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Defenses Commonly Used for Drug or Medication DUI Charges

Arizona Drug DUI – Medication DUI Charges

In Arizona, you may be charged with Drug DUI under A.R.S. § 28-1381. Under this law, a driver can be arrest for DUI even if they have not consumed any alcoholic beverage. If convicted, a person will be exposed to the same or similar penalties as those that apply to drunk driving convictions. Even the simple presence of a drug in your system is enough for the Gilbert Police to charge you, if they have  probable cause to believe you were driving “impaired to the slightest degree”. Drug DUI offenses charged as Class 1 Misdemeanors. A conviction carries penalties that include 10 days in jail; suspension of driver’s license for 90 days; probation; drug and alcohol counseling and education program participation; and fines, fees, costs and assessments that exceed $1,200.00.

Drug DUI Defenses Arizona

Defenses strategies used to challenge the charges should be uniquely tailored to the facts of your case. Common defenses include:

  • No “Reasonable Suspicion” for Drug DUI Stop: The United States Supreme Court held that the standard for stopping a person to investigate for DUI requires “reasonable suspicion” that an offense occurred or is in progress (excluding DUI Task Force Stops).
  • No “Probable Cause” for Arrest: To make an arrest, the standard is elevated from “Reasonable Suspicion” to “Probable Cause” that you were driving impaired due to alcohol or drugs. This means more substantive evidence is needed, than just a suspicion. Probable Cause may include a failed Field Sobriety Test, and testing positive on a chemical or lab test.
  • Violations in DUI blood, urine or chemical testing: Includes administration, collection, transport, labeling, supplies, equipment, blood or urine sample storage, preservation, chemicals used with processing, and reporting;
  • The drug found in the driver’s system did not cause the driver to be impaired to the slightest degree; and were legal, and harmless;
  • Independent lab results requested by the defense contradicted crime lab results from the police/prosecution. This may include differences in amounts, or actual drugs found;
  • Defense expert testimony raised “Reasonable Doubt” that the drug or medication found in the driver’s system caused impairment to the slightest degree;
  • The driver was denied a second sample of the DUI chemical or blood test, for the purpose of obtaining exculpatory evidence by defense for retest;
  • Constitutional Rights Violations.

Criminal Defense Firm for Drug DUI Charges in Gilbert AZ

The most effective way to utilize any defenses, is to obtain qualified legal representation. Your attorney will defend your rights, determine what defenses should be used to defend your charges, and get the best possible outcome in your case. In some cases, it may lead to a dismissal of charges or mitigation of sentencing, depending on the circumstances in your case.