The following is a guest post post and may not reflect the opinions of legalhelpinhouston.com.
DUI laws across the United States have gotten really strict over the past few decades. In fact, up until recently, you could be charged with a DUI even if you were not driving the vehicle. Before 1995, the DUI laws stated that sitting in a vehicle while intoxicated with the keys in the ignition was considered actual physical control of the car. Fortunately, that law is no longer in effect thanks to attorneys who took the case to the Supreme Court and argued that the law was unfair.
After that law was struck down, whether a person has actual physical control of the car is determined by examining the totality of the circumstances. When a person is booked for DUI, the court will look all of the important factors in the situation, such as what the person was doing during the time he or she pulled over and why this person was stopped. For example, someone who a person pulls over to the side of the road to turn off the air conditioner or sleep off a intoxication would not be in actual physical control of their car. This can be a very powerful defense.
Every case is different and has unique circumstances and facts. However, a qualified criminal defense lawyer could be able to use the lack of physical control as a defense. Below are some examples of circumstances that demonstrate a lack of physical control of the vehicle:
- The vehicle was in neutral.
- The engine was turned off.
- The vehicle was in a parking lot, outside of a drive-through or not on a main travel road.
- The vehicle was turned on to run the heater or air conditioner.
These circumstances could prove that the driver was not endangering anyone’s life. If the car is not running, then the driver does not have actual physical control over it. However, a driver who is passing out while crossing a median or moving in traffic does constitute actual physical control of the vehicle.
If you are facing DUI charges, then it is best to contact a reputable attorney to handle your case. They may be able to help you get your charges dropped by proving a lack of actual physical control. There are also other defenses that can be used in order to drop or reduce your DUI charges.
Author: Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney, David Michael Cantor
David Michael Cantor has provided exceptional criminal defense for his clients for over 25 years. David’s office is in Phoenix and he’s still known as one of the top DUI Attorneys in Chandler, AZ due to his work with clients in that Phoenix suburb.