Many people assume that if they have a prescription for medication, they are safe no matter what. However, that is not always the case. An individual could be convicted of DWI in Texas while on prescription medication alone, if it rises to the level of intoxication.
You may have a valid prescription for medication. However, if it impairs your senses when you’re on the road, it can lead to a DWI because you are driving while intoxicated.
The drug offenses in Texas can result in some hefty penalties, which is why it’s important to work with a criminal defense law firm as soon as you are charged with the DWI.
Understanding the Penalties
There are various penalties that you may face as a result of a DWI. If it is your first offense, you may experience a fine up to $2,000. It’s also possible to spend time in jail, ranging from 3 days to 180 days. Your license could be suspended, too.
If it’s your second or third offense, the fines and jail time could be higher. Obviously, your goal is to avoid any of the penalties as they can have a considerable impact on your ability to drive and live your life. At Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC, we’re here to help every step of the way.
Burden of Proof
When it comes to a Prescription Drugs DWI, you will likely have to provide a blood sample. Additionally, you may confirm that you have taken a specific medication. This is when the officer will ask you questions about what the medication was and how much you took.
Side effects on the side of the bottle will often be listed. If you took medication that can result in dizziness, sleepiness, or drowsiness, an officer can use this to decide that it has impaired your ability to drive. However, this is a gray area and can be difficult for a police officer to determine.
Ultimately the government will rely on an expert Toxicologist to tell a jury about the intoxicating effects of certain prescription drugs as well as how the level in one’s blood compares to therapeutic levels for purposes of proving a case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Seeking Legal Help
Any time you take prescription drugs and take to the road in Texas, you run the risk of a DWI. If you get involved in an accident while intoxicated, you can also suffer other charges, such as intoxication manslaughter.
It’s important to have legal assistance when you get into a legal predicament. At Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC, we have experience with DWIs involving prescription drugs. Contact us today for a free consultation.