Drug DUI Penalties: Knowing the Laws

A man arrested for DUI
Here at The Law Office of James Novak, we believe in giving clients a sense of power over their destiny. This means helping the people of Phoenix know their legal rights following any kind of drunk driving or DUI charge. We offer expert DUI defense and legal advice, with a focus on ensuring people's civil liberties are not violated and that they receive a fair shake from the law.

We'd like to consider a few factors with regard to drug penalties for DUI arrests as there are many factors to consider in such cases.

Drugs and DUI Charges

Any time a person is found to be driving under the influence, law enforcement in the state of Arizona will take these incidents very seriously, punishing people with stiff fines and other penalties that restrict the ability to drive.

Since drugs cannot be detected with a breathalyzer during a traffic stop, law enforcement will typically note other signs of potential intoxication as a means of determining if a person is under the influence. This means erratic driving patterns, strange behaviors on the road, pupil dilation, slurred speech, poor coordination or balance, and so forth. A subsequent drug test can then be performed at the police station following the arrest.

Similar DUI Charges Apply to Drug Arrests

If you are arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of drugs, you will face similar penalties as those who are charged with drunk driving.

These penalties for a first-time DUI offense include:

  • Up to 10 days in jail
  • A fine of $1,250
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/drug education program
  • Installation of ignition interlock device
  • Driver's license suspension
  • Community service

For a second-offense DUI, the penalties are as follows:

  • At least 90s days of jail
  • A fine of $3,000
  • Enrollment in an alcohol/drug education program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Driver's license revocation
  • Community service

Keep in mind that penalties can vary for charges of Extreme DUI and Aggravated DUI simply given the nature of these charges. These more serious kinds of intoxicated driving charges can lead to prison time and more serious items placed on your criminal record.

Additional Penalties for Drug Possession

There may be additional differences in the penalties and charges faced if you are found with drugs or any controlled dangerous substances (CDS) on your person. There are six classes of felony charges and three classes of misdemeanor charges. These will vary based on the type of controlled substance that is found on your person or in your vehicle as well as the nature of the arrest.

There are, generally speaking, three classes of controlled substances:

  • Dangerous drugs
  • Narcotics
  • Marijuana

Possession of dangerous drugs is considered a misdemeanor, and includes possession of LSD, psychedelics, GHB, ecstacy, and so forth. You may be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor in such cases, resulting in fines up to $2,500 and 6 months in jail. Narcotics possession is a felony and includes controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, morphine, and so forth, carrying a prison sentence of 18 months. Marijuana laws in Arizona are rather complicated, and possession may result in a felony charge and up to a year in prison.

How a DUI Lawyer Can Help You

If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of an illegal drug, having an attorney on your side is imperative. Your lawyer will fight diligently on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair hearing. All efforts will be made to reduce charges or to have them dropped. We can also provide expert counsel after your case has been heard on how to proceed and put your life back in order.

Contact The Law Office of James Novak

To learn more about your legal options following a drunk driving or drug possession charge, it's important that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney today. The team at The Law Office of James Novak is here to help you make smart choices in your time of legal need.

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