In Montgomery County, like the rest of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the charge of driving under the influence involves alcohol and any drugs that impact an individual’s manner while operating a motor vehicle. Any drug listed on a Pennsylvania schedule can lead to impairment in addition to legal or prescribed drugs if they affect a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. These charges can also lead to serious penalties such as fines, license suspensions, and even jail time in certain cases making it imperative an experienced Montgomery County drug DUI lawyer is contacted as soon as possible. A DUI lawyer in Montgomery County, PA can assist in building a defense and ensuring that none of your rights were violated at any step of the legal process. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.
Any controlled substance, whether it is street level drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, or prescription drugs that are abused, can lead to a second, third, or even first offense DUI conviction. In all circumstances, whether it is a first, second, or third DUI, Pennsylvania law treats drug-related DUIs, having a controlled substance in one system at the time of driving, as the highest offense. That means for a first offense an individual faces a minimum mandatory of 72 hours, for a second offense an individual faces a minimum mandatory of 90 days incarceration, and for a third offense an individual faces one to five years in a state correctional institution.
The potential penalties for a conviction are very serious and a person should not risk facing theses charges alone. They should contact a DUI drug attorney in Montgomery County who has years of experience handling numerous similar cases. Experienced defense is an asset that cannot be replicated through other means.
While the sentences for drugs are harsh, diversionary programs are also available for those under the influences of drugs while operating a motor vehicle. A person facing the first offense with the aid of an experienced Montgomery County DUID attorney on their side may have a sentence of no jail time; for a second offense they could face what is called the intermediate punishment program and divert most of their jail sentence to house arrest. In some limited cases, a third drug-related DUI offense within 10 years can even lead to a much less amount of time of incarceration and license suspension, depending upon the diversionary program sought out for an individual.
In Montgomery County, an individual who imbibes a prescription drug that is a non-street level drug, and imbibes that drug greater than the recommended amount that is required of the individual and of the prescription, is per se under the influence of a controlled substance and can be found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. That is, if a person has a valid prescription for a schedule 1, 2, 3, or 4 drugs and, an individual abides by the requirements of the drug and amounts, an individual may not face a DUI conviction.
However, if the amount of that drug in combination with any other drugs or standing alone is more than the recommended driving amount, an individual is per se impaired and is presumed to be incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely on the roads of Pennsylvania. Therefore, Montgomery County will treat an individual, even under the influence of a prescription drug, as a DUI offender if the amount of prescription drug in their system is greater than the allotted amount.
In Pennsylvania, specifically Montgomery County, over-the-counter drugs can lead to a conviction for DUI if the amount imbibed is over the legal limit. For instance, when an individual takes certain drugs, such as Benadryl, there is a recommended dose on the container which specifically says the safe amount that an individual can imbibe. However, if an individual takes more than the allotted amount, and that amount is easily registered within the blood stream once a blood test is taken, an individual can be convicted of driving under the influence.
Additionally, if a person takes an over-the-counter medication and that over-the-counter medication causes an individual to fall asleep behind the wheel, or impairs them in such a way that they are incapable of driving a car or motor vehicle safely on the roads of Pennsylvania, that individual can also be charged with and convicted of driving under the influence. There is a catch-all under Pennsylvania statutes that exist under the A1 statute involving general operation and being under the influence or impaired from driving.
Under this circumstance, an individual with any amount of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, such as Benadryl, that affects the individual specifically in a way that makes them drive in a manner that is inconsistent with safe driving in Pennsylvania, that individual can be convicted of driving under the influence under A1 general impairment, and they can face up to six months’probation. The only positive is if the substance, like Benadryl, was taken properly but still affected driving, the individual will not lose their license for a first offense with the help of a Montgomery County DUID lawyer who knows what they are doing.
If faced with a first, second, or third DUI charge in Montgomery County, it is essential that you get the advice of an experienced Montgomery County drug DUI lawyer as soon as you can. It is at the initial time of arrest that the authorities process and put together a complaint against an individual. An affidavit is then put together, and a person is ultimately asked to appear in court to answer the certain charges.
If an attorney is involved from the outset, an attorney can get a head start on the entire matter. An attorney may even be able to convince a magistrate judge and police officer investigating the crime that the crime really wasn’t as serious as otherwise would be admitted into evidence, therefore minimizing a person’s exposure before charges are formally filed.
A lawyer experienced with dealing with DUI cases, and having the connections, wherewithal, and resources to represent an individual properly, can get to the heart of the matter as quickly as possible. They can make sure that an individual charged with such a crime has limited exposure to the system, has their reputation intact and it remains intact, and suffers the least consequences that an individual may being charged with such a crime.