Driving under the influence of legal drugs

Driving under the influence of legal drugs may lead to an arrest. Certain drugs have the potential to impair your ability to drive, and prosecutors may pursue the case the same as they would a charge for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

In the state of New York, you may face a charge of driving while impaired if you operate a vehicle after taking legal drugs, including prescription or over-the-counter medications, that the court system has determined diminished your mental or physical functioning. 

Ramifications of a DWI charge 

New York State penalties for a drug-related driving violation include revoking driving privileges and paying a fine and may include serving jail time. Depending on the circumstances, you may face a misdemeanor or felony charge. Receiving multiple DWI charges within a certain time frame may lead to more severe consequences that include additional jail time and a longer suspension of your driver’s license. 

Penalties of a misdemeanor charge 

If this is your first offense, the probability of your case being a misdemeanor is high. A first-offense DWI charge includes a $500 to $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail and a revoked license for a minimum of six months. 

Penalties of a felony charge

A second DWI within 10 years or an aggravated DWI leads to a felony charge. Circumstances that may make your DWI aggravated include if you drove with a suspended license or had a child under the age of 15 with you at the time of the DWI. In these cases, your felony charge may include a mandatory fine of at least $1,000, up to four years in jail and a revoked license for a minimum of one year. 

Fighting a DWI charge 

A DWI charge may change and not lead to a conviction. If you believe that your DWI charge was unjust, the next course of action may be to seek legal counsel to determine if it is possible to have your charge reduced or the case dismissed. 

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