Defendant Driving on Xanax Passed Out in Patrol Car following Arrest

Charges DROPPED!

The Charges

Officers were notified of a hazardous driver. The driver exhibited signs of intoxication and failed field sobriety testing. The police arrested the driver on suspicion of DUI. The driver passed out in the patrol car on the way to the jail and during the booking process. She then blew a .00% blood alcohol level. Officers brought in a drug recognition expert to evaluate the suspect, who determined that she appeared under the influence of a CNS depressant (Xanax).

Drug Recognition Expert in Florida

A drug recognition expert is defined as an officer that has received specialized training to evaluate suspects to determine if they are impaired, and if so, what drug is causing the impairment. They can also determine if a medical condition is causing the impairment. The drug recognition expert is certified by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. 

Drug Recognition Assessment

If a drug recognition expert is called in, they will go through a list of factors to assist them in determining what class of drugs an individual has consumed. The drug recognition expert will:

  • Talk to the police officer that has arrested you
  • Conduct a physical exam
  • Check your vital signs
  • Conduct an eye exam to see how focused you remain
  • Review all of the statements you have made
  • Check muscle tone and all reflexes
  • Observe your reactions to your surroundings
  • Examine your body for any syringe marks

Any results the drug recognition expert obtain can be used against you in court. If there is sufficient enough evidence that you are under the influence of a substance, the drug recognition expert can support the police officer in arresting you. 

Defenses Used When a Drug Recognition Expert Is Used

It is becoming more common for police officers to rely on drug recognition experts. However, a skilled attorney can provide a strong defense for their clients even when a drug recognition expert was involved. The following defenses could successfully be used in such cases:

  • The drug recognition expert (DRE) failed to have all evidence to indicate there actually was a drug impairment in a certain category.
  • The defendant’s normal functioning varies from the average person’s normal functioning.
  • The defendant’s actions were normal, therefore not consistent with the drug category in question.
  • There were other explanations for the defendant’s behavior (i.e. fatigue, traffic accident, medical condition, etc).
  • The DRE made a medical diagnosis without being a trained doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider.

Contacting Musca Law Firm

If you or a family member have been arrested for influence under a CNS depressant or any other drug, you will need legal representation to help you in court. With over 150-years of combined legal experience among our team of criminal defense attorneys, Musca Law Firm is able to negotiate with the prosecution in order to have your charges reduced or dismissed entirely. We have defended many clients against a wide range of criminal charges, and are capable of building a strong and strategic legal defense on your behalf based on the specifics of your case. We have multiple offices across the state of Florida for your geographical convenience. We offer a free, no-obligation initial case consultation and answer our phones 24/7 to be available when you need us. Don’t hesitate to call our office today at (888) 484-5057 to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. 

RESULT: The defense determined that the client unknowingly took Xanax instead of aspirin when she had a headache. The defense believed in the client’s innocence and moved forward with the trial. The attorney proved the State’s case lacked evidence, which resulted in all charges being DROPPED!