Under Mississippi law, he can be charged with DUI even if those medications are prescribed by a physician if the medications impaired his ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
First, you must understand that there is help available. Consult with several DUI Defense attorneys. In particular, you will want to find an attorney who understands the medical aspects of DUI. Second, you will want to make sure your attorney focuses his practice in the area of DUI, not merely as a collateral to criminal defense, but as a true focus. Third, you should find an attorney who is willing to invest the time an energy in your case to help you achieve the best possible result.
Your husband needs a dui defense lawyer, now. Under the Influence includes impaired by prescription drugs.
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Under Mississippi law, your husband was likely charged with DUI "Other Substance" and/or DUI "Controlled Substance." Either way, he stands accused of an extremely serious misdemeanor offense, and he stands to lose his driving privileges for a minimum of 90 days, face up to 2 days of jail, up to $1,000 in a fine plus court costs, mandatory first offender DUI classes, mandatory permanent criminal record (a DUI cannot be expunged!), SR-22 insurance, driver's license reinstatement fees, supervised probation, among other things.
You might ask, "can this be pled down to careless driving," and in Mississippi, the answer is "NO!" If the court date on 02/20/2013 is your husband's first appearance, then it will be his "arraignment" in which an attorney can enter a plea of NOT GUILTY for him. This can usually be accomplished without him having to personally appear.
I, along with my colleagues in our law office, handle an alarming number of these DUI "Other Substance" and DUI "Controlled Substance" cases every year. It seems the numbers grow from year to year, as well. Most often, our clients are charged with DUI after having allegedly ingested medications for which they have lawful prescriptions. For example, Lorcet, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ambien are just a few of the common ones that come to mind. The simple fact that a person has a prescription is NOT, by itself, enough to clear you from criminal prosecution, conviction, and harsh sentencing. These cases are often based upon circumstantial evidence of impairment, but the right attorney can discover the truth, and ways to pick apart the allegations that can potentially lead to a "guilty" verdict if not handled the right way.
Your best course of action is this: CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED AND QUALIFIED DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Do NOT underestimate the seriousness of this situation. The consequences can be devastating if the right steps aren't taken.
Lance O. Mixon
Attorney at Law
Carmody, Stewart & Mixon
Mississippi DUI Defense Attorneys
Phone: (601) 948-4444
This communication is for informational purposes only, and does not establish any attorney-client relationship, pursuant to the applicable Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct. Further, the information contained in this answer is not to be considered or taken as legal advice, and does not substitute proper, competent legal advice and representation from a licensed attorney for a legal matter.
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