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Charged With A DUI But You Weren’t Driving?

 
03/13/2020
Weinstein Legal
Read Time: 7 Minutes

Police can arrest you for a DUI with no proof of driving taking place. While the term "DUI" is an acronym for "driving under the influence," the reality is that you don't have to be physically driving at all to receive a criminal charge. If you are charged with a DUI, but not driving at the time of the incident, it is crucial that you hire an attorney to form a defense for DUI charge while not driving immediately. You have too much to lose if you don't.

A DUI conviction can have serious consequences, including the loss of your license, astronomical fines, and even jail time. You can't risk taking the chance in court alone. Most likely, you have essential responsibilities that having a driver's license, and staying out of jail, are important to maintaining.

Do you drive to school or work? Do you have children you drive to appointments and activities? What about a job that you can't lose due to the time spent incarcerated? Your best chance at overcoming a DUI with no proof of driving is to hire criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal. Mr. Shafran has handled countless DUI cases, with numerous positive client outcomes.

Can You Get a DUI in a Parked Car?

Whether or not you can get a DUI in a parked car is one of the most common questions we hear from clients. Many people assume that because their vehicle is parked, and they are not driving, they cannot be arrested. This is not the case. If you are in a parked car under the influence of alcohol and deemed to be "in control of the vehicle," police can arrest you.

Being in Control of the Vehicle

The question of whether or not you are in control of a vehicle at the time of your arrest is often a deciding factor for police. Being in control of the car means that, physically, you have the power to operate the vehicle. Being in a parked car and having the car keys on your person or in your purse can result in being charged with a DUI, but not driving.

It seems contradictory, but it is the law. Furthermore, a large part of the determination is whether or not you have the intent to drive the car. If a police officer stops you as you are getting into your car intoxicated, but not yet driving and without the keys in the ignition, you are considered to be both in control of the vehicle and having the intent to drive. These things are enough for arrest.

Charged with DUI but Not Driving: Keys in the Ignition

As established above, if police deem that you are in control of the vehicle and have intent on driving, they may arrest you. Having the keys in the ignition, whether or not the car is turned on, is reason for the arrest. According to police, it is not a DUI with no proof of driving, but a DUI with intent to drive, which results in the same charge.

Never "Sleep it Off" in Your Car

In the state of Florida, if you are sleeping in your car, and have a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08%, which is considered the legal limit, you may be arrested. If you are suspected to be under the influence of a substance that is not alcohol, such as marijuana or cocaine, the police may arrest you with a blood alcohol level of 0.00%. This is the result of Florida's implied consent law. The law states that by operating or being in control of a motor vehicle, if law enforcement suspects you of being intoxicated, they have the right to order blood, urine, or breath tests.

Penalties for a DUI with No Proof of Driving

The penalties for a DUI with no proof of driving are the same as a DUI conviction one would receive while driving. In the state of Florida, you are likely to lose your license for some time and have to pay excessive fines. The amount of money you have to pay is based on how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of your arrest, as well as whether or not this is your first DUI offense.

If this is not your first arrest for a DUI, even if you were charged with a DUI but not driving, the penalties become steeper. You may be ordered to spend time in jail in addition to having your license suspended and having to pay the court-ordered fines. As a DUI is considered a criminal charge, the conviction will appear on your record during all background checks.

For this reason, you must hire an experienced DUI attorney. There are defenses against a DUI with no proof of driving, and a lawyer well-versed in the law will know precisely how to present these defenses in a court of law.

Defenses for a DUI while not Driving

If you are charged with a DUI, but not driving, you need an aggressive DUI attorney fighting on your behalf in court. There are possible defenses to the charge that can help get your charges reduced or even dismissed. This can keep you out of jail and help you avoid losing your license.

Proving You Were Not in Control of the Vehicle

If you were in your vehicle, yet not in possession of the keys, it can be hard to prove that you were the person in charge of your car. Say you are sitting in your car in the parking lot, intoxicated, and a friend or family member had your keys. They will likely be the one considered to have been in control of the vehicle. It is even more likely if they were not in the car.

For example, if they were inside the house or ran into the store while you were waiting in the car and had your keys, it will be hard to prove that you were in control of the vehicle as you had no way of operating it. If you were in the driver's seat, you might still be arrested, but a DUI attorney will know how to present this evidence in court.

Proving You Did Not Have the Intent to Drive

Another defense against being charged with a DUI, but not driving, is showing that you had no intention of driving. This is possible even if you did have the keys to your car on you at the time of the arrest. If you were outside your vehicle with the keys on you, it can be challenging to prove that you were going to drive.

Additionally, the further you were from the car at the time of arrest can play a significant role.

What to Do If an Officer Stops You

Remaining silent is imperative if you are arrested for a DUI but not driving. Immediately ask for your lawyer. As soon as you do so, you do not have to answer any more questions, and the police must allow you to have an attorney present. If they continue questioning you after you ask for legal representation, anything you say typically will not be allowed as evidence in court as it violates your legal rights.

Furthermore, never say that you were going to drive but decided not to. This is crucial, as admitting that you were thinking about driving is grounds to prove that you had the intent to drive. This evidence can be damaging to your case in court. It is best to say nothing but ask for a lawyer in a respectful manner.

Hiring a DUI Lawyer

Many people think that if they were arrested for a DUI, but not driving, the charge is likely to get thrown out. However, this is not the case. The prosecutor has the law on their side to help validate the allegations. For this reason, hire an attorney for DUI while not driving immediately. Every day that goes by, the prosecution is working on your case to prove your guilt. These are days that an experienced DUI attorney can be working tirelessly to form your defense.

You have a lot to lose when facing DUI charges. Never go through the court process alone. If you have received a DUI with no proof of driving, contact attorney Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today. We will provide you with a free case evaluation with no obligation. Additionally, we will be there for you every step of the way. There will never be a time when your calls or questions go unanswered. We understand the stress clients experience when facing DUI charges and will do everything we can to prove your innocence.

Call Weinstein Legal today so that Mr. Shafran can start working on your case as soon as possible, at 954-845-0505.

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