In the state of California, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a motor vehicle after drinking alcohol or using any drug that causes impairment. Even the use of sleeping medications, like Ambien, can lead to DUI charges.
Some drivers wonder if they can get out of a DUI if they have a prescription for the Ambien they took. Find out how California handles DUI charges involving prescription medication right here. Get help handling DUI charges head-on by calling the Simmrin Law Group at (310) 896-2723.
Impact of an Ambien Prescription on DUI Cases
You should be aware that you can be arrested for an Ambien DUI anytime you operate a vehicle after using sleeping pills that:
- Impair your mental or physical abilities so that
- You cannot drive as a reasonable and sober person
Note that California does not make an exception to this regulation for drivers who have a prescription for their sleeping medication. In fact, most prescriptions for sleeping medicine will inform drivers that they should not operate vehicles or heavy equipment while using the medicine, as it can lead to impairment.
Disregarding advice not to use a sleeping medication before driving can result in criminal charges in California, even if you have a prescription.
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Charges Used to Prosecute an Ambien DUI in California
If you are accused of a DUI involving Ambien, you may be prosecuted in a California court under:
- Vehicle Code Section 21352(f): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- Vehicle Code Section 21352(g): Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
These charges may be treated as misdemeanors or felonies in the state of California. Generally, DUIs are handled as misdemeanors, unless you:
- Have three previous misdemeanor DUI convictions
- Have one previous felony DUI conviction
- Injured or killed someone in a DUI accident
You should be aware that Ambien is not the only prescription sleep aid that can lead to DUI charges in California. Other common medications, including Lunesta and Sonata, can result in DUI charges. Any sedative-hypnotic medication taken before driving can result in a DUI conviction.
Get help handling criminal accusations for driving under the influence of Ambien by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles today. Call (310) 896-2723 to find out more about your legal options in this situation.
Other Charges Associated with an Ambien DUI
Ambien is a prescription medication in the state of California. This means that you are only legally allowed to use and possess Ambien if you have a prescription. If you are found with Ambien after a DUI arrest and you do not have a prescription, you could face additional charges for:
- Drug possession
- Possession for sale
Generally, you will face drug possession charges if you only have small amounts of a controlled substance. If you are found with larger amounts of a medication, or medication that has been packaged for an easy sale, you could be charged with possession for sale.
A conviction for either drug possession or possession for sale can lead to fines, jail time, and other penalties. A drug crimes lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle these accusations.
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Results of an Ambien DUI Conviction in California
Ambien DUI charges in California are treated in much the same way as alcohol-related DUIs. A conviction for a drug-related DUI can result in:
- Time in jail or prison
- Thousands of dollars in fines
- Restrictions on your driver’s license
You may be required to attend DUI school for a lengthy period of time if you are convicted of an Ambien DUI. Fortunately, you can focus on building a defense for these charges by working with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles quickly after you are arrested.
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can begin working on your defense right now. Allow us to help you deal with questioning from prosecutors. We can assess any plea bargains you are offered while working to get your charges reduced. Take charge of your future by contacting us today.
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Get Legal Help with Ambien DUI Charges in California
You cannot get out of a DUI if you have a prescription for Ambien in California. Drivers are not legally allowed to operate a vehicle while impaired, even if they have a prescription. You can get assistance dealing with an Ambien DUI charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Complete our online contact form or call (310) 896-2723 to review your legal options.
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