Can I be charged with a crime like a DUI after the fact? 53 Answers as of June 16, 2011

I was taken to the hospital last night by paramedics. The paramedics were called by the local police department. I was heavily intoxicated and sitting in my vehicle. I was never read my Miranda rights, and was released from the hospital. I was never handcuffed, or officially arrested. Can I still be charged with a crime, specifically DUI?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You can be charged if they have reason to believe that you were drinking and driving ( they probably do since they at least know you were intoxicated , the question is can they prove that you actually drove the vehicle while intoxicated ).They do not have to read you your rights unless you are in custody and they are going to question you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/16/2011
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
Yes you can. All that matters is whether charges were properly filed. You can be convicted of the charge if the prosecution proves, beyond all reasonable doubt, that your driving was impaired by the use of intoxicants.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
The simple answer is YES you can be charged. Proving the matter is a different story. Obviously more facts are needed. You need an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
If it can be shown by circumstantial evidence that you had been driving at a time when you were under the influence you can be charged even thought the officer did not see you driving. It is a matter of the strength of the evidence.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
If a blood sample was taken at the hospital then it is possible that the police might use this to charge you with DUI. This is especially true if there was an accident involved. You should certainly consider consulting with an attorney if you believe that police may be in possession of material that could result in DUI charges. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/13/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    You can be charged, the question is whether or not the state can make it's case. Were you driving or in "control" of a motor vehicle? This is a legal question that the State must prove at trial. You have to go to trial the DA seldom will give up on this, they negotiate from the position that this is a risk to you and you have an incentive to plea. It sucks that the prosecutors take this position, but the fact is, they do. Miranda rights are not an issue based on what you have said here. They may become an issue, but only if the DA or cops want to repeat something you said. Best advise, consult with a lawyer or two, pick one, be ready to fight. I know it is not cheap, but neither is the Surcharge of $1000 a year for 3 years charged by the state if you plea guilty or don't fight, the higher insurance, her required SR-22 and if your BAC was high, you can be ordered to install and pay the monitoring fee for an ignition interlock device, DWI classes, if put on probation you have to pay for random urinalysis, probation fees, fines, court cost, etc. Bottom line, a DUI can cost you upwards of $5000 and that is if you plea. Personally, I would never roll over for that kind of punishment.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Miranda rights only come in to play if you are in custody and then interrogated and those statements are used against you. Unfortunately, yes, you could be charged with a DUI after the fact. They will have evidence of intoxication from your blood. If they have evidence that you were operating the vehicle then they can charge you. However, you are in an unusual position since you don't have a future court date. You don't know if you'll be charged until and unless you receive a letter. You or an attorney can contact the DA's office to find out if they are going to issue the case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    It is the government's burden to prove the elements of any particular crime. Hiring a defense attorney can be your best chance of countering whatever evidence the government may have.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Yes you can. A report of the facts which were gathered by the Police will be sent to the DA's office. If the charging Deputy DA feels there if enough evidence you will be sent a letter informing you of the court date set for your arraignment. You don't need to be arrested or booked to be giving a court date for formal filing of charges. If you receive such a letter contact an attorney before going to court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Office of Randall S. Woodard
    The Law Office of Randall S. Woodard | Randall Scott Woodard
