As an experienced attorney and former Asst. Galveston County District Attorney, I’ve seen countless faces of the law. Yet, one issue that continually arises is DWI charges linked to prescription medications. Texas law is no friend to those accused.
Even if you’ve faithfully followed a doctor’s orders, you could be arrested for driving while under the influence of medications. If this happens, you’ll have a DUI charge. As a result, mounting a robust defense against these types of DUI cases is not just advisable; it’s imperative.
Texas DWI Laws and Prescription Medications
Texas law is unambiguous. DWI charges don’t necessarily have to stem from driving drunk on alcohol. Any substance, legal or not, can lead to a DWI if it impairs your driving ability. This includes controlled substances and prescription drugs. Far too often, this fact is often overlooked by those behind the wheel.
Under Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code, intoxication can occur not just from alcohol but from “a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance in the body.”
This broad definition is unknown to the general public. If you’re ever arrested for such an offense, our law firm will provide a swift, efficient legal response.
Intoxication and Impairment
The crux of a DWI or DUI charge is the ‘intoxication’ or ‘impairment’ of the accused party. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit does not apply to prescription medications. This can make the prosecution’s case harder to prove.
The District Attorney’s Office must demonstrate that the medication impaired your normal mental or physical faculties. In any case, this would be a subjective assessment that’s would be challenged by our legal team.
When the state’s evidence is vague and blurry, it’s a battleground for defense attorneys. With our experience in these kinds of cases, we would likely make short work of casting doubt on the prosecution’s argument.
The Presumption of Innocence
The Foundation of a Strong Defense
The Constitution of the United States safeguards the presumption of innocence, but, with DWI charges in Texas, it doesn’t feel that way. As your attorneys, our job is to level the playing field while fighting tooth and nail to get you the best resolution possible.
With our decades of experience in criminal law, we wield a comprehensive toolkit of defense strategies. The first step is challenging the allegation of impairment itself.
Challenging the Allegation
Medical Evidence and Expert Testimony
Prescription medication affects individuals differently. Factors such as body weight, tolerance, and how long you’ve been taking the medication can influence its effects.
By leveraging your medical details and perhaps with a little bit of expert testimony, we just might be able to successfully counter allegations of impairment.
Proving that the medication’s impact was minimal or that you’ve developed a tolerance can weaken the prosecution’s case, casting doubt on the ‘impairment’ argument. However, this type of defense depends on the individual amid a number of other factors.
Investigating Police Procedure
The Fourth Amendment and Unlawful Traffic Stops
We talk about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States all the time. That’s because the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled DWI lawyer. It gives you protection from unlawful searches & seizures, along with immediate legal recourse.
In these United States, which includes the Greater Houston area, police must have reasonable suspicion to stop you and probable cause to arrest you.
Investigating the circumstances of the traffic stop, the field sobriety tests, and the arrest procedure can sometimes reveal Fourth Amendment violations. If this happens, it means we can petition the court to suppress associated evidence. If we can get this done, it’ll prove to be instrumental in weakening the prosecution’s case. Usually, it results in the charges being dropped by the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office.
Here to Fight?
Engage with Battle-Tested Legal Representation Today
When you’re trying to figure out what to do about criminal charges, especially a DWI case, it can be nerve-wracking. However, with experienced legal representation, you can be assured that your rights will be affirmed and that you’ll be well aware of your options.
At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, you’ll find serious lawyers that are committed to helping people.
If you’re facing criminal charges for DWI, medications involved or not, get in touch with us today for a 100% confidential and free initial consultation.
Tad Nelson is Board Certified® in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.