DUI offenses are not only able to be filed when someone is driving under the influence of alcohol. In Pennsylvania, an individual can be arrested and prosecuted for a drug DUI offense as well. The penalties can be harsh as can the injury to your reputation, employment and liberty.
When arrested for a drug-related DUI, it is important to have a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer ready to stand by and fight for you.
Drug DUI Offenses in Chester County, Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, a drug-related DUI offense occurs under numerous circumstances, some of which are explored here.
First, when someone is found to have a level of drug or combination thereof in his/her blood that is above the amount prohibited by the Pennsylvania bulletin. (While there is no legal right to have illegal drugs or unprescribed controlled substances in your blood there are still required levels that must be reported in order for a “per se” drug-related DUI to be present)
Second, when he is found to have a combination of drugs/controlled substances as well as alcohol in his blood. Third, when he is found to be impaired by drugs or controlled substances to a degree that impaired his ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Each of these situations, if proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the Commonwealth, falls into the most severe level of DUI-related penalties.
The licenses suspensions are the most serious for every offense, and the mandatory minimum prison sentences are the highest as well. For a first offense, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is 72 hours, for a second offense, 90 days, and for a third, one year of state incarceration. (see the DUI section for the sentencing grid)
While a blood test will show the level of drugs in one’s blood – in order to show impairment, oftentimes an expert opinion is required in order for the Commonwealth to prove this element – especially when the accused refuses chemical testing.
Recently, there has been an upswing of law enforcement officers being training in “drug recognition” in which the officer will analyze an individual suspected of being under the influence of drugs or controlled substances and then render an opinion as to what drug it is and whether or not they are impaired to a level that impaired his ability to safely operate a vehicle.
A criminal defense attorney who knows the law and is familiar with the processes of law enforcement is able to analyze the evidence that is against an accused and correctly and completely defend against it. Mike DiCindio is that lawyer.
When someone is charged with a drug-related DUI offense, an aggressive, knowledgable, and determined criminal defense attorney is needed to combat the charges and fight for you.
Contact Mike DiCindio directly today in order to schedule your free consultation and discuss your case today.
The relevant portion of Title 75 Section 3802. Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
(d) Controlled substances.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle under any of the following circumstances:
(1) There is in the individual’s blood any amount of a:
(i) Schedule I controlled substance, as defined in the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act;
(ii) Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance, as defined in The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, which has not been medically prescribed for the individual; or
(iii) metabolite of a substance under subparagraph (i) or (ii).
(2) The individual is under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs to a degree that impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(3) The individual is under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug or combination of drugs to a degree that impairs the individual’s ability to safely drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(4) The individual is under the influence of a solvent or noxious substance in violation of 18 Pa.C.S. § 7303 (relating to the sale or illegal use of certain solvents and noxious substances).