Monday, May 14, 2012

Can I Be Convicted of DUI When I Had Stopped Driving / While Parked? Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer - AZ DUI Team

The answer to this is "Maybe."  It really depends on how good your DUI Lawyer is.

This type of situation is one of the best cases to argue, and it is one of the most important types of cases in which to have an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer.

If you had properly parked your vehicle, it should be impossible to be convicted of "Driving" Under the Influence.  

However, under Arizona DUI law, a person may be convicted for Driving OR Being In Actual Physical Control of a Vehicle.

What does this mean... neither the Courts, nor the law itself, has given an absolute description.

Here is what the jury will consider in the situation where a person was in the driver's seat of a car, but was not seen driving:

  • Whether the vehicle was running
  • Whether the ignition was on
  • Where the ignition key was located
  • Where and in what position the driver was found in the vehicle
  • Whether the person was awake or asleep
  • Whether the headlights were on
  • Where the vehicle was stopped
  • Whether the driver had voluntarily pulled off the road
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
  • Whether the heater or A/C was on
  • Whether the windows were up or down
  • Anything else that may be relevant

In Arizona, there is an argument that can be made separately to the judge and the jury, and it basically goes like this:  

There is a societal interest in people getting off the roadway and sleeping off the drunkenness or impairment.  If these responsible people who decide that they should not be driving because they have had too much to drink, or their medication is unexpectedly impairing them, is at risk of getting arrested for DUI because they leave themselves out in the open, the system is encouraging people to continue driving impaired in order to get home where they won't be hassled by officers... and maybe even drive faster so they are on the road for less time.

People may have made a mistake by drinking too much, or taking too much medication or at the wrong time, but a person who is responsible enough to realize that they are too impaired to drive should not be punished for doing the right thing and pulling off the roadway in an attempt to sober up.

Not every Attorney realizes that this is a complete defense.  That is why it is important to get an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the system.

If you are currently charged with, or expect to get charged with, a Misdemeanor DUI or Felony DUI in Maricopa County, it is important to talk to an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. 

Contact the AZ DUI Team for a Free Consultation:


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