If you were charged in Pennsylvania for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, sometimes known as “Drugged Driving”, you face serious penalties including jail time, fines and license suspension.
One mistake can completely disrupt your life and cause a lot of damage. A first-time DUI of a controlled substance can mean up to six months in prison, plus fines and a misdemeanor on your permanent record which can negatively impact the rest of your life.
If you were charged with DUI, you most likely have a lot of questions and are feeling worried about the future.
It is important to remember that being arrested for a DUI does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. There are ways to fight back and to protect your rights and freedom.
A tough and experienced Pittsburgh DUI Attorney can help explain your rights, your options and the best way to move forward with your life. Beating DUI charges in PA is possible.
Pittsburgh DUI Attorney Christopher Thomas offers FREE CASE EVALUATIONS to anyone charged with a DUI. Call him today.
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A DUI Controlled Substance is treated very similarly to a DUI for alcohol. But unlike alcohol, there is not a specific measure of a drug, like Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), that identifies specific levels of impairment.
Any amount of a drug or controlled substance can be enough to get you arrested and charged with DUI. This includes prescription drugs that were legally prescribed.
There are three classifications of drugs in Pennsylvania. The type of drug, and whether or not you have a prescription, will be important to your case. The three classes of controlled substances for purposes of DUI are:
Schedule I: includes drugs with a “high potential for abuse” and have no medically necessary purpose. Drugs such as heroin, marijuana, and hallucinogens, such as LSD, are examples of this class of drugs. No amount is acceptable while driving a vehicle.
Schedule II: includes drugs with a “high potential for abuse” but have some accepted medical uses. Drugs such as cocaine, PCP and methamphetamine are included in this class. No amount is acceptable while driving a vehicle unless the drug is prescribed by a doctor. However, the individual being charged must have no metabolites in their system within two hours of operating a vehicle.
Schedule III: includes drugs that are not “high potential for abuse” and are recognized as having some medical benefit. This class of drugs includes anabolic steroids. No amount is acceptable unless the drug was prescribed by a doctor, and again, the individual being charged must have no metabolites in their system within two hours of operating a vehicle.
In Pennsylvania getting behind the wheel of a car gives implies consent to be tested for alcohol and controlled substances via breath, blood or urine sample. When PennDOT issues your driver’s license, this is what is agreed upon.
Should you refuse a test after being stopped with probable cause, you will be automatically punished to the highest degree of the law and will lose your license.
If you are found to have a controlled substance in your system while operating a vehicle, you can be charged with a misdemeanor DUI under the highest level of a three-tier system – the harshest penalties under the law.
In addition, penalties increase within each tier for repeat offenders.
There are many ways to defend a DUI charge in PA and the experienced criminal lawyers at SMA Law Group can help determine your best options, based on your individual circumstances.
Perhaps the police stop was illegal or the checkpoint was improper. Maybe the officer had no probable cause to pull you over or search your vehicle. The testing could have been done improperly and therefore be inadmissible in court. If any of these scenarios can be proven, your case could be dismissed.
A skilled DUI attorney has the knowledge and experience in the court system that is necessary to protect your rights. DUI Attorney Christopher Thomas will listen to the facts of your specific case and carefully examine police reports and other records to determine the best defense and the possibility of getting your charges reduced – or dropped entirely.
An experienced Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer can help you determine your options and fight your charges so you can move forward with your life. Attorney Christopher Thomas is a compassionate attorney but aggressive in his approach to defending his clients’ rights and liberties.
He is here to guide you through a difficult time and do what it takes to have your case dismissed or your sentencing reduced to a minimum.
Call today for a free legal evaluation of your case. Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps in defending your rights and fighting for your license and your freedom.
Call 412-744-8341 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.
SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.