Although many people associate DUI charges only with alcohol, hundreds of individuals across Pennsylvania are arrested for driving under the influence of controlled substances. These charges are equally severe and can affect the accused person's life for years to come. With drugs becoming more widely used across the country, the number of arrests for drugged driving continues to increase.
If you face this serious accusation, you need an attorney on your side who is familiar with the nuances of this charge. A lawyer can fight on your behalf to find holes in the prosecution's case against you or to seek out alternative sentencing on your behalf.
Philadelphia Controlled Substances DUI Attorney
At Lento Law Firm, we have tackled every kind of DUI scenario, including dozens involving controlled substances. We know that your future is on the line, and we're not afraid to aggressively defend you. Let us use our experience to give you confidence in your defensive strategy.
Call us today at (215) 535-5353 to schedule your free consultation appointment. We can analyze the details of your case and give you an honest assessment of the options available to you. We will proactively take on the case against you and maintain open communication through every step of the criminal justice proceedings that you face.
Information About Drugged Driving in PA
A DUI involving alcohol is established through a clear cut BAC of .08. However, the determination of whether a person is under the influence of a controlled substance is a bit more complicated. Controlled substances are categorized by Schedules based on their risk of addiction and potential dangers. Pennsylvania law outlines what amounts of each schedule of drug in a driver's system constitutes a charge of DUI.
Some of the more common drugs associated with DUI offenses include:
- Prescription drugs such a vicodin or oxycodone
These guidelines are stated in Penn. Stat. § 3802 and can become very complex based on the substance in question. An experienced DUI attorney in Philadelphia can help you understand these laws and answer other questions.
Even without an illegal BAC content, a person may still find themselves charged with DUI if they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both that "impairs his or her ability to drive safely". This is open to interpretation, and an attorney on your side may be able to fight against a DUI charge with no physical evidence to support the charge.
The penalties for a DUI with a controlled substance vary depending on the prior offenses of the individual. For a first time offender, the potential consequences include a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours that can be extended up to 6 months. The offender may also be fined between $1000 and $5000, in addition to a license suspension of at least 18 months.
For a second offense, the consequences include a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail that may be extended to 6 months, as well as a fine from $1,500 to $10,000. A third or subsequent offense increases these penalties to a minimum of 1 year in prison and $2,500 in fines.
A conviction may also carry a requirement for community service or participation in a drug rehabilitation program. Outside of the courtroom, a person may see their insurance rates skyrocket as a result of this charge, or they may be dropped from their coverage altogether.
Finding the Best DUI with Controlled Substance Attorney in Philadelphia
With these steep mandatory minimum sentences in place, it is imperative that you have an attorney who is both experienced and unafraid to take on a challenge. Joseph Lento is ready to tirelessly seek out a positive resolution for your situation. Call them today at (215) 535-5353 to schedule your free consultation and take the first step in defending your future.