Personal Injury Lawyers Pittsburgh - SMA Law Group
Stewart, Murray and Associates Law Group (SMA Law Group) are experienced, aggressive and compassionate Personal Injury Attorneys and Criminal Lawyers serving Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region. We represent clients injured in accidents as well as clients facing criminal charges and DUI charges in Pennsylvania.
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Driving Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance In Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh DUI Lawyers


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.

A DUI of a controlled substance offense in PA can be won in court.

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.

This is your life. You have rights.

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.

Driving Under The Influence Of A Controlled Substance In Pennsylvania

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Pa Laws For Dui – Controlled Substance

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.

Penalties For Dui Of A Controlled Substance In Pennsylvania

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.

First Offense – DUI Controlled Substance

  • 72 hours to six months in prison
  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • Up to one year license suspension
  • Alcohol Highway Safety School
  • Completion of a drug treatment program

Second Offense – DUI Controlled Substance

  • 90 days to five years in prison
  • Fines ranging from $1,500 to $10,000
  • Up to 18 months license suspension
  • Alcohol Highway Safety SchooL
  • Completion of a drug treatment program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your car for one year

Third Offense – DUI Controlled Substance

  • One to five years in prison
  • Fines ranging from $2,500 to $10,000
  • Up to 18 months license suspension
  • Completion of a drug treatment program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your care for one year

Defenses For Beating A Dui

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.

A Pittsburgh DUI Attorney That Can Make A Difference

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.

Tell Us Your Stories and Ask Us Your Questions

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.

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