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California Drug DUI Lawyer – Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) VC

Do You Need A Drug DUI Attorney?

Did you know that under California Vehicle Code VC 23152f driving under the influence of drugs, you can be charged with a DUI even if you have not been drinking? If you have taken a substance, whether illegal drugs or a legally prescribed medication, that impairs your ability to drive safely, you can face a Drug DUI charge. The consequences of a driving under the influence drug (DUID) charge include the same potential penalties as alcohol-based DUI charges, including fines, jail time, and loss of your driver’s license.

If you face DUI drugs charges in California, your priority should be retaining the best possible Drug DUI lawyer to represent you throughout the process. Our compassionate and dedicated team at My Rights Law will work closely with you to defend your case and seek the best possible outcome. For a free consultation about the details of your case, contact our DUI drugs lawyer at My Rights Law immediately by calling us at (888) 702-8882 or through our secure form.

What Is A Drug DUI ?

California Vehicle Code 23152(f) makes it illegal to drive under the influence of a drug. This includes both controlled substances and medications legally prescribed to you. While a DUI alcohol charge would be based on your blood alcohol content, a DUI drug presents a much more challenging charge to prove, especially when it involves prescription drugs. Whether a driver is legally impaired or intoxicated from their use of legally prescribed medication can be a very subjective analysis for the prosecutors. A savvy and experienced defense attorney such as those at My Rights Law can help craft an argument that challenges the charges and provides a defense to the evidence presented by the prosecution.

How Does California Define “Drug”?

A drug is any substance or combination of substances—other than alcohol—that affects your brain or body in a way that would impair or prevent you from driving as an ordinary, reasonable driver would drive. These substances include:

  • Illegal drugs, such as
    • Cocaine
    • Heroine
    • Meth
    • Ecstasy
    • LSD
  • Prescription and legal drugs, such as
    • Xanax or benzodiazepines
    • Morphine
    • Oxycodone or prescription opiates
    • Ambien
    • Muscle relaxers
    • Marijuana
  • Over-the-counter medications, such as
    • Antihistamines
    • Sleep aids
    • Cough medicines that cause drowsiness

What Are California Drug DUI Laws?

The same California statute covers Drug DUI and alcohol-based DUI. The language addressing DUI Drugs offenses is vague:

  • It is unlawful for a person under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.
  • It is unlawful for a person under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.

If you are pulled over or involved in an accident, and the responding officer suspects you might be impaired, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test and do field sobriety tests.[1] If your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit, the officer may request an evaluation by a certified Drug Recognition Expert, who may then perform a cheek swab that will be analyzed for the presence of drugs.

Unlike your blood alcohol level, California laws do not define a “legal limit” for drugs in your system. A knowledgeable attorney will advocate based on the facts of your case and your personal circumstances. Because of this, if you are charged with DUI arrest for drugs, retaining the team at My Rights Law firm provides you with the best chance to challenge the prosecution’s assertion that you were “under the influence.”

Proving Drug DUI Under VC 23152(f)

The prosecutor will try to paint a picture based on observations of the witnesses, officers, and investigators at the scene. This can include:

  • Evidence of impaired driving – like speeding, swerving, drifting
  • Statements or admissions made by the driver when approached by investigators during the stop or incident
  • Blood test results
  • Poor performance on field sobriety tests

DUI Drug Consequences Of VC 23152(f)

As with DUI alcohol, DUI prescription drugs are usually charged as a misdemeanor in California, but the consequences can have longer-term impacts, including:

  • Jail time
    • Between three days and six months for a first offense
    • Between four days and one year for a second offense
    • Between six months and one year for a third offense
  • Financial burden
    • Fines
    • Attorney’s Fees
    • DUI classes
    • Auto Insurance increases
    • Performing community service[2]
  • Suspended Driver’s License

If this is a DUI drugs first offense, but certain circumstances are involved in your charges, you could be more likely to receive jail time for even a first offense. These include:

  • Causing property damage or physical injury
  • Facing additional criminal charges stemming from the incident
  • Driving with a minor in the vehicle at the time of the impairment
  • Exhibiting an extreme level of incapacity and intoxication[3]

A prescription drug-related DUI will be charged as a felony under one of the following circumstances:

  • This is your fourth (or greater) offense
  • You were previously convicted of felony DUI
  • This DUI caused serious bodily harm or death to another person

A felony DUI conviction carries even more severe consequences:

  • Between 16 months and four years in prison
  • A fine up to $5000
  • Loss of your driving rights for at least one year
  • Restricted travel

What Are The Defense to Drug Crimes Relating To DUIs?

A skilled attorney will attempt to raise a variety of defenses when you face DUI drug charges to avoid a dui drugs conviction:

  • That the traffic stop was invalid or made without cause[4]
  • That field sobriety tests were administered improperly
  • That any field sobriety tests administered do not correlate to driving ability
  • That any blood extraction for testing was done without cause
  • That any example of “bad driving” had alternative explanations

The team at My Rights Law firm has extensive experience in challenging the validity of traffic stops made by police that lead to DUI charges. Law enforcement must have a legally defensible reason – cause – to pull you over. If they do not, any “evidence” collected from that stop – field sobriety, blood tests, statements you make – cannot be used to support the charges. My Rights Law will also skillfully advocate against the accuracy and validity of any blood or chemical tests the prosecution seeks to rely on in their case. We may be able to demonstrate that these tests were improperly administered or that the results are unreliable.

If you face DUI drug offenses, speaking with an attorney who is fully versed in the nuances of challenging field sobriety tests or other aspects of the traffic stop or interaction with the officers will give you the best chance to limit the impact.

DUI drugs is one of the most commonly committed California drug crimes. DUI drug is a drug offense that may involve driving while under the influence of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, or any other controlled substance. Every state in the United States has its own version of a DUI statute that prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while being under the influence or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by a substance that is known to impair an individual’s motor skills.

How Can A Drug Crime Lawyer Help With My VC 23152(f) DUI Drugs Charge?

DUIDs may involve different substances, including:

  • Alcohol;
  • Illicit drugs; and
  • Over the counter medications.

A DUI drug may be linked to other, heavier charges, such as drug trafficking, drug sales, or drug possession charges.

Punishments for such offenses could include a fine, prison sentence or potentially your participation in drug diversion programs. In that case, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer to help you fight the dui drugs charges. Our criminal defense firm should be your first stop when searching for an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Call My Rights Law Drug DUI Lawyers Today

The specter of a DUI drugs charge can affect your entire life. Trying to prove a negative – that you were not legally impaired, can be daunting and frustrating. The consequences of a dui drugs conviction can be enormous. The experienced DUI defense attorney at My Rights Law stands ready to assist you with your case. For a free consultation, contact us immediately through our secure form or by calling (888) 702-8882. Let our highly qualified DUI drugs lawyers help guide you through this difficult time.

[1] See VC 23612(a)(2)(A); Padilla v. Meese (1986) 184 Cal.App.3d 1022.
[2] PC 1203.
[3] See People v. Weathington (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 69; People v. Calderon (1994) 9 Cal.4th 69; People v. Cline (1998) 60 Cal.App.4th 1327; People v. Hall (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 128; and People v. Garcia (1989) 214 Cal.App.3d Supp. 1.
[4] Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1. ;People v. Roder (1983) 33 Cal.3d 491; People v. Milham (1984) 159 Cal.App.3d 487.

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