Arizona law provides harsh penalties for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs – whether illegal drugs or prescription drugs. Unlike drunk driving, which sets specific penalties for various blood-alcohol levels, the statute pertaining to drugs allows you to be charged if you are “impaired to the slightest degree” or if you have the metabolite of any illegal drug in your body, in any quantity. In other words, any amount of drugs found in a blood sample could be used as evidence against you – cocaine, crack, meth, heroin, or marijuana, as well as prescribed painkillers.
Even trace amounts (metabolite) of drugs in your system can lead to a DUI charge. The consequences of a DUI charge related to drugs can have lasting consequences on your life, if you are being charged with a drug DUI crime in Arizona, it’s advised to speak with a Glendale drug DUI lawyer as soon as possible to start working on a defense for your case.
Can You Get a DUI for Prescription Drugs?
If you are using prescription drugs without a valid prescription, you can also be found guilty of a DUI just by the state proving any quantity of the drugs in your system. Even if you have a valid prescription, you can still be charged with a drug DUI if the government suspects that you are driving while impaired. If your ability to operate your car is lessened, even to the slightest degree, by prescription drugs, alcohol, or illegal drugs, you can be convicted of a drunk driving charge.
Bizarrely, Arizona law currently requires that, when it comes to a DUI case, your prescription has to be issued by an MD, DO, podiatrist or dentist. If your prescription was written by a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner, you may not be able to tell the jury that you had a prescription.
It is critical to get a skilled DUI defense attorney on board as soon as possible to fight your case.
Arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?
Free Telephone Consultation: 623-847-7117.
If you have been arrested for a drug DUI in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area, contact our Glendale drug DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of John Phebus. Leading our firm is attorney John Allen Phebus, who has been practicing law in Arizona since 1994. Our entire firm can provide the aggressive defense you need to protect your rights and minimize penalties in a drug DUI case.
Penalties for a Drug DUI in Arizona
Arizona has one of the toughest DUI laws in the country. First-offense drug-related DUIs are charged as a class 1 Misdemeanor, while a third offense is a class 4 Felony. Drug-related DUI’s carry enhanced penalties, particularly in regards to your driver’s license, which can be revoked for one year, with no restricted permit. The DUI penalties in Arizona are severe for misdemeanors and felonies. If police find drugs or paraphernalia on you or in your vehicle as a result of the traffic stop, you may face additional felony charges of drug and or paraphernalia possession.
Challenging a Drug DUI Case
Because drug-related DUIs are largely dependent on observations and field sobriety tests by the arresting officer, as well as chemical test results, there are always grounds for fighting it. However, the punishment is so severe, a jury trial or bench trial can be risky. We have represented many clients in drug-related DUI cases, we know law enforcement procedures, and are familiar with many of the Prosecutors in the various jurisdictions of Maricopa County.
After carefully examining the traffic stop, the probable cause basis for arrest, the conduct of the officer in honoring your rights, and any urinalysis or blood test evidence, we can advise you on the merits of going to trial or seeking a plea agreement.
Contact Our Glendale and Peoria Attorneys After an Arrest For a Felony Drug Crime
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, contact a Glendale drug DUI lawyer for a free telephone consultation and assessment of your case. Call 623-847-7117. We care about our clients and work hard to minimize the impact of an arrest on their lives. We have office locations in Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe and can meet on the weekend or during the evening if necessary. Don’t waste time and contact our law firm to start working on your case!