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Matthew Ruff: 21 Years Fighting DUI Involving Prescription Drugs

There can be little doubt that an epidemic exists in this country involving opioid abuse and addiction. Because of this police and prosecutors are seeing a surge in DUI cases involving painkillers, hydrocodone, OxyContin, fentanyl, Percocet, just to name a few. If you been arrested and charged with a DUI even though the breath test showed no alcohol in your system? Did the arresting officer suspect you were under the influence of drugs and asked you to submit to a blood or urine test? If so, we can help. Many police officers mistake drug impairment with other innocent causes. Field sobriety tests often are unreliable in detecting drug intoxication and innocent people can be falsely accused of DWI. California enacted VC23152(e) to deal with the offense of driving while impaired by drugs but most cops misunderstand the science behind drug intoxication and often wrongfully arrest people believing they are guilty of this crime. To make matters worse, most attorneys do not have the necessary experience or knowledge to defend this offense and therefore many innocent folks find themselves in a bad situation.

Victory of the month. Matthew was successful in getting DUI-Drug charges dismissed for a client in Torrance Court. The City Prosecutor alleged that the client was under the influence of a drug while driving after an arrest was made following a collision. The client was observed driving over 100 mph and nearly striking multiple pedestrians. Matt utilized the services of a Psychiatrist to convince the prosecution that the client was actually suffering from a psychiatric condition at the time and that the observations of alleged impairment by the DRE were symptoms of that condition. All DUI charges were dropped.

California law makes it illegal to drive while impaired by either alcohol or drugs or both. The crucial factor within the context of a DUI case is whether the drugs actually impaired the person's ability to drive. A DUI attorney familiar with the medical and legal issues surrounding a DUI case involving drugs is critical to a favorable outcome in your case. Driving while intoxicated by drugs is a much different situation from an evidence standpoint versus a case involving only alcohol. The reason for this is that the law criminalizes driving while your blood alcohol is at a per se level of .08 or above, however, there is no similar "per se" statute in California dealing with driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, prescription or otherwise.

In one recent case, Matthew obtained a NOT GUILTY verdict from a Los Angeles jury after his client was arrested and charged with drug related DUI in Santa Clarita. The case went to trial after the DA refused to dismiss the charges even though the evidence was lacking to show impairment at the time of driving. The client was also facing child endangerment charges because his young son was in the car at the time. The client was acquitted of all charges.

Many folks are confused with the proposition that a police officer can even charge them with DUI if the drug they were taking was being ingested legally with the use of a valid prescription. However when viewed logically it makes sense that a person can be too impaired to drive when using a medication as many do have an impact on a driver's motor skills and ability to react quickly. After all, vodka is legal to purchase and ingest as well but if you drink too much and thereafter drive no one will argue that a DUI may be appropriate.

For example, in one recent case, Matthew was hired to defend a young lady, a nurse, who was arrested after crashing her car into a center median on the 405 freeway near Torrance. The accident was witnessed by an off duty police officer. The CHP administered FST's on the roadway, she tested negative for alchohol but had a freshly opened bottle of Hydrocodone in her purse, was unsteady, had slurred speech and trouble standing up. She admitted to taking a few pills moments earlier. Matthew obtained the toxicology which was positive for opiates, specifically Vicodin was the drug alleged by the prosecution. Although the evidence seemed overwhelming, the attorney got the DUI dropped to a reckless driving in Court and the DMV set aside any and all license suspensions she was facing. The client later completed a drug rehab program in Orange County.

DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff has defended hundereds of cases over the span of his career that involve the use of both precription and illicit drugs. He understands the science behind drug impairment and uses his knowledge to favorably resolve his client's cases, both in criminal Court and at the DMV. His successful case results include charges involving drugs like Soma, Vicodin (Hyrocodone), Percocet, Xanex, all precription pain killers, marijuana (cannabis), anti-anxiety drugs, cocaine, heroin, Ecstacy and Amphetamines/ Methamphetamines just to name a few. His Court victories also include acquittals in cases where accidents occurred, child endangerment, where prior DUI convictions were alleged and many other serious allegations. His background includes training in the same areas that police get when they are designated a Drug Recognition Expert or "DRE" and he understands the weaknesses and scientific principles behind opinions concluding that a person is "under the influence" of any given drug. Matthew has successfully cross examined police officers from virtually all law enforcement agencies including CHP, LASD, Los Angeles Police Department, Redondo Beach Police, Torrance, Kern County Sheriffs, and Bakersfield Police Department, as well as laboratory "experts" in the field. Matthew's Law Firm also has a licensed drug testing laboratory available for re-testing of samples when appropriate.

If you are facing a DUI charge involving drugs, contact DUI attorney Matthew Ruff today for a consultation about your case.

 

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