The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is the one of the most commonly detected substances in the blood of impaired and fatally injured drivers as well as motor vehicle accident survivors. In some situations, drivers have both drugs and alcohol in their system at the time of an accident.
Other drugs most often associated with vehicle accidents include opiates, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine. The decision to drive under the influence of drugs can have devastating consequences for you, your family, and your reputation. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, speak with a DUI attorney. An experienced DC drug DUI lawyer could begin building the strongest defense possible. En Español.
The District of Columbia is a zero tolerance zone for DUI charges, whether involving drugs and/or alcohol. This means DWI and DUI offenses are dealt with swiftly and can result in harsh punishment if a person does not retain appropriate legal counsel. Penalties for drug-related DUIs can include:
Additionally, if a person is arrested for this offense, they may have their driver’s license revoked for six months to several years. If a person is found guilty of a drug DUI charge, the person’s license will be revoked for several months or years. If a person refuses to be tested for drugs or alcohol at the time of the traffic stop, the person will be automatically subject to a one-year revocation of their license, regardless of the outcome of the criminal case. In each of these situations, a person must appear before a DMV hearing examiner after the completion of the revocation period to petition for a person’s privilege to drive to be reinstated.
Any conviction for a DUI drug offense will appear on a person’s criminal record, which can affect an individual’s personal and professional life in years to come. Additionally, certain professions and job opportunities may become closed because of a conviction. A criminal record becomes part of a person’s credit record. This could mean that banks, landlords, credit card companies, and car dealers may view a person with a conviction as a credit risk and reject their application.
After receiving drug DUI charges, points are added to the individual’s driving record, making it difficult to keep (or reinstate) their driver’s license. These charges could result in a person’s auto insurance rates increasing if a carrier does not choose to drop this person’s coverage altogether. Depending on the drugs that were detected in the accused’s system at the time of arrest, this person could become the target of a much larger criminal drug investigation and face additional charges. Because of the harsh penalties associated with drug DUI charges, it is important for anyone facing this offense to contact a skilled attorney in DC.
In a drug DUI case, the biggest mistakes are similar to what they would be in typical drunk driving case. Common mistakes include, not understanding one’s rights, not realizing that a person has the right to not answer any of the officers’ questions, and not understanding the right to refuse to provide a urine or blood sample when asked. Frequently, people do not realize that certain drugs can remain in their system for longer than one day. Marijuana can remain in the urine for as long as three to four weeks. Cocaine can remain in the urine for several days after use.
While the mere presence of these substances in the urine is not sufficient to prove that the driver was under the influence of them at the time of arrest, the government often attempts to use these toxicology results as evidence of intoxication. Many people are also unaware of the fact that having some drugs in their system can result in mandatory jail time, even with no criminal record or previous arrests. Since DC laws on marijuana possession have recently changed, some people are under the false impression that police can no longer arrest and charge people with driving under the influence of marijuana.
That is also a mistake as the DC marijuana laws specifically state that prosecutors can go forward on criminal charges if they have evidence someone was under the influence of marijuana while driving. If a person has any questions or concerns regarding their drug DUI charges, they should schedule a retain the services of a DC lawyer.
If you are facing charges for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance, you should reach out to a DC drug DUI lawyer immediately. These cases can result in a lot of hardship for those accused, so it is best to have experienced and aggressive legal counsel by your side. Our team could investigate you charges and build a strong defense that helps you avoid or minimize these penalties. To get started on your case, call today.
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