The state of California has made it illegal for people to operate motor vehicles while they are under the influence of:
Individuals who go driving while under the influence of drugs can be charged under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. You can get more information about the penalties for this charge and possible defenses from the Simmrin Law Group.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Definition
Drivers in California can face criminal charges for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by:
- Illegal Drugs
- Legally Prescribed Drugs
In fact, drivers can be convicted for driving after they take medication they were prescribed to take for legitimate medical conditions.
It can be very difficult for police officers to determine if a driver is under the influence of drugs. Drug recognition experts (DREs) are supposed to help police officers determine if a driver is experiencing drug intoxication, which can lead to an arrest.
Drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs can then be subjected to a blood test. Note that a driver cannot request a breath or saliva test instead, as only blood tests can accurately track drug intoxication.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Penalties
Drivers can face misdemeanor or felony charges for driving under the influence of drugs in California. Generally, drivers will only face felony charges if:
- They Have 3 or More Prior DUI Convictions
- They Have 1 Prior Felony DUI Conviction
- They Injured Someone While Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
The penalties for a misdemeanor and felony conviction vary. However, in both cases a driver can expect to face fines. A felony conviction can lead to 4 years of time in jail. Drivers may also face a lengthy period of probation if they are convicted under VC 23152(f). In many cases, the penalties for a violation of VC 23152(f) resemble the penalties for:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI With Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): Driving With A Blood Alcohol Content Of 0.08 Percent Or Higher
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Defenses
There are some legal defenses that can be used to address charges for driving under the influence of drugs. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can go over the specifics of your case to determine what defense might work for you.
One common defense for VC 21352(f) involves proving that a driver was not actually under the influence of drugs. This may be true because some drugs remain in an individual’s system long after the time that any intoxication would wear off.
A criminal defense lawyer may need to work with a toxicologist to prove that a driver was no longer impaired when operating a vehicle, despite the presence of drugs in the driver’s blood work. Get the help you need to handle court charges related to VC 21352(f) today.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Examples
Check out these examples to increase your understanding of VC 23152(f) charges:
Police officers pull over a man after he runs a red light and swerves across the road. After calling out a DRE, it is determined that the man is probably under the influence of drugs. He is arrested and his blood is tested, revealing that he is under the influence of marijuana. He could be charged with driving under the influence of drugs.
A woman is out driving her car and runs into a stop sign. The police believe she is under the influence of drugs and she admits that she took some prescription medication that makes it hard for her to concentrate. Her blood is tested and reveals the presence of the drug. She could face charges under VC 23152(f).
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Legal Help
Drivers who are facing charges under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs can end up facing fines and incarceration. The Simmrin Law Group may be able to help you address these charges. You can find out more about your legal options by taking advantage of one of our FREE case evaluations.
Reach out to a team of legal professionals by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.