Understanding Arizona Drug DUI Laws
When most people hear “driving under the influence” or DUI, they tend to think of drinking and driving. They might even think of illegal drugs such as marijuana. In truth, there are a variety of different substances, both legal and illegal, that can hinder your ability to drive and could result in a DUI charge. Attorney James Novak has extensive knowledge and understanding of Arizona drug DUI laws and can help clients in the Phoenix, AZ area by providing a strong DUI defense.
Types of Drugs that Can Lead to DUI
Arizona law states that any person that is driving or otherwise has physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or combination of alcohol and drugs and are impaired even to a mild degree can be found guilty of a drug DUI. The law also states that any trace of a controlled substance found in the body can also lead to a drug DUI conviction. This means that even if the effects of a drug have worn off, if it is still in your system hours or even days later, you could be found guilty of a drug DUI.
This phenomenon is most common with marijuana, as the substance can remain in the body long after its effects have subsided. Other drugs that can lead to a DUI conviction include:
- Nitrous oxide
- Opiates such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and heroin
Some of these substances, such as oxycodone and codeine, are used in prescription pain medications. Despite having a prescription for these medications, if you take them and then proceed to operate a vehicle, you could be found guilty of a drug DUI. This is because, just as with illegal drugs, these medications can impair your ability to drive and perform other functions.
Consequences of an Arizona Drug DUI
A drug DUI conviction in Arizona can lead to serious consequences. Convictions are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies. There is typically some leniency for first-time offenders, assuming there was no accident involved. Even so, a first-time offender could still end up spending up to six months in jail with fines exceeding $250. Those fines do not include court fees or the fees associated with drug education classes, which are typically required.
What to Do if You Are Suspected of a Drug DUI
If you are charged with a drug DUI, you should contact an experienced attorney such as James Novak immediately. If you are a first-time offender, he can help you receive a reduced sentence that may involve no jail time at all and fewer fees. If there is hard evidence that you were driving under the influence, usually due to finding traces of the substance in your body, it may not be possible to have the charges against you completely dropped. Mr. Novak will build a strong DUI defense on your behalf, though, and he will fight to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Schedule a Case Evaluation Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug DUI, it is critical that you seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. Contact our law offices today to schedule a case evaluation with Mr. James Novak.