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Can I Get a DUI for Driving While Under the Influence of a Prescription Drug in CA?

When most people hear the term “DUI,” they imagine someone operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. While in many cases, this assumption is correct, people can also receive DUIs for driving while under the influence of drugs, such as narcotics, hallucinogens, or other habit-forming drugs, even if those drugs were prescribed by a doctor. Please continue reading and speak with our Tehama County drug DUI lawyer to learn more about drug DUIs in California and how our firm can help if you’ve been charged with one. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is implied consent and how can it affect whether I’m charged with a drug DUI?

In California, police are required to follow the law of implied consent, which essentially means that if a police officer suspects an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol, the suspected individual is required, by law, to consent to a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer test. If the driver does not comply, he or she will most likely face serious legal penalties. An officer may also require an individual to submit to chemical testing for drugs if he or she has a clear indication that the individual is under the influence of drugs. A police officer may get a clear indication through the driver’s statements, apparent symptoms of intoxication, or physical evidence of drug use, such as a plastic bag containing drugs on the passenger seat.

What happens if I am convicted of a drug DUI in California?

When someone is convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs in California, they may face a wide range of penalties. To start, you can expect to lose your driver’s license for an extended period of time. You may also face a significant fine ($1,800 for a first offense). You will also most likely have to enroll in and complete California DUI school. To top it all off, there is also a strong chance that you will wind up behind bars.

You should also note that any subsequent offense will likely come with harsher penalties. In fact, depending on how many subsequent drug DUI offenses are on your record, you may even face felony charges, which can warrant four years behind bars, among other penalties.

The bottom line is that the state of California takes these charges very seriously, and if you’re accused of driving while under the influence of drugs, the most important thing you can do is retain the services of a seasoned DUI lawyer who can help fight your charges at every turn. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to learn more about what we can do for you.