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Can I be Convicted of a Los Angeles DUI if I was not Driving?

  • September 3, 2017

    Here’s a great article from Todd Spodek – a top rated NYC divorce lawyer. Los Angeles police officers want to keep their city safe, which is why they crack down so hard on those who drive under the influence. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle and drives after drinking, using drugs, or using prescription drugs is going to be arrested and charged with a DUI. Their choice to get behind the wheel of a car is a dangerous decision. It puts not only their own lives but the lives of everyone on the road at risk. It’s dangerous, illegal, and it’s not permitted anywhere. However, there are some stipulations to this law, and many people want to know if they have a defense after they were arrested and charged with a DUI.

    I Was In My Car But Not Driving

    One of the first questions people ask when they are arrested for a DUI is if they can prove they weren’t driving, will they be convicted. In most instances, it’s quite difficult to prove someone wasn’t driving when the police report shows the person arrested was driving the vehicle and pulled over with probable cause. In some situations, however, it is possible an officer makes an arrest where driving wasn’t an issue.

    If, for example, someone was drunk and fell asleep in their car while they were parked at a bar or restaurant, they might be stopped. The officer might receive a report that there is a drunk person in a car or witness the person in the driver’s seat unresponsive. This is probable cause to speak to you, and it might end up with you in jail for a DUI.

    You weren’t driving, though. How can you be arrested for driving under the influence if you weren’t driving anywhere when the police arrested you? It’s a successful defense, but there are some additional considerations. If you’re in the car in a parking lot at a bar and someone can testify you were there for hours before getting in your car and falling asleep, you might have a defense.

    If you were at the bar and the officer found you passed out in the driver’s seat of your car on the side of the road a few miles away, they have reason to believe you were driving at that point. It’s difficult to determine how you got there and why you are in the driver’s seat of your vehicle on the side of a road drunk.

    – You drove only an inch or two before realizing you were too drunk to make it home safely and parked the car.
    – You were at home hosting a football party and drinking all afternoon when you moved your car out of the way so your guests had room to park.
    – You’re mowing your lawn while drunk.

    These are all causes for a DUI arrest. If you are caught moving your vehicle at all, you are operating it. It’s illegal when you’re drunk, and an officer can arrest you for that. You might hope that the officer has some pity on you when they realize you only began backing out of a space before realizing it wasn’t a good idea, parking the car, and calling for a ride. They might decide this was responsible and let it go this time with a warning.

    – You sat in the driver’s seat but no one can prove your vehicle moved.
    – You start your car and never move it.
    – Your car moved without your consent or control.

    If any of these things occur, you are not guilty of a DUI. This means you can’t be in trouble if you are sleeping it off in your car and someone bumps into you in the parking lot, sending your car into the roadway. You might be intoxicated, but the accident caused your car to move. You are not in trouble for this.

    It’s often difficult to prove you didn’t move your car when you’re drunk and found in the driver’s seat, which is why it’s imperative to contact an attorney. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help you gain control of your charges, fight your case, and potentially win. Your charges might be dropped, or at least reduced significantly. Call an attorney to see how they can help you in your DUI case.

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