled prescription DUI lawyer could question in Manhattan the toxicologist to explore the possibility that the presence of the drug in the offender’s system does not necessarily mean that they were impaired at the time of the arrest. The toxicologist may not be able to testify as to how the drug affected the offender at the time of the incident or whether the offender acts difficulty when on or off the drug. The defense attorney’s cross-examination of the toxicologist can be key to creating reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge or jury.
It is important to provide all prescription and medical information to an attorney when you are charged with a prescription drug DUI. A proactive legal professional can research the medication to determine if it can cause psychological effects or impair your driving ability.
Without the help of a Manhattan prescription drug DUI lawyer, you may be unable to build a strong defense and effectively protect your rights. Call today to speak with a member of our dedicated legal team.