Florida drugged driving penalties are just as severe as those for a DUI. A Pensacola drugged driving lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and avoid the harshest consequences.

Mitkevicius Law, PLLC will develop a strong defense and fight to keep your record clean by using FL-drugged driving laws to benefit your case. With an impressive success record in drugged driving cases, we will review all the evidence and fight for the best outcome possible.

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Drugged Driving in Florida

According to Florida law, drugged driving and driving under the influence of alcohol fall under the same statute – Florida Statutes Section 316.193. Under this law, a person is guilty of DUI involving drugs in Florida when they:

  • Drive or are in actual physical control of a motor vehicle; and
  • Are under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances to the extent that they are impaired.

Being “in actual physical control” may include any situation where you can operate your vehicle. For example, if you are sitting in the driver’s seat of a parked car with the car keys in your hand, you may still be charged with drugged driving in Florida if you are under the influence.

Possessing Drugs in a Vehicle

Not only is it illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Florida, but it is also illegal to use, possess, sell, purchase, or transfer harmful chemicals under Florida Statutes Section 877.11. If you are caught with drugs in your car, you will likely be charged with both drug possession and drugged driving.

Controlled Substances Common in Florida Drugged Driving Cases

In Florida, driving under the influence (DUI) applies not just to alcohol but also to drugs. There are two main categories of substances that can lead to a DUI charge in Florida: illegal drugs and prescription drugs. It’s important to remember that any of these types of drugs can seriously impair your ability to drive.

Common substances involved in driving under the influence of drugs in Florida include, but are not limited to:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Xanex
  • Valium
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin

Penalties for Drugged Driving in Florida

Florida impaired driving laws and penalties are the same for drugged driving and DUI of alcohol.

First Offense Drugged Driving Penalties

For a first-offense drugged driving conviction, you will face up to six months in jail and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. Your license will be suspended for between six months and one year.

Second Offense Drugged Driving Penalties

For a second offense of drugged driving conviction, you will face up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. Your license will be suspended for between one and five years.

H3: Third Offense Drugged Driving Penalties

If you are convicted of a third offense of drugged driving, you will face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Your license suspension may last between two and 10 years.

Fourth Offense Drugged Driving Penalties

For a fourth drugged driving conviction, you will face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Your license will likely be revoked for life.

Collateral Consequences of Drugged Driving

In addition to incarceration, fines, and a driver’s license suspension for drugged driving, you will face the following collateral consequences:

  • Probation
  • Substance abuse evaluation
  • Community service
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Employment issues
  • Professional licensing
  • Immigration
  • Housing & Federal Benefits

A drugged driving conviction will have severe consequences for your personal and professional life. It can also impact where you work and live, with many people in authority doing background checks and discriminating against those with criminal records.

How a Drugged Driving Lawyer Helps

Working closely with an experienced Florida drugged driving attorney is important when dealing with cases like these. Your lawyer can help you evaluate the evidence against you and create a strong defense against the prosecution’s arguments. We then develop a defense strategy to achieve the best possible outcome, whether that’s a charge reduction, case dismissal, or minimizing the impact of the charges on your life.

Mitkevicius Law has had considerable success defending clients in drugged driving cases. Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius has in-depth knowledge of Florida impaired driving laws and how to use them to protect clients like you.

Defending Against Drugged Driving in FL

Your Pensacola drugged driving lawyer can use one or more defenses to fight charges in your case, including, but not limited to:

  • Unlawful Traffic Stop: Law enforcement needs a valid reason to pull you over. If the stop was based on weak suspicion, your attorney might argue it was illegal.
  • Faulty Drugged Driving Field Sobriety Tests: These tests aren’t perfect and can be influenced by factors like fatigue or medical conditions. Your attorney might argue the tests were improperly administered or interpreted.
  • Improper Chemical Testing: Errors can occur during blood or urine tests and a breathalyzer. Issues with collection, storage, or testing procedures could cast doubt on the results.
  • Lack of Impairment: If there’s no evidence of impaired driving behavior, the defense might argue the substance wasn’t impacting your ability to operate the vehicle safely.

Drugged Driving Diversion in FL

Drugged Driving FAQs

Can I refuse a drug test if I’m suspected of drugged driving?

You can refuse a drug test but your license will be suspended as if you refused to provide a breath sample, and you may still be arrested and charged.

Can marijuana use lead to a drugged driving charge in Florida?

Driving under the influence of marijuana in Florida can lead to a drugged driving charge if you are impaired. There is no specific amount of marijuana that can result in a marijuana DUI charge. If you have marijuana in your car, you can also be charged with possession.

Can over-the-counter medications lead to a drugged driving charge?

Yes, any substance that causes you to be impaired can lead to a drugged driving charge. That includes medications like cough syrup, allergy medications, and other mind-altering substances. These medications can cause poor reaction time and difficulty maneuvering your vehicle.

Can I get my drugged driving charge expunged?

Expunging a drugged driving charge in Florida is generally not possible if you were convicted. However, you may be eligible to seal your record if the court withheld adjudication. This means the judge found you guilty but withheld a formal conviction on the condition that you complete probation or similar requirements. If the case gets sealed after a certain period (often ten years), expungement becomes possible.

Don’t Face Drugged Driving Charges Alone – Call Today

Drugged driving has the same penalties as a traditional DUI. You will still face jail, fines, license suspension, community service, and other harsh consequences. However, an arrest and charges do not guarantee a conviction. With the help of Mitkevicius Law, PLLC  and a drugged driving attorney, you can defend yourself.

Contact our office today at 850-361-2142 for a free consultation. Lead attorney Josef Mitkevicius will use his 10+ years of experience to help you get a fair outcome.