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Dallas Prescription Drug DWI Lawyer

Were you arrested and charged with a DWI while on prescription medication? If so, the first call you should make is to Dallas DWI lawyer RJ Harber. With his experience on your side, you can fight back against the charges you face, and could get the charges reduced or dropped.

At some point in our lives, most of us have taken prescription medication to address health issues, alleviate pain, and help us heal. However, despite their many benefits, the side effects of prescription drugs can have dangerous consequences. Driving while impaired by prescription drugs may result in a DWI, regardless of the fact that you have a valid prescription.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a prescription drug DWI, it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Sometimes even over the counter drugs may lead to behavior that is perceived as “intoxicated.” Additionally, field testing is more difficult for prescription drug related-situations, making it important to obtain independent blood testing as soon as possible.

William ‘RJ’ Harber is an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney and knows how to protect your rights after getting charged with a DWI. As a former prosecutor, RJ Harber can help you raise the best defenses for your case. Call (214) 389-1189 for a confidential consultation today.

What are the laws that regulate prescription drug DWIs?

There are many laws which regulate prescription drug use, and penalize misuse, in Texas. For example, the Texas Health and Safety Code provides numerous restrictions under the Texas Controlled Substances Act on the use, manufacture, or delivery of controlled substances. It groups drugs into four separate categories called Penalty Groups for the purposes of determining criminal penalties. In addition, the Texas Penal Code criminalizes the use or possession of certain dangerous drugs which may cause “intoxication.” This includes criminalization of intoxication due to drugs obtained through a valid medical prescription.

For alcohol-related DWIs, the legal limit is a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08. It’s important to remember that prescription drugs may not show up in typical breathalyzer tests. Despite that, any sign of intoxication could lead to a DWI. The Texas Penal Code clarifies that “intoxicated” may refer to any form of alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs that impair the “normal use of mental or physical faculties.” Thus, it doesn’t matter whether you are under the influence of an over the counter sleep medication or a prescribed medication.

What are the penalties for a prescription drug DWI charge?

The penalties for a prescription drug DWI conviction are very similar to those penalties for alcohol-related DWIs. These may include fines, imprisonment, license suspensions, and other consequences. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the progress of DWI penalties includes:

  • 1st DWI offense
    • A fine of up to $2,000
    • Between 3 and 180 days in jail
    • License suspension for up to a year
    • An annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years in order to retain your driver’s license
  • 2nd DWI offense
    • A fine of up to $4,000
    • Between 1 month and 1 year in jail
    • An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years in order to retain your driver’s license
  • 3rd DWI offense
    • A $10,000 fine
    • Between 2 to 10 years in prison
    • An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years in order to retain your driver’s license

Additionally, if your prescription expired or was fraudulent, you may face additional charges for possession. For these reasons, it is important to contact an experienced prescription drug DWI lawyer right away.

Do I need a lawyer to defend me against a prescription drug DWI charge?

Even when taking a drug properly, there is a possibility of suffering unforeseen side effects. For example, your blood sugar may suddenly lower while driving, or you may begin having difficulties with your vision. Regardless of whether your physician warned you about the side effects, you are still responsible for your own driving.

When pulled over, an officer may ask you about whether you have been drinking or are under the influence of any drugs. You may be charged with a DWI if you confess to being intoxicated, or impaired, as a result of your prescription drugs. Because a breathalyzer is unlikely to detect prescription drugs, you may also be asked to submit to blood testing. The prosecutor will use the results from any blood testing to meet his or her burden of proof against you.

Hiring a lawyer will help you clearly explain the influence and side effects of your prescription while hopefully minimizing fines and jail time. Your lawyer will be able to build evidence to challenge a prescription drug DWI charge and present defenses. For example, you are entitled to certain constitutional protections. These protections require police to have probable cause or reasonable suspicion before stopping you. A lawyer will be able to investigate these facts and also raise objections to any improper questioning or inadequate blood testing.

Why should I choose RJ Harber to represent me?

RJ Harber brings over a decade of criminal defense experience to the table and has the skills you need to beat a prescription drug DWI charge. He is a former prosecutor and knows how today’s prosecutors approach DWIs in Dallas and build their cases against defendants. He also has a 10/10 rating on Avvo, and understands how these charges can have a massive impact on your life.

If you or a loved one is facing a prescription drug DWI charge, you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced DWI lawyer that understands the local criminal courts. A conviction can have major consequence on your life in the long-term, and you deserve quality criminal defense to minimize these potential consequences. Contact RJ Harber today at (214) 389-1189 or online for a confidential consultation.