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Understanding California DUI Drugs (DUID) Charges

originally written Dec 17, 2009

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI drugs - also known as DUID, or informally as "drugged driving" - in California, then you are probably eager to find out what to expect and how to defend yourself. Educating yourself about the process by which DUI drugs cases are prosecuted in California can help you deal with the situation proactively. In addition, hiring an experienced and skilled DUID or DUI drugs attorney can help mitigate the potential consequences, helping you avoid the most serious penalties and fines.

What Drugs Can Make You Legally Impaired?

In California, the "drug" portion of the DUID equation can be any substance that can impair a person's ability to operate a vehicle in a safe and cautious way. The term "drug" does not explicitly refer to illegal substances; legal, over-the-counter medications can qualify as drugs under the terms of a DUID in the state of California. Prescribed medications, controlled substances and illegal drugs similarly all fall under the umbrella of being a "drug" when it comes to California DUI drugs charge.

DUI Drugs Versus An Alcohol DUI: Differences And Similarities

Although the two charges sound quite similar, there are several key differences between an alcohol DUI and a DUID. Consider these facts:

There are also some similarities between an alcohol DUI charge and a DUID charge. These similarities include:

What Are The Typical Penalties And Fines For DUID In The State Of California?

The penalties that you may incur from being convicted of a DUID in the state of California are dependent on many factors. Things like the specific circumstances of your case, whether or not you have any previous DUIs and your prior criminal history can all play a role in determining your ultimate penalties and fines. For first-time offenders, though, the state of California usually recommends the following guidelines when it comes to sentencing:

Will I Lose My California Drivers License?

As mentioned previously, the California DMV does not immediately suspend or revoke a DUID suspect's driver's license. Upon conviction, however, your license may be suspended for at least six months. If charged with a DUI drugs, you should request a DMV hearing within 10 days in order to mitigate the chances of an eventual suspension upon conviction.

Do I Need A DUI Lawyer?

In many ways, being convicted of a DUID in the state of California is much better than being convicted of one in other states. In California, the prosecution has the burden of proving that you were, indeed, impaired by drugs when you were driving. Blood and urine tests can be inaccurate, and an officer's observations may not even be admissible in court. A skilled DUI drugs attorney will know how to assist you and can look at the specific circumstances of your case to help you receive the lightest penalty possible.