    Yes, a person can be and arrested for a crime after the fact. A crime can be charged at any time within the statute of limitations, typically 18 months for a misdemeanor and 3 years for most felonies. When a person is placed under arrest can be a question of fact for the judge. A person is considered under arrest when a reasonable person would not believe they were free to leave, a police officer telling you that you are under arrest is clearly a factor given great weight but not determinative. A person only has to be read the Miranda warnings if the police intend to question him or her after the period of time when it is determined that they are "in custody" which is essentially when they are under arrest. No charge was initiated immediately to give the police and state's attorney's office the time to get the hospital record of your blood alcohol concentration if authorized by statute.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Yes. You may be charged with a DWI when there is credible evidence to support probable cause that an offense has occurred. Miranda warnings need not be read unless you are taken into custody and exposed to a custodial interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    DUI requires some evidence that you were driving. If no one saw you driving, you probably cannot be convicted of DUI. However, it is a crime to be under the influence when you are in control of a vehicle (even if its not moving). If the keys were in the ignition and the vehicle was capable of moving, you could be charged with this offense.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Of course you can. It may yet happen, probably will, either by being arrested, or by receiving a letter from the DA requiring you to appear in court. If it does, and if serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you could be charged with OWI. It is totally up to the prosecutor to determine whether charges will be brought. If after reviewing a police report the prosecutor determines that there is sufficient evidence, charges could be brought. The fact that you were not read your rights is not determinative. You only have to be read your rights if you are being questioned by the police. If the paramedics were called to treat you, anything told to them should be privileged. If they disclose that information to the police, they could have violated HIPPA.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes. You need to retain a law firm of our caliber to represent you in defense of the charges.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that you were "heavenly intoxicated" and sitting in your vehicle when the police pulled up. They sent you to the hospital in an ambulance. You might have died from choking on your own vomit or by getting into an accident. You may also have killed or seriously injured other innocent motorists. The police have to prove that you "operated the vehicle". That has been defined by case law as being behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition, you do not have to be awake, driving, or moving the vehicle if you were on a public highway. Driving while intoxicated is like shooting a loaded gun at a moving trail and hoping no one gets hit by the bullets. You were not just drunk, you were obliterated and nearly died from an overdose of alcohol. You will most likely be charged with DWI if the police believe that you were behind the wheel and the keys were in the igniting. Your lawyer can argue that you were not operating the vehicle or that you got intoxicated after you pulled over, but the judge or jury will most likely convict you of DWI and you will have your license revoked for 6 months. You will pay a $500 fine and your insurance will increase dramatically. At least you are still alive. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    There are cases where people who were not observed driving are nevertheless charged with DUI. It depends on the Police Dept involved, the state of your intoxication and the circumstantial evidence, such as: Was the engine warm Did you admit driving to that location Was there anyone else in the car Was it your car? were there keys in the ignition It is a good case to get a veteran lawyer involved.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The short answer is Yes. The State can file DUI charges at anytime within the statute of limitations, which varies depending upon where you are. Kansas law is five years.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You can be charged with DUI if you are in your vehicle and intoxicated, even sleeping in your vehicle. The DUI laws make no distinction between operating a motor vehicle and being in possession of a motor vehicle while under the influence. The punishment is the same.You do not have to be read Miranda warnings to be arrested for DUI or any other offense.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    The short answer is: Yes you can be charged. The real question is: can you be convicted? There must be evidence of operating the vehicle. This will depend on many things you did not mention. Did you admit to driving? were you observed to be driving? Were you in a position to operate the vehicle? (e.g. keys in ignition, engine running, in drive . . ) You should have your case reviewed by your attorney for possible defenses to this case. Also, review should be made of how any blood test was taken. Sometimes the taking of blood can be distorted and the results can be unreliably too high.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    You could be charged. It is another issue if they can convict you. Talk to a local attorney after you get charged.(may not get charged)
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Anybody can be charged with any crime. That doesn't mean they can prove it however. For DUI, they will need to have some evidence indicating you were operating your motor vehicle while intoxicated like you admit you were. For example, if you were on the driver's side with the keys in the ignition off of a public road. You need to hire an experienced DUI attorney to review your case. He will more than pay for himself in the long run in terms of what he can save you, i.e. driver's license points, vehicle immobilization, higher insurance premiums, jail, fines/costs, probation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Brian Walker Law Firm, P.C.
