Dedham OUI Drug Lawyer
Alcohol-based OUIs are a serious offense but many people do not realize that drug-based OUIs are an equally serious offense. If you have been charged with a drug-based OUI, you should speak with a Dedham OUI drug lawyer. A capable OUI attorney could devote the time and resources necessary to build a solid case for you.Being Charged With a Drug OUI
If the police make an arrest and they smell marijuana or they see prescription drugs and they do not smell alcohol, then the next thing they are going to do is to look to see if the person is impaired by drugs. If they smell marijuana in the car, they are going to assume that the person is under the influence of marijuana and they are going to make an arrest.
Now, these cases are easier for a Dedham OUI drug lawyer to win because there is no test to determine how much marijuana someone has in their system. Field sobriety tests for OUI marijuana cases are often less reliable. It is difficult for the government to prove these charges because there has not been any field test designated for marijuana or for other drugs. Also, the government would need an expert to say when the drug was in the person's system and how it would affect them and, typically, they do not get expert testimony.Can a Person Be Charged With a Drug OUI for Prescription Drugs?
Even if a person is taking a prescription drug, they still cannot drive unless it was involuntary and they did not anticipate the effect that the drug would have on them. If it is a legally-prescribed drug, it is going to be a more difficult charge for them to prove but it is still theoretically possible that they all say that the person should not have been on the road because they cannot be under the influence.
Now, if it is a prescribed drug, the prosecution still have to prove that the drug the person was under the influence of falls within the categories that are prohibited, that it is a depressant, narcotic, or stimulant, and if it is not one of the illegal drugs, it is going to make it more difficult for the government to meet that burden.Involuntary Intoxication As a Defense
If the person did not know the impact that a medication would have on them, then they could present evidence that the intoxication was not voluntary, and if that were accepted by a judge or jury, then that would be a defense to the charge.Mistakes to Avoid in OUI Drug Cases
The biggest mistake an individual can make in an OUI drug case is to assume that they cannot win the case. These cases are very technical in regards to the law and the government often cannot meet their burden of proof. It could be that the person felt they should not have been driving, but that is different than whether the prosecution can meet that burden of proof to prove that the person was impaired.
OUI charges for marijuana, prescription drugs, Xanax, Percocet, or other types of cases are hard to prove. Additionally, there is a possibility of getting a diversion on OUI drugs in which the person would do a program and the case would be dismissed. There is also a diversionary program for OUI drugs and alcohol for anyone in the military under what is called the Valor Act. A Dedham OUI drug lawyer could work diligently to help an individualTesting for the Presence of Drugs in OUI Drug Cases
Authorities test for the presence of drugs based on their observations. They could make the person go to a hospital for a blood test, but, typically, they are going to find the drug that they think the person is under the influence of in the car on a search and then they will ask the person. So, their opinion is going to be based on admissions from the person and circumstantial evidence in terms of how the person acted and how they appeared.Value of Working With a Dedham OUI Drug Attorney
Drug cases are very technical, so it is important to work with a Dedham OUI drug lawyer that really understands the law in these cases. The high standard on the government's burden of proof is essential to prove someone is guilty of a crime. It cannot be that they think they have might have been impaired. How a drug affects a person's body is very complicated and involves fields of pharmacology, stuff that is studied for years.
Officers go through maybe a week of training and claim to have the same expertise as a pharmacologist and attempt to give an opinion about impairment that they are simply not qualified to make. Sometimes, a DRE or so-called drug recognition expert officers are nothing but police officers who are performing a test that seems scientific but is really just a way to get the person to make more admissions and to confirm that they are under the influence. A qualified lawyer could do whatever it takes to ensure that you receive a fair trial. Work with a skilled OUI drug attorney that can advocate for you.Dedham Prescription OUI Lawyer
A prescription drug is any drug for which a person has a legal prescription. Common examples of prescription drugs that are commonly seen, include Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin are the most commonly misused prescription drugs.
As an experienced drug lawyer can explain, a common defense is not only that they have a prescription but that they were also not under the influence of the drug. It can be critical to have a Dedham prescription drug DUI lawyer who can help them refute the charges.Common Reasons for Being Pulled Over
In Massachusetts, the charge is operating under the influence (OUI). A law enforcement officer pulls someone over for driving erratically, speeding, or in many cases because of a 911 call. The officer approaches the car assumes the person is drinking alcohol. If they determine that the person was not drinking, they may believe the person is basically impaired and may ask about medications the person might be taking. If the person admits to taking medication, this might get into an OUI drug arrest. In that case, the officer may request a drug recognition expert exam to evaluate the person to come to an opinion about the type of drug the person may be under the influence of.Understanding the Role of Intent or Knowledge of Impairment
One defense to the charge is when a person took the prescription as prescribed and did not know it would impair them. This is not an easy defense to prove but when the person has a legal prescription and took it as prescribed, there is the argument that the person was not impaired or the intoxication was not voluntary.Treatment of Cases Involving Medication
Generally with these cases, there can be allegations that the person mixed the drug with alcohol. Mixing a prescription drug with alcohol could impair the person. When there is a situation where the person took the drug as prescribed and did not know they would be impaired, that can be an involuntary intoxication argument. As a Dedham prescription drug DUI lawyer knows, the penalties for a traffic OUI drug are similar to alcohol where the person must complete a program, pay fines and fees, and receives a 45-day license loss.Role of a Drug Recognition Expert in OUI Cases Involving Medication
A drug recognition expert does an evaluation to determine whether a person is impaired. They go through a 12-step process to come to an opinion about the type of drug the person is under the influence of. In almost all cases, the DRE says the person is under the influence of the drug they said they took.
Part of that exam is an interrogation of the person. The DRE talks to the arresting officer to see what they found. The exam is not scientific; it is just a way for them to make the arrest look scientific. In fact, the exam is nothing more than making it pure scientific what the person said they are under the influence of.Potential for Prescription OUI Charges to be Aggravated
When a person does not have a prescription for the drug they used, they could be charged for illegal possession of a narcotic. As far as the driving under the influence charge, the fact that they have a prescription is often not the defense. Regardless of whether they have a prescription, the argument is that they are not impaired. The drug was not taken in a quantity that would impair their ability to drive.
The officer's observations are not sufficient to be reliable evidence to form the opinion that the person was impaired. Typically, the officer does the field sobriety exercises for a prescription drug. Those exercises are not tested to be determined to be reliable for any type of prescription drug.