OVI and Prescription Drugs Lawyer in Steubenville
In Steubenville, OH, if you find yourself in a predicament involving prescription drugs and OVI, it’s crucial to have a reliable lawyer by your side. The Center for Disease Control reports that approximately 44% of Americans are taking prescription drugs, and the side effects of these medications can sometimes mimic alcohol intoxication.
Just imagine the scenario: you get pulled over by a police officer under the assumption that you’re drunk, only to realize that the effects of your medication have landed you in serious trouble. Prescription drugs can cause confusion, foggy thinking, slow reflexes, drowsiness, and dilated pupils, all of which can mimic the behavior of someone under the influence.
These impairments greatly affect your ability to safely operate a vehicle, making you vulnerable to arrest if a police officer suspects you of driving under the influence. Law enforcement officers are dedicated to ensuring the safety of their communities, and they won’t hesitate to apprehend anyone they believe is impaired behind the wheel, regardless of the cause.
If you do get pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving, you may be asked to undergo chemical testing, such as breath, urine, or blood tests. It’s important to remember that these tests aren’t infallible and may indicate impairment even when you’re not actually impaired.
While you have the right to refuse chemical testing, it’s generally not advisable to do so. Refusal can result in an automatic license suspension, administered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). Multiple refusals can lead to longer suspensions, with each subsequent refusal adding a year to the suspension period.
Prescription medications are designed to address specific medical conditions or alleviate symptoms that would otherwise debilitate patients. However, certain medications can cause side effects, such as drowsiness, slurred speech, and sluggish reflexes. It’s important to read and heed the warnings provided with your medication, as they often advise against driving until you’re familiar with how your body reacts to the drugs. Here are some commonly prescribed medications with potential side effects:
Remember, your safety and legal well-being are of utmost importance. Having a skilled Steubenville, OH criminal lawyer or Steubenville, OH OVI lawyer on your side can make all the difference in protecting your rights and minimizing the potential consequences.
When it comes to OVI charges resulting from prescription drug use, the consequences are comparable to those for drinking and driving. Prepare for the possibility of jail time ranging from three days to six months, accompanied by fines ranging from $370 to $1,075. Additionally, your license could be suspended for six months to three years, in addition to any Administrative License Suspension (ALS) you received upon arrest. Keep in mind that limited driving privileges won’t be available for 15 to 30 days after the commission of your offense.
The good news is that Ohio law provides avenues for drivers who take prescription drugs to fight OVI charges related to their medication usage.
One recognized defense is a lack of evidence. If there is no test result, the prosecution may lack sufficient evidence to convict you, potentially leading to dismissal of the case. This situation can occur if the arresting officer failed to conduct a test or if you refused to submit to testing.
Another defense revolves around specific conditions:
- The drug you took was prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider authorized to prescribe medications.
- You took the drug in the manner instructed by the licensed healthcare provider, either through injection, inhalation, or ingestion.
By meeting these criteria, it becomes challenging for the prosecution to argue that your medication impaired your ability to drive, especially when it was a valid prescription.
At Youngstown Criminal Law Group, we understand the implications that your medication can have on your legal situation. Contact us today at (330) 992-3036 for a free consultation.
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