Process of a Richmond DUI Drug Case

The firth thing that an individual needs to know after being charged with a DUID is what the state needs to prove in order to convict.  That is, the state needs to show that the individual operated the vehicle while impaired, and show the test results that indicate levels of drug intoxication in the blood. With these in mind, it is important that a Richmond DUI drug lawyer is contacted as soon as possible so they may begin building a defense and and poking holes in the prosecution’s case. To see what an attorney can do for you call and schedule a consultation today.

Step 1: The Initial Stop

Once you are pulled over and police begin to suspect that you may be under the influence of a controlled substance or drug, the police officers typically will conduct a field test to measure your coordination and ability to follow instructions.  The tests include the

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test, in which an officer holds a pen and tracks your eyes’ movement, the turn test, in which you walk in a straight line and then turn and come back,
  • The balance test,
  • And the one legged stand test, in which the officer will ask you to hold your foot up and stand for a certain period of time.

Can You Contact a Lawyer At a DUI Stop?

No, you cannot contact an attorney during a stop. The officer can take your phone from you or ask you to get off the phone at any time while you are pulled over.

Do You Have To Consent To a Search of Your Vehicle?

If you are stopped or arrested for DUI, the officer does not need your consent to search your vehicle. However, if it’s just an initial stop and there’s been no issues regarding alcohol or drugs, you may object to a search. The only way an officer can search a vehicle without your consent is if you are charged with DUI or DUID, in which case your car will likely be impounded and police can conduct what’s called an investigatory search of your vehicle.

Step 2: A Blood Test

If you fail the sobriety tests and the officer believes that drugs are involved or they find drugs in the vehicle or on your person, they will likely escort you to hospital to get a blood test. This test is one of the most important aspects of a DUI drug case and is what an attorney will most often challenge, including how it was performed and if the defendant was properly advised of his or her rights prior to it being performed.

The police officer will then take you before a magistrate to be charged with DUID.

Step 3: Appearing Before a Magistrate

After the magistrate has heard the officer’s account and charged you with DUID, they will either set or withhold a bond.  If no bond is set, you will be arraigned by a judge where you can be given bond and a trial date set. The trial date will usually be set within 60 days however it could be delayed for processing of the blood test results.

A first or second offense DUID charges are set for trial in general district court.  If it’s a third or fourth offense the case will be a felony charge and will be heard in the circuit court.

Step 4: Contacting An Attorney

You can typically contact an attorney for the first time after you’ve been in front of a magistrate.

What an attorney is going to do in a DUID case is review the evidence and reports provided by the officer, then review the evidence of the state, such as the blood test and how the blood test was obtained and handled. Next, they’re going to review the procedures used by the officer and the statements the individual made during the stop.

In addition to that, an officer will typically review some of the alternatives or mitigating factors an individual can pursue to help with the case, by getting information from the doctor if it’s a prescription issue or getting enrolled in drug counseling if it was an illegal drug use issue.