An Interview with Drug DUI Defense Lawyer, Kevin Roach
The following is an interview conducted with Drug DUI defense lawyer, Kevin Roach regarding the legal nature of Drug DUI cases.
Interviewer: Do you see a lot of DUI cases that are drugs – either illegal or prescription?
Kevin Roach: Yes, I do. I’ve seen a lot of these recently. It seems like they’re charging these prescription drug cases more and more. In Missouri there’s a lot of gray area as to what constitutes driving under the influence when it comes to prescription drugs. You have to be in what’s considered a drugged state. What is a drugged state? It’s very unclear, but they treat them just like regular DWIs.
I had a lady come in last week who was on her prescription medication, and she says she was just taking a regular dose of Ritalin. It’s one of the first cases I’ve seen involving Ritalin. I didn’t know that it was something you couldn’t drive safely under the influence on. For that one, we haven’t received the police report yet, but we plan on challenging that one because I think it’s definitely arguable that someone could drive safely on medication such as Ritalin and not be in what they call a drugged state.
Interviewer: Are these kinds of cases harder to defend, or are they just different from the alcohol DUIs?
Kevin Roach: Yeah, they’re definitely different. Are they harder? Not necessarily. I think if someone has a prescription for a drug, the prosecutor is more sympathetic to someone that’s, for instance, taking their Vicodin because they have back pain. They’re more sympathetic to that as long as someone has a legitimate reason to take the drug as opposed to if someone is drinking alcohol. In that sense, they’re easier to defend. A lot of times you can get the blood work and show that they’re within the prescribed range of the medication. They weren’t abusing the medication, and a lot of times you can get the cases dismissed or amended down.
Interviewer: What are the common drugs you see that are being charged as DWI? You mentioned Ritalin, which has been rare. Do you see a lot of Oxycontin or Ambien? What do you see?
Kevin Roach: I’ve seen Ambien. I’ve seen Codeine. I’ve seen Oxycodone. I’ve seen Xanax. A lot of times people are asked these questions by the officer and they don’t think anything of it. They’re asked, “Are you taking any prescription medicine?” They just admit, “Yeah, I take my one milligram of Xanax or Ativan every day.” They might not even realize they’re incriminating themselves. But right there, you’re admitting you’re under the influence and according to the police officer, you failed the field sobriety tests in what’s considered a drugged state and you could be charged with driving under the influence.
Interviewer: What makes your representation different from other DWI attorneys in the area? What would you say separates you and makes your representation suitable for people?
Kevin Roach: We are a small solo firm. I handle a large number of DWI cases. We can’t say we specialize in Missouri, but defending DWI and DUI cases has been a large part of my practice for many years . Just from handling over a thousand cases, I’ve developed the skills and expertise necessary to properly defend these cases. I’ve been practicing for over 15 years, so obviously I have a high level of knowledge. My experience and expertise coupled with the personal service my clients receive is what sets us apart from other DWI defense lawyers.
I hear horror stories from people all the time that hire a firm and never actually meet their attorney. Sometimes they go to a traffic law center and they meet with a paralegal. The fact that they never meet with an attorney is shocking. I personally do all my initial consultations and never pawn those off to my paralegal or to an associate. I meet with all my clients because it is essential to defend their case. Once you pay a retainer, I’m going to handle your case from start to finish. I have an open line of communication. Whenever someone calls me or emails me, I try to get back to them that same day.
I think that’s what separates us from a lot of law firms. It’s the level of service you get and the level of knowledge I have in this area of the law.