Drugged Driving Defense in Los Angeles, CA
Although DUIs most commonly involve drunk driving, they can also be charged on the basis of drugged driving. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is a special class of DUI that can involve any type of intoxicating drug, whether legal or illegal. The drug can be an illicit narcotic like cocaine, abused prescription medications, or even over the counter cold medicines taken in exorbitant quantities.
If your have been arrested in the Los Angeles area on a DUID charge, you should waste no time in securing a criminal defense attorney experienced at handling this class of cases. We have assembled a team of attorneys who specialize in providing top-tier drugged driving defense for L.A. residents. The complexity of these cases, the ambiguity of much of the evidences produced, and the frequent injection of mere opinion into the criminal process all make it crucial to hire an expert defense lawyer when faced with a drugged driving allegation.
California Vehicle Code section 23152 criminalizes the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, an intoxicating drug, or both. It also makes it illegal to operate an automobile if you are currently addicted to any kind of drug. If a drug addict is enrolled in a narcotics treatment program, as provided for in Division 10.5, Part 3, Chapter 1 of the Health and Safety Code, then he/she is exempted from the driving ban even though a drug addict.
An experienced L.A. DUID attorney can greatly increase your odds in court. He/she can do all of the following, and more, in your behalf:
- Conduct a full evaluation of the circumstances under which you were arrested
- Provide an analysis of your blood and/or urine sample independent of the police department
- Make a thorough investigation of all evidence brought against you and find additional evidence in your favor
- Look carefully for indications that your driving abilities were not significantly impaired, that your Constitutional rights were violated, or that the drug test results were inaccurate or the test was improperly administered
Law enforcement is obligated to test you for the presence of intoxicating drugs if they suspect, and have probable cause to suspect, that you have been driving under the influence of a drug. I you test positive for any drug whatsoever, even a 100% legal medication, and the officer believes this drug has affected your driving abilities, you will be arrested.
The initial drugged driving charge is normally based on only the officer's observations and a less than scientific field sobriety test. Such methods are much more easily challenged in court than a chemical test. A good defense attorney will know how to challenge all bases of the DUID charge, however, whether relatively strong or weak.
What the Prosecution Must Prove
The prosecutor must prove two things: a) you were under the influence of drugs while operating a motor vehicle, b) these drugs impaired your ability to safely operated the vehicle.
To establish these points, the results of a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) used at the scene of the arrest are often relied upon. These devices are used by police officers to thoroughly test drivers to see if they are under the influence of a drug. The DRE is used to conduct various field sobriety tests such as blood pressure, pulse rate, pupil size, etc. It must be used in a well-lit area. Other testing methods used include checking the arms for needle entry marks and taking blood or urine samples for later testing at the police lab.
We have much experience in challenging and discrediting test results and otherwise preventing the prosecutor from proving his case. We understand that many innocent people are arrested on drugged driving charges who were only tired and/or nervous, which signs the officer mistook as an indication of being on drugs. Such weak and false cases can be defeated by a good defense attorney.
We Are Always Here to Defend You
We have the knowledge and resources necessary to investigate your case fully and overthrow the evaluation of the evidence made by police and prosecutors. Our many years of experience with DUID cases allow us to build a strong defense and secure the best possible outcome for our clients. Contact us today, toll-free at 424-888-4384 for a free legal consultation and immediate attention to your needs.