Drug DUI Based on Meth
Methamphetamine is a drug that can produce a number of different effects, including excitation. People who try to drive under the influence of meth typically experience impairments that reduce their ability to accurately evaluate and control for road risks. The impairment makes it more likely that the driver will get involved in an accident. If you are charged with a drug DUI based on meth, you face the possibility of serious penalties being imposed. At the Law Offices of James Novak, our Phoenix drug DUI attorney may be able to provide a thorough, aggressive defense.Drug DUI Based on Meth
If methamphetamine is used, the body breaks it down and turns it into amphetamine. While you may feel good initially, your perception may be distorted and disordered. Even low doses of meth can significantly increase the risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors. Among other things, meth use can impair the ability to accurately assess how much time has passed. Meth users may speed, swerve, maintain an unsafe distance, and fail to react appropriately to emergencies or stop lights.
You can be convicted of a drug DUI based on meth in Arizona if the prosecutor is able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of meth if you were impaired while driving. A.R.S. section 28-1381 provides that you cannot operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs, alcohol, and vapor-releasing substances, if you are impaired even to the slightest degree. A.R.S. section 28-1381(A)(3) criminalizes driving while you have any drug defined under section 13-3401 or its metabolite in your body. Numerous drugs are defined under section 13-3401, including meth. Under this law, it does not matter whether you were impaired while you were on the meth and driving. Instead, the issue is whether metabolites of meth were found in your system or not. Metabolites are substances left behind after your liver processes and breaks down a drug such as meth.
You can face a misdemeanor charge for a first offense of drug DUI. This is a presumptive sentence. You can face up to six months of jail time, a requirement that you attend a drug treatment program, and fines. You may be placed on probation for up to five years. Probation can be involved, and a number of terms and conditions must be followed. However, if you have an experienced attorney working to defend you, it may be possible to avoid jail time.
Drug DUIs can result in a longer license suspension time than an alcohol-related DUI does. If you have prior similar DUI convictions, you may be charged with a class 6 felony and face enhanced punishments, such as longer prison time.
You should not assume that a conviction for a drug DUI is assured, even if a chemical test was performed. There may be strong defenses that we can raise on your behalf. Sometimes our defense strategy focuses on constitutional or procedural violations. For example, if you were stopped for no real reason or on a "hunch," it may be possible to file a motion to suppress evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment. A police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing to stop you. Or, for another example, there may be problems with how field sobriety tests were administered by the police. In other cases, the prosecutor may have trouble establishing all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt based on the evidence against you, or there may be a way to negotiate a plea deal that comes with a lighter sentence.Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Phoenix or Beyond
If you are charged with drug DUI based on meth, you may be facing serious penalties as well as a criminal record. It is important to retain a tough, experienced lawyer to present the best possible defense in your circumstances. James Novak represents defendants throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.