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.Information to Share with an Attorney
A Dedham prescription drug DUI lawyer needs the police report to determine the strength of the case from the officer’s point view. The question is whether there is enough proof for the officer to say the person was under the influence. It might be one of those cases where there is enough proof to show the person was under the influence. Sometimes when planning a defense, the lawyer obtains the medical records of the client to attack the opinion of impairment. The lawyer shows that the drug did not impair the person and allowed the person to function normally and did not have any effect on their ability to drive.