Homicide By Vehicle While DUI of Prescription Drugs

July 19, 2018By Brian Manchester

Americans More Likely To Be Charged With Homicide By Vehicle While DUI of Prescription Drugs

Have you or someone you know been charged with Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs? This charge is also well-known as “Vehicular Homicide While DUI” or “Vehicular Manslaughter While DUI,” and has serious consequences of up to ten years in prison and a $25,000 fine for each death caused.

Recent surveys show Americans are taking more and more prescription drugs, and as such, police in Pennsylvania are stepping up their enforcement of prescription drug DUIs. Common prescription drugs that can lead to Vehicular Homicide while Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs are:

  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Methadone
  • Prozac
  • Oxycodone
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
Second-Degree Felony

Homicide by Vehicle While DUI of Prescription Drugs is a second-degree felony, and the fact that the death was an accident does not mean the driver is innocent of the charge. The specific charge is codified into law as the following:

  • 3735. Homicide by vehicle while driving under influence.

(a)  Offense defined.–Any person who unintentionally causes the death of another person as the result of a violation of section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and who is convicted of violating section 3802 is guilty of a felony of the second degree when the violation is the cause of death and the sentencing court shall order the person to serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than three years. A consecutive three-year term of imprisonment shall be imposed for each victim whose death is the result of the violation of section 3802.

A Number Of Defenses Available

There are a number of defenses available in cases such as these. In fact many more so than alcohol. The point of prescription drugs is they are prescribed to treat a person for medical issues. More often than not a person on prescription drugs is worse off without them than with them.

Take Adderall for example. It is generally prescribed for attention deficit disorder. Well, a person taking Adderall is doing so to increase their focus, which driving requires. Then if something goes wrong, the government wants to say a person is impaired because they are taking a medication that in reality is designed to keep a person focused.

There is a lot of bad science used by the government in all DUI cases, especially in prescription medication DUI cases. Another example is the government wants to talk about the levels of drugs in a person’s blood.

It is well known in legitimate science that drug levels mean nothing by themselves. Drugs are not like alcohol where certain BAC limits usually show specific signs in people. In fact, the longer a person takes a prescription medication the more tolerant they get of it.

Hire An Attorney As Soon As Possible

Given the severity of this charge, it is crucial to hire a defense attorney as soon as possible, and ideally prior to speaking with the police. When someone dies in a traffic accident, police officers immediately arrive on the scene and will attempt to question you as part of their homicide investigation. You should be polite,but refrain from talking to the police until you have retained a criminal defense attorney to be present with you during all police communications.

As you can see, Vehicular Homicide while Driving Under the Influence of Prescription Drugs is a very serious offense, and it is important to know your options if charged with this crime. Do not assume you will be convicted.

We have specific training in the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of drugs as well as the testing of them in the blood. My associates and myself will discuss with you in great detail all aspects of your case.

At Manchester & Associates we are experienced criminal defense attorneys that will fight for you and your rights. For a free consultation, we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.


Posted in: Vehicular Homicide While DUI

Tags: Drugs, DUI, Prescription Drugs, Vehicular Homicide While DUI,

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About the Author

Brian Manchester is the owner of Manchester and Associates in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. His law firm practices DUI and Criminal Defense exclusively throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania in both state and federal court. He has a team of two other lawyers with a combined 50 years of trial and courtroom experience are also trained in science and many other skills that are relevant to criminal defense to include the psychology of persuasion as well. One of his associates is a former District Attorney (chief prosecutor) in central Pennsylvania.   Mr. Manchester and his team routinely handle serious felony cases including murder, manslaughter, sex crimes, complex financial crimes, and serious assaults. A large part of Mr. Manchester’s practice is the defense of alcohol and drug-based DUI offenses as well as drug cases using science and analytical chemistry. Mr. Manchester has training as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Instructor. He is one of a handful of Certified Lawyer-Scientists as recognized by the American Chemical Society in the United States. He is a member of NCDD and is a Founding Member of DUIDLA. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society with over 170,000 members across the world. To date, he is the only practicing criminal defense lawyer to belong to the Society of Forensic Toxicologist where he is an Associate Member. Mr. Manchester speaks nationally on the topic of blood and drug testing for alcohol as well as the metrological (measurement uncertainty) in forensic testing.

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