Los Angeles DUID Defense Lawyers

Have You Been Charged with Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs?

A DUID charge, just like a DUI charge, can destroy your life. Your reputation could be torn apart, your ability to drive could be taken away from you, and you may have to serve significant jail time if anyone is injured. With an expert legal team, however, your charges could be reduced or even dropped completely.

Your fate will rest entirely in the hands of your attorney, so shouldn’t you make sure that attorney is an expert in their field? At Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP, our Los Angeles DUID defense attorneys have years of experience helping clients facing DUID charges. There are few firms in Southern California that can serve you as well as us. If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUID, call our firm at (213) 688-0460. When you call us, you call the best.

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What Qualifies as a DUID?

When learning to drive, we are all taught that drinking and driving is highly illegal. However, driving while under the influence of drugs is a subject that is rarely touched by our instructors. You may not realize this but driving with any substance in your body that could impact your motor control or your cognitive ability is illegal in California. Some drugs that are commonly associated with DUID charges are:

  • Ambien
  • Methamphetamines
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Heroin

It is important to know that even if you received a prescription for a drug, that does not make it legal to use before or while you drive a vehicle. Prescription drugs that should not be used while driving will usually have a warning on the bottle that says to not take before “operating heavy machinery.” This applies to motor vehicles. If you are worried about your prescription impacting your ability to drive, you should speak with your general practitioner and ask about how long you need to wait after taking the pill in order to drive, or if there are any alternative medications that you can take that will allow you to operate your vehicle.

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Driving While Under the Influence of Marijuana

Marijuana became legal for recreational use in California in 2016. While the state government made it illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis, there were no blood tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) limits set. This means there is no level of marijuana use that is technically legal to drive under, unlike with alcohol, which allows you to drive so long as your blood alcohol content is below .08%.

There are reasons to not have a clear limit. THC is the active chemical in marijuana that is responsible for getting you high. Unlike alcohol, which can pass through your system in a matter of hours, THC can be found in your bloodstream for up to a week after your last use of cannabis. That means that if your blood was tested for THC, it would show up despite the fact that you are no longer under the influence. Having a blood THC limit cannot serve much of a purpose if the chemical shows up despite you not being high.

That being said, if a police officer suspects that you are driving while under the influence of marijuana, then they may still make you submit to tests. There are many different kinds of tests when it comes to determining if you are high or not. Unlike with alcohol, there is currently no chemical roadside test. Any chemical tests the officer wants to run will require taking you to the police station. Some of these chemical tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Hair tests
  • Saliva tests
  • Urine tests

It is important to note that, currently, the chemical tests for marijuana use are not totally reliable. False positives are not uncommon, and the fact that your chemical test came back positive does not mean the prosecution has a clear-cut case.

Before taking you to get a chemical test done, the officer may first run some simple roadside tests to see if you react how a sober person would. These tests are called Field Sobriety Tests (FST) and are meant to give the officer a sense of how sober you are. They can vary but may include asking you to walk a straight line before turning around, asking you to stand on one leg for a small duration of time, and to follow an object, such as a pen or a finger, with your eyes as the officer moves it side to side. The results to these tests are based entirely on what the officer thinks about your response, and can easily yield a false positive, depending on the biases of the officer.

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What Are Penalties for DUID?

The penalties you may face following a DUID will likely mirror what you may get for a DUI charge. However, you may be facing additional charges if the drug you were found using is a controlled substance and you did not have a prescription for it. Penalties may be:

Misdemeanor charges: Probation between three and five years, 96 to six months in county jail, a fine between $390 and $1,000, and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

Felony charges: Felony charges can vary depending on the additional charges you may be facing. Generally speaking, however, you will be facing a lengthy probationary period, an extended sentence in a state prison, and a one year or longer suspension of your license.

If you are convicted of a felony DUID, then your punishment will last long after you have served your prison sentence. Felons in America lose certain rights, which can include:

  • The ability to travel internationally
  • Owning a firearm
  • Voting
  • Visiting your child

Felony charges can be incredibly harsh and can leave you facing penalties for your conviction decades after the alleged crime even took place. When facing driving while under the influence of drugs charges, it is in your best interest to work with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who can construct an excellent defense on your behalf.

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Defending Against a DUID Charge

A proper defense will rely heavily on the facts of your case. Putting together a defensive argument is not possible without a thorough investigation. Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP have years of experience crafting the perfect defense for our clients. Some common defenses that could be used in a DUID case include:

  • You were not actually driving your vehicle
  • The traffic stop was unlawful
  • The tests gave false positives
  • The drug taken did not actually impair your driving
  • In the case of marijuana, THC was in your system, but you were no longer high

There are many other defenses that may be used in your case, but those would require an in-depth look into the circumstances around your charges. A successful defense will rely on the skill of your attorney. While you have a right to a public defender, a seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to give you the time and attention you need to win your case.

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The Best Legal Defense Team in Southern California

Facing a DUID charge can be stressful, even frightening. The team at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP understands. No one wants to be caught up in the criminal justice system. The best way to face these charges, however, is head-on. Which is exactly what our attorneys will do for you. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DUID, then you need the aid of a skilled Los Angeles DUI defense attorney. Call our firm at (213) 688-0460 and let us help you.

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Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942

Recent Case Results

  • Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
    Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
  • Decision Set Aside
    Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
  • Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
    Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.
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