Building a Charleston prescription drug DUI defense on your own is never a good idea. There are simply too many collateral consequences that should be considered and evaluated prior to deciding on the best course of action in a given case. Hiring an experienced prescription drug DUI attorney puts you in the best possible position to have your case dismissed quickly without the headache and uncertainty that surrounds self-representation.

What is a Prescription Drug DUI Charge?

A prescription drug is any controlled substance or medication that can only be legally obtained through a doctor’s prescription.  Common examples include Ambien, Xanax, Adderall, Oxycodone, Valium, Percocet, and other prescription pain medications.

To charge someone with a prescription drug DUI, law enforcement must have evidence amounting to probable cause that a person’s ability to drive their motor vehicle is materially and appreciably impaired by the use of prescription drugs. The government must prove that the person used prescribed medication in some way other than prescribed, which caused them to be unable to operate a motor vehicle safely due to material and appreciable impairment from misuse of the medication.

How an Attorney Builds an Effective Defense

To analyze a case and prepare a proper defense in a prescription drug DUI case, an experienced Charleston DUI lawyer could conduct proper and thorough investigation as close in time to the arrest as possible; research of the qualifications and credentials of the arresting officer; and review of any and all videos associated with the case to see if there have been any violation of a client’s constitutional rights under applicable case law precedent.

It is important that a defendant provide all prescription and medical information to an attorney when prescription drugs are involved. An attorney must prove that the defendant had a valid and legitimate prescription from a licensed physician who prescribed the medication in question.  Even when a defendant has not provided the government with a sample of their urine or blood at the time of their arrest, there is still a small window of opportunity to obtain a private, attorney-client privileged sample taken by a licensed toxicologist.

Is Involuntary Intoxication a Defense to DUI?

Involuntary intoxication is a valid defense to a DUI charge.  Defenses in DUI cases are prepared through early case assessment and investigation, which ultimately provides an opportunity prior to trial to prove their client’s innocence through medical records from their client’s prescribing physician.

If someone takes their prescribed medication as it is prescribed, and does not do so with reckless disregard of the possible side-effects, it is difficult to conceive of a situation where that person is guilty of criminal conduct such as DUI, regardless of the subjective determinations by an arresting officer.

Contact an Experienced Prescription Drug DUI Lawyer

Determining a driver’s level of intoxication after taking prescription medication is challenging for defense attorneys and prosecutors alike. As a result, building a Charleston prescription drug DUI defense often involves analyzing toxicology report, discussing prescriptions with doctors, and researching the effects of specific medications. If you are facing prescription drug DUI charges, contact an experienced attorney for help building an effective defense.