Driving under the influence is a serious crime that often brings serious consequences when a conviction occurs. It should be noted, however, that it isn’t actually necessary to consume alcohol to be convicted of the crime. Being under the influence of any drug at all can result in a DUI charge, and this includes prescription medications.
If a person is found guilty of DUI due to prescription medications, however, there’s a definite chance that they weren’t given a fair chance at defending themselves. Luckily, there are a few ways to beat these convictions.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
The best way to keep a DUI conviction off of a person’s record is to stop it from ever getting on there. While a person can successfully defend themselves against wrongful convictions related to doctor-prescribed drugs, it’s usually a much better idea to seek out legal counsel. Legal professionals are often experienced at beating all forms of DUI charges, and since they’ll know laws specific to the state in which they practice, they have a much better chance at being successful than a person who goes it alone.
There are several defenses to DUI in general, and when it comes to charges related to prescription drugs, the variety of defenses at a person’s disposal gives them a good chance of beating the charge. If a person can prove that they weren’t impaired, for instance, then a court shouldn’t find them guilty. Some officers will actually make an arrest based solely on the presence of a prescription bottle combined with a driver’s admission that they took the drug. This in itself, however, isn’t enough to reach a conviction.
After a Conviction
Unfortunately, some individuals who should’ve never been charged with a DUI in the first place can end up with a conviction. In these cases, there are a few options of last resort for every defendant. The most important thing to remember in these cases is to never accept a plea of nolo contendere. This, while not an admission of guilt, does preclude an individual from appealing a court’s decision.
The aforementioned tip is important because this will allow a person convicted of DUI related to prescription drugs to seek a new trial or appeal their verdict. An Apopka, FL man, for instance, was recently able to appeal his conviction in a DUI manslaughter case. This all took place just minutes from Orlando, and it proves that, regardless of the severity of a DUI conviction, a person does have options.
Winning an Appeal
Though having an attorney helps in all DUI cases, hiring one is absolutely essential in appeals cases. A person should always, however, properly prepare for an appeal. Evidence showing that there was no warning of potential side effects, such as drowsiness, is often enough to win an appeal. This shows that the person had no intention or recognition that they’d be driving under the influence.
Additionally, an individual who can prove that there was no side effect that could’ve caused impairment or that the drug’s effects should’ve worn off in the time between taking the medication and the arrest may also be able to have their conviction overturned. In other cases, such as when a driver is under the age of 21 at conviction, they may be able to have the conviction expunged. A skilled attorney, though, will know all of the options at a person’s disposal.
There aren’t likely many individuals who don’t know that drinking and driving is a serious crime, but when it comes to prescription drugs, an innocent individual can easily be wrongfully convicted. In these cases, it’s essential to have good legal representation and to not give up the fight. It is also a good idea to have your prescriptions ready and available to an officer should they pull you over, suspecting that you have been driving while under the influence. Speaking with your doctor and asking for a note or written copy of all of your prescriptions and what each is used for will help you avoid this costly headache.
This issue is important for all people, who travel to a lot and may frequently vacation with their children in Florida.
Being proactive is your best defense. Individuals who actually fail Breathalyzer tests still have defenses to driving under the influence charges, so there’s not much reason for a person charged with DUI related to prescription drugs to accept a conviction.