Types of Substance Abuse Cases and Suggested Defenses

by mollyp on June 30, 2013

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Types of Substance Abuse Cases and Suggested Defenses

All courts are very serious about prosecuting substance abuse cases. Many prosecutors and police officials stress this as possibly being their most important work. However, this focus also produces zealous attitudes toward those who use controlled substances, whether they are legitimate prescriptions or not. The recent actions of legislatures have given officers more latitude and power with respect to drug cases, including excessive property and financial confiscation. It is important for all defendants to understand that the court is not entitled to a conviction, and there are some valid defenses for many who have been charged in an overreaching manner. Alcohol Related Charges

Alcohol abuse is easily the most common source of substance problems and addiction. Alcohol is a prominent product in society and the use is legal, but the activity that is often associated with alcohol abuse is not. Driving under the influence is a prime example of this.
There are some valid defenses to a DUI charge that an experienced attorney, whether it be a Tampa DUI lawyer or Chicago criminal defense attorney, can use to build a case, such as insufficient blood-alcohol content level. Additionally, arrest protocol must be followed and all material evidence must be admissible. Charges for driving under the influence can also be upgraded to aggravated circumstances, which is a general charge of alcohol abuse. Sometimes this is an inaccurate assessment of the case and can be arguable. Driving Under the Influence of Controlled Substances

Police officers in all states now have the authority to request a warrant for medical blood evaluation in cases where the officer has reasonable suspicion to think that the driver is under the influence of a controlled substance undetectable by police methods. Even individuals with certain valid prescriptions are not allowed to drive under the influence of the substance, but the prescription can justify the presence of the substance in the defendant’s system. However, the officer is not authorized to demand a test from a suspect, and doing so can be a valid defense of illegal search. Furthermore, there are no levels of intoxication associated with controlled substance use, so a latent presence may not be valid material evidence.

Legitimate Controlled Substance Intoxication

Drug abuse among illegal users has been problematic for those who are taking controlled substances under the direction of a medical professional. This class of drugs is largely narcotics and benzodiazepines. Opiate-based drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycontin are narcotics, while drugs like valium, xanax, and klonopin are benzodiazepines. These controlled substances are prescribed routinely for individuals who suffer from specific illnesses because they are the most effective medications for condition control. The problems arise when they are sold illegally or stolen and used by an unauthorized person.
Stolen drug defenses can be very effective in many drug cases and thefts should always be reported. Additionally, it is not necessary for the amount of narcotics in a prescription bottle to match any prescription regimen because most are prescribed “as needed” for pain. There are many situations when officers make valid arrests in obvious possession and intoxication situations. When a defendant has been charged using solid evidence, there is often no real defense available. Sometimes admitting a substance abuse problem and being agreeable to a treatment program can be an effective method of reducing penalties in the right situation. It is always important to have an experienced criminal defense and DUI attorney representing the case who can negotiate an acceptable case settlement, regardless of the final outcome.

Molly Pearce is a freelance author and artist concerned with human rights and informing the public on the consequences of legal charges like DUI. Experienced Tampa DUI lawyer firm, Katz & Phillips, PA has been defending individuals facing these charges for more than ten years. Founding member, David Katz’s breathalyzer training has allowed him the role of Lead Attorney in hundreds of cases involving the suppression of breath testing evidence.
Born with a Passion for art, music, fun, fashion, adventure, blogging, and life lived to the fiercest! A great variety of educational, professional, and personal experience has gifted me an open mind, strong heart, and a wealth of stories to tell. Concerned with human rights and the state of the natural world. Thriving on the fresh, thoughtful, healthy, and hilarious.

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