In the state of California, you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. This means that driving high is considered driving under the influence in California.
Focus on the charges used to prosecute driving under the influence of drugs with this article. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can also help you review the penalties for a conviction and some of your legal options if you are facing criminal charges.
Charges for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
California uses two major charges to prosecute drivers who operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs. Depending upon your situation, you could be charged under:
- Vehicle Code Section 23152(f): Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- Vehicle Code Section 23152(g): Driving Under the Combined Influence of Drugs and Alcohol
VC 23152(f) clearly states that it is against the law in California to drive a vehicle while under the influence of any drug. This includes marijuana, illicit chemical substances, certain over-the-counter medications, and some prescription medications.
Consuming any chemical substance that impairs your ability to operate a vehicle in an ordinary, cautious manner can lead to criminal charges in California.
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Charges for Driving While Addicted
Note that you can also face criminal charges if you operate a motor vehicle while addicted to a chemical substance. You can be prosecuted under Vehicle Code Section 23152(c) in this situation. This charge applies if you are:
- Physically dependent on a chemical substance
- Emotionally dependent on a chemical substance
- Tolerant to doses of a chemical substance
You can face jail time, probation, and the suspension of your driver’s license if you are caught driving while addicted in the state of California.
Results of a Conviction for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony in the state of California. Many DUID charges are treated as misdemeanors. In this situation, a conviction could result in:
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Jail time of up to six months
- License suspension of up to one year
Note that these penalties match those used to prosecute charges for alcohol-related DUIs in California. Additionally, as with alcohol-related DUI charges, the penalties will grow more severe each time you are arrested and convicted of a misdemeanor DUID charge.
Felony Charges for DUID in California
As we mentioned, not all DUID charges in California are treated as a misdemeanor by the court system. You may also face felony charges if you:
- Injured someone while driving under the influence
- Committed at least three previous DUI offenses
- Committed one previous felony DUI offense
A felony DUID charge can result in:
- Fines of up to $5,000
- Jail time of up to four years
As you can see, a DUID conviction can have serious impacts on your life. For this reason, it’s very important that you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as you are arrested.
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Building a Defense to California DUID Charges
A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help construct a defense for you if you are arrested for a DUID. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group understand what it takes to handle DUID charges in the state of California. We can help you:
- During interviews with prosecutors or police officers
- Ensure your rights are protected in the police investigation
- Assess any plea bargains you are offered
- With your bail hearing if applicable
Professional DUI lawyers may be able to get your charges dismissed in some cases. We can also work to reduce your charges to an acceptable level. It is generally not recommended that you accept the first plea bargain offered by the prosecution, as it may not be in your best interest.
Allow us to investigate your case and gather evidence to support your case. We can also work to dispute the evidence that would be used by the prosecution. Our team is even prepared to defend you in the courtroom if your DUID charges go before a judge and jury.
Speak to a Lawyer if You’re Charged with DUID
Driving high is considered driving under the influence in California. A conviction can result in fines, jail time, and the loss of your driving privileges. Focus on defending yourself from these charges by contacting the Simmrin Law Group for help. Our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles can offer you a FREE consultation now.
You can get in contact with us by calling (310) 997-4688 or filling out our online contact form.