Potential Defenses For Prince George’s County DUID Charges

If you have been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs or a controlled substance, the following is what you need to know regarding potential defenses for your case. For more specific information, call and schedule a consultation with a Prince George’s County DUI Drug lawyer today.

Involuntary Intoxication

Involuntary intoxication would only be a good defense if someone drugged you without your knowledge. If someone put a drug into your drink, the drug caused an impairment, and you then drove your car, then in this scenario you would not have known that the drugs were in your system. It is what is called a knowledge-based defense. This is a difficult defense to use, however, since if you were out drinking already, you presumably would have been impaired simply from the alcohol consumption, so the addition of a drug that was unknown to you may or may not have made a difference in your impairment. Thus, the defense strategy of involuntary intoxication may not work in that scenario.

If you have visited a local establishment but you are not drinking alcohol, and someone puts a drug into your drink and then you drive home and you are subsequently charged, hopefully the blood test and urinalysis would show that the drug was put into your drink rather than something you would take voluntarily. It is important to remember that this is a tricky defense to use because the circumstances under which it applies are very specific.

You cannot use this defense to argue you did not believe that a drug you took voluntarily could impair you. For instance, if you are taking a drug but you do not know what the effects of it are, you cannot claim a defense of involuntary intoxication.

What If You Did Not Realize The Impact The Drug Would Have?

If you took a drug but did not realize that it could impair your ability to drive, that does not negate a DUI drug charge.

Constitutional Defenses

There can be Constitutional issues in DUI cases if the stop is not just a traffic stop. For example, if you are pulled over and asked for your license and registration. The officer takes it and comes back 35 to 40 minutes later.  Law enforcement officers  utilize computers with quick printing capabilities, and do not write things out anymore. They just punch it in into the system and the citation is issued. Most people, if not all, do not feel that they are free to leave in a situation like this, and they do not just drive away, especially if the officer still has their driver’s license.

Therefore, if you are not free to leave and that gives rise to the question of whether that stop is now a hold, or unreasonable detainer. If the stop has become a hold, does the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures apply? Were you stopped properly? How did they stop you? All of these questions open the door to possible defenses that a good, qualified and knowledgeable Prince George’s County DUI attorney will be able to bring to bear in your case.

Importance of Legal Representation

It is important because an experienced attorney is familiar with the requirements for drug testing as well as the common errors and mistakes, and can look for those errors or mistakes in the drug testing procedures to defend you against the charges.  Drug testing has to be done in a specific way.  Samples are sent to the Maryland State Police forensics for analysis. The testing is done with a postmortem kit. Specific procedures govern how the kits are handled and how they are given to medical professionals, as well as who is allowed to do a blood draw. Everything is very specific. The science behind it requires a set of exacting procedures.

As a result, it is important to have an attorney with experience in blood testing cases because if something was done incorrectly it could have had an adverse effect on the test and the results could be corrupted. An experienced attorney, especially someone experienced with Prince George’s County, the officers and the methods they use, will know if something was done incorrectly. If there is a consistency in mistakes being made, you want someone who has been working within that field in that county, who would have that immediate insight to look for certain important details which have been consistently good or bad.