California Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC
VC 23152(c) – Driving While Addicted to Drugs
Driving While Addicted To A Drug – Table of Contents
- VC 23152(c) Overview
- VC 23152(c) Sentencing
- VC 23152(c) Prosecution
- VC 23152(c) Defenses
- Driving While Addicted To A Drug – Hire Us
Most people understand that driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal under the California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a). Several people are also aware that it is illegal to be driving under the influence of a drug, according to the California Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC.
Nonetheless, most people are seemingly unaware that it is labeled a crime to be driving while addicted to a drug. Now, while this crime may not be prosecuted often. Under the California Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC, it is regarded as illegal to be driving a vehicle while addicted to a drug.
The precise wording of the California Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC states:
It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
So while this statute does make it an offense for a drug addict to drive, it does make an exception for addicts who are enrolled in approved drug treatments to maintain their driving privileges.
Under VC 23152, a drug is considered any substance or a combination of substances, other than alcohol, that can affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles, impairing their ability to drive a vehicle as an ordinarily cautious person in full possession of their faculties, and using reasonable care would drive under similar circumstances.
Driving while addicted to a drug is labeled as a misdemeanor offense in California. If convicted the penalties faced will depend on how many prior DUI convictions the defendant has.
For a first time offense, the defendant could be sentenced to:
- 48 hours to six months in county jail
- A minimum fine of $390 up to $1000
- Mandatory DMV license suspension
- Mandatory enrollment into a drug and alcohol education class
- 3-5 years of informal DUI probation
With each subsequent DUI offense, the penalties get more severe. You should note that any form of California DUI will count as a prior conviction for Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC.
Crimes Related To Driving While Addicted to A Drug
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol – California Vehicle Code 23152(a)
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs – California Vehicle Code 23152(f)
For a defendant to be convicted for driving while addicted to a drug. The prosecutor has to prove without question that:
- The defendant drove a vehicle
- While doing this, the accused was addicted to a drug.
- For the prosecutor to prove addiction, they must show that the defendant:
- Is physically dependent on the drug and will suffer from withdrawal symptoms if deprived of it.
- Has developed a tolerance for the drug’s effects. Hence requires larger, stronger doses.
- Has become emotionally dependent on the drug, going through a compulsive need to continue using it.
If you happen to be under investigation for violating Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC. There are some defense strategies a criminal defense attorney can use to argue your case and get your charges dismissed. Here are a few examples:
Was Enrolled In A Drug Treatment Program At The Time Of Your Arrest
The Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC statute makes an exception for addicts who were enrolled in an approved drug program to continue driving. Thus if the defendant was enrolled at the time of their arrest. This can serve as a solid defense for the trial.
Is Not Addicted To a Drug
One key element of violating VC 23152 is the accused actually has to be a drug addict. You may find the accused is not actually addicted to the drug but uses the drug habitually. There is a clear definition of what drug addiction is under this statute. Hence if the defendant does not meet the requirements of addiction. They cannot be convicted for driving while addicted to a drug.
Being charged under Vehicle Code 23152(c) VC can carry some serious penalties. Thus, to ensure you get your charges dismissed or reduced, you will need an experienced criminal lawyer like Seppi Esfandi. Esfandi has a great track record of defending DUI cases and is bound to prove invaluable in your case.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
How to Win Your Case
We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:
- Don’t ever talk to the police
- Do not discuss your case with anyone
- Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
- Tell police you need to contact your attorney
- Never consent to any search by the police
- If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
- Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
- Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
- Information on your cell phone is evidence
- Early Intervention is the key