    Brian Walker Law Firm, P.C. | Brian Walker
    Generally, however, if you are heavily intoxicated and sitting in a vehicle and have the keys, in a location which has ready access to a public roadway, you could still be charged with having physical control of the vehicle or a DUI, depending upon the circumstances of your case. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    Yes, DUII charges may be filed after the incident and it is often done after a subject is taken to the hospital and the staff does an intoxicant screen and finds intoxicants in the subject's blood or urine. This is quite common. In Oregon, the state has two years after the incident in order to charge the crime.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    If you do get charged, you need to do a motion to suppress and a motion to dismiss.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes you can be charged, but it may be hard to convict based on the facts as set forth. You need to hire a DUI lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
    Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
    Yes. Theoretically the police can issue a summons after the incident. Depending on the state the statute of limitations could be 90 days to several years.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Simple answer: Yes. Your best option: Retain a criminal attorney. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    It is possible to be charged with DUI after the fact. In Georgia, the police sometimes execute a search warrant for medical records and make DUI cases based on them. If you have not been charged yet, that is a good sign, but it is still possible.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    Yes, you can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Probably, yes. If you had the keys and the vehicle was operational, then you are subject to arrest. You may have other defenses, such as why were you approaches in the first place. If you are charged review your case with counsel. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Yes. You can be charged up to the statute of limitations, which depends on the offense, but it's a period of months or years. It makes no difference if you were arrested or read Miranda rights at the time. If you receive a notice that you've been charged with a crime, talk to a lawyer before you call the court or police. If the police come to arrest you or to talk to you, don't talk to them about it. Tell them you don't want to answer questions and that you want a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Most jurisdictions have statutes of limitations which are the time frames that the state can charge you with a crime. I practice in Oregon and the statute of limitations on DUII is two years. This means the state can charge a person with DUII anytime within two years of the date of the crime. You may have a few arguments on the sufficiency of the state's evidence, but as long as they charge you within two years of the date of the incident, that's legal.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    Yes, it's possible, but unlikely. They can charge you with DUI if you are seated in your car and you have the keys in the ignition or in your pocket, believe it or not. If you do receive notice to appear in court, consult immediately with an attorney of your choice and defend the case since it is not a strong case for the prosecutor. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    It's very important to hire an attorney. Feel free to call me to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Yes if there are sufficient facts that rise to a level of probable cause to arrest you for DUII.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes they can. They may be holding back on charging you in order to see if they can charge you with a more serious crime. There is a time limit within which they have to charge you but that is usually several years after the fact.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You absolutely can still be charged. The police can wait until the get the results of any blood tests that were taken from you and then issue a warrant for your arrest. In fact, this would be the proper and prudent thing for the police to do - to wait until they have the evidence in hand before seeking a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    You can still be charged. If the police have evidence of a crime, they generally have up to a year to file misdemeanor charges if they so choose.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. May be some difficulty in proving it but you certainly can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    Yes. Here in California you can be. Of course, they will have to prove you were driving, not just sitting in the car.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes you can. Get an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    You can charged anytime within 18 months of the crime if it is a misdemeanor offense. When the lab results come back, and the police review the new evidence, you may be charged. Even sleeping in a car with the keys in your control can bring a DUI charge.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes you can, via circumstantial evidence. Contact a DUI specialist immediately, as certain things may have to be done in a timely manner (ie. DMV hearing).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Yes, you can still be charged with a DUI, but there are defenses to this charge. Some potential defenses that come to mind are that no one actually witnessed you driving, the blood test may have not been of your "whole" blood, etc. There is more information on my site. I have had DUI's dismissed in cases similar this. Feel free to contact me to discuss the particulars of your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    Yes. If they have the support to support such a charge. One year after the DUI to file the DUI charges, if a misdemeanor. The Miranda rights admonition is usually voluntary in DUI cases and not usually given, for the following reasons: During the investigative stage, the officer has no obligation to advise one of the person of Miranda rights (to an attorney, to remain silent). In DUI cases, the officer asks all the questions before arresting (handcuffing), thereby avoiding the issue of having to advise. The person does not have to answer any questions but the person usually does. Not until handcuffed is the need for the Admonition triggered. And by that time, the officer normally has all the answers to all the questions needed to arrest for Driving under the influence of alcohol. After that, the officer abstains from questioning during custody. It is not like the officer takes the person downtown and puts them under a hot light: Did you commit a DUI? And in DUI cases, the person has no right to speak to an attorney before deciding whether to take the required breath or blood test (it's called the "implied consent" law when one signs up for one's license). In sum, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney are substantially different in a DUI case. Caveat: Nonetheless, any interrogating statements made after taken into custody (e.g. in the police car: Were you drunk? Yes I was very drunk) may not be used against the person at trial and are subject to suppression for failure to admonish.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Yes. While I do not know what happened that led to the police being called to your location, if you were heavily intoxicated and sitting in your car, the police most likely assumed you were under the influence. Did you have your blood drawn at the hospital? If so, they are probably waiting for the results to determine blood alcohol level (BAC). The fact that you were not arrested, handcuffed or read your Miranda rights says nothing about whether you or not you will be charged with a DUI. What you need to do now is to immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney to thoroughly evaluate your case. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    The police must observe you either driving or sitting in the drivers seat. Without evidence of operation, you cannot be charged with dui.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Technically yes, you may