Heroin Drug DUI
Heroin, also known as smack and hell dust, is an opioid used recreationally for its euphoric effects. Often, users may be only partially conscious and may be cognitively impaired. It is dangerous to drive during or after consuming heroin. If you are charged with heroin drug DUI, you may face serious consequences, and it is critical to retain an experienced Phoenix heroin DUI lawyer. James Novak is a former Arizona prosecutor who now puts his insights to work building strong defenses for people accused of criminal offenses.Heroin Drug DUI Charges
You can be charged for a heroin DUI in two ways. A.R.S. section 28-1381 allows a prosecutor to obtain a conviction if they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you actually, physically controlled a motor vehicle (2) while on a drug, toxic substance, vaporous substance, or a mix of alcohol and drugs, and (3) you were even slightly impaired. One of the drugs that can result in a drug DUI is heroin.
A prosecutor may successfully obtain a heroin drug DUI conviction under A.R.S. section 28-1382(A)(3), which provides that it is unlawful to operate a vehicle with any of certain drugs or their metabolites in your body. Under this law, it is irrelevant whether heroin impaired your driving, and it matters only that heroin or its metabolites were found in your body. Metabolites are what remains once the liver breaks down a drug.
A prosecutor may pursue misdemeanor or felony charges when handling a heroin DUI. Usually, if you are a first offender and there was no accident, a class 1 misdemeanor will be charged. The presumptive sentence for the misdemeanor would be 6 months in jail and a $250 fine. Usually, you must spend at least 10 days in jail, unless you complete drug education, in which case all but one day of jail would be suspended. You would also need to complete community service and install (at your own cost) an ignition interlock device on your car for a year. However, you might face felony charges if you have prior offenses. A heroin DUI attorney can help Phoenix residents fight these more serious charges as well.
Heroin DUIs are sometimes charged alongside other heroin crimes, such as heroin possession or heroin possession with intent to sell, and heroin crime convictions usually involve prison time. When making the arrest for the heroin DUI, the police may notice heroin in your car, in which case an additional charge may be filed. You can be charged with a class 4 felony for heroin possession, which carries a presumptive term of 2½ years in prison. You can be charged with a class 2 felony for possession with intent to sell, which carries a presumptive sentence of 5 years in prison. The prosecution can get a conviction of possession with intent to sell if it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the threshold amount of heroin, which is 1 gram.
Although it is stressful to be arrested and charged with a heroin DUI, you should not lose hope. It is important to retain an experienced Phoenix heroin DUI attorney who understands how to fight both the DUI charge and any related drug charge that may also be filed. Our firm can look at all of the possible angles of the initial police stop and the arrest. There may be constitutional or procedural violations that give rise to a strong motion to suppress. For example, if the police did not have a reasonable suspicion that you had committed a crime when they pulled you over, it may be possible to get evidence from the stop suppressed. Similarly, if the police did not have probable cause to arrest you, any evidence obtained because of the arrest may be suppressed. Sometimes field sobriety tests are administered incorrectly or not interpreted appropriately with regard to heroin, and it may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about impairment.Consult a Heroin DUI Lawyer in Phoenix or Surrounding Cities
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Arizona is the sixth-highest state in the country for heroin overdose fatalities. The state takes heroin-related crimes seriously. You should not take a heroin DUI charge lightly. If you were arrested for heroin DUI, you must consult a tough, experienced lawyer to mount a thorough defense on your behalf. James E. Novak represents people accused of heroin DUI throughout the Phoenix area, including in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and other areas of Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.