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DUI – Drugs / Controlled Substance in PA

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DUI Drugs in Pennsylvania

What Happens When You Are Charged with DUI of a Controlled Substance in Pennsylvania?

If you were charged with Driving While Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance in Pennsylvania, also known as DUI of Drugs or DUI-D, you probably have a lot of questions about what is going to happen – to your license, your freedom (will you have to go to jail?) and how much it is all going to cost in the end.

At Saadzoi Law we understand that people make mistakes. And we also understand that the penalties under Pennsylvania law for DUI, especially on a controlled substance, are very severe.

The penalties for DUI of a Controlled Substance in Pennsylvania could mean the following if you are convicted of a first offense:

  • Losing Your Driver’s License;
  • Going to Jail;
  • Paying a Fine up to $5,000;
  • Attending a Drug/Alcohol Treatment Program, and;
  • Complying with the Drug/Alcohol Treatment Program.

If you are charged with DUI of Prescription Meds or OTC Drugs, you face the same penalties as if you were driving under illegal narcotics.

Other penalties for your future can include: A criminal record, difficulty finding employment, difficulty getting into college, increased auto insurance premiums, and difficulty finding housing.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction

Saadzoi Law can help.

Not every DUI-Drugs arrest ends up as a DUI conviction – it is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to go over your options and fight for your charges to be either reduced or dropped altogether.

We are aggressive attorneys that work with you to help you understand your charges and the penalties you face. We will go over every detail of your case and help you build a defense for the best possible outcome.

Just because you were charged with DUI – Controlled Substance, it does not mean you have been convicted. There are many options to fight and win a DUI in court, reduce the charges, and/or keep them off your record. For example, the ARD Program for first-time DUI offenders.

Saadzoi Law has extensive knowledge of the legal system and DUI court process in Delaware County and understands what it takes to fight and win against a DUI of Drugs arrest in Pennsylvania.

Attorney Saadzoi offers free consultations to anyone charged with a DUI in Delaware County PA – Call DUI Attorney Saadzoi today.

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Being Tested for DUI-Drugs in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law, the police can legally take a blood sample from you if they charge you with DUI and they have obtained a search warrant for the blood sample. You can be charged with DUI if the police are under suspicion you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Under PA Code §1547 , the general rule states the following:

“Any person who drives, operates, or is in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have given consent to one or more chemical tests of breath or blood for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of blood or the presence of a controlled substance if a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person to have been driving, operating or in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle in violation of section 1543(b)(1.1) (relating to driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked), 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) or 3808(a)(2) (relating to illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with ignition interlock).”

Refusing to comply with Pennsylvania’s Implied Consent Law could mean losing your license automatically for up to one year from PennDOT.

When you are charged with DUI, the officer must read the O’Connell warnings, advising you on what happens if you refuse the test. Under the Fifth Amendment, you do have the right to refuse, but PennDOT also has the right to revoke your license for up to a year.

Because drugs do stay in your system for longer than alcohol, you may be charged with DUI, even though you do not feel that you were in any way impaired.

What Amount of Drugs Determines if I Was Driving Under the Influence?

The amount of the drug found in your system does not matter – the penalties for a DUI of a Controlled Substance are treated the same as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol at the highest level of BAC (blood alcohol content), even if you did not have that much of a controlled substance in your system.

You may not legally drive with any amount of a Schedule I, II, or III drug in your blood.

If you were under the influence of prescription meds or over-the-counter drugs, or the drugs were prescribed to you by a physician, there may be some leniency in this law if the levels of drugs in your system were low. However, that is at the discretion of the arresting officer, who typically finds other cause for pulling your vehicle over in the first place.

You can be charged with DUI with any amount of drugs in your system. 

That said, the accuracy of these testing procedures is not always full-proof. The testing lab must follow certain procedures, and if they fail to do so, your case could be thrown out of court.

An experienced DUI attorney will look closely into how your test was conducted, seeking any errors or mistakes in procedure that could upend your case.

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Information on DUI of Drugs Penalties in Pennsylvania

The punishment for a DUI of a Controlled Substance conviction is harsh in Pennsylvania.

The severity of the penalties will depend on which drug was found in your blood test and whether this is first DUI, second DUI, third DUI, or a multiple offense. They also depend on whether you previously were entered into the ARD Program. If you were involved in a DUI Accident with injuries, you face even harsher penalties.

People who are prescribed marijuana may be especially vulnerable to receiving a DUI of a Controlled Substance, or a person taking other prescription medications.

The PA Code of Law §3804(c)  states that if a person is convicted of DUI of a controlled substance, they will receive the following penalties for a first offense:

Penalty for First DUI of Drugs Conviction in PA:

  • Be imprisoned for three days up to six months;
  • Receive a misdemeanor on your criminal record;
  • Pay a minimum $1,000 fine and a maximum $5,000 fine;
  • Have your driver’s license suspended for one year;
  • Attend Alcohol Highway Safety School;
  • Pay and comply with Ignition Interlock for one year, and;
  • Comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements.

Penalty for Second DUI Drugs Conviction in PA:

  • Be imprisoned for three months up to 5 years;
  • Receive a misdemeanor on your criminal record;
  • Pay a maximum fine of $10,000;
  • Have your license suspended for eighteen months;
  • Pay and comply with Ignition Interlock for one year,
  • Attend Alcohol Highway Safety School, and;
  • Comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements.

For a third DUI offense or more, the penalties are more severe, including up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine with a felony 2 or 3 on your permanent criminal record.

If you have a professional license or a CDL license, these penalties can also affect your career.

Options for DUI Drug Defense Cases in Pennsylvania

First, your DUI lawyer will go over all the details of your case – from the initial stop, the arrest, the blood work taken (if any), and your previous criminal history (if any).

If there are any errors or mistakes on the part of the arresting officers or blood lab/hospital, your lawyer will investigate them closely to try to have the case thrown out.

If you believe you were wrongfully arrested or there were mistakes in the way your arrest was handled by police officers, you have every right to fight the charges.

Next, your attorney will figure out the best option, given all the details of your case. If this is a first-time offense, you may be eligible for the ARD Program, which your attorney can help in this application process. In Delaware County, you must have an attorney in order to apply for the ARD Program.

Other programs could include the Delaware County Drug Treatment Court or another drug rehabilitation program.

These programs require a rigorous application process and a good understanding of the law. An experienced and savvy DUI attorney can help in navigating the Delaware County court process and fight on your behalf to get the charges reduced or dropped.

Attorney Saadzoi has spent time on both sides of the law as a prosecutor and a public defender. As your lawyer, she will work aggressively to resolve the DUI charges against you.

Can DUI Charges in PA be Reduced or Dismissed?

DUI cases and fought and won in court every day. Even if it is not possible to have your case fully dismissed, it may still be possible to have the charges reduced.

A tough and experienced DUI attorney who is willing to fight for you and for your freedom can defend your rights.

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How Saadzoi Law Will Help Fight Your DUI Charges in Delaware County, PA

We work with our clients and listen to all the details of their cases to better understand how we can fight the charges for them – either to press for them to be dismissed completely or push to get your charges significantly reduced.

Attorney Saadzoi has years of experience successfully helping clients get their DUI charges reduced, dismissed, and resolved.

At Saadzoi Law, we review the details of your DUI arrest and police reports. We will determine if the stop was unlawful and if you were in control of the vehicle. If not, or if there are any other circumstances permitting, we will file motions to gain leverage over the prosecution.

Attorney Saadzoi will do everything possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. 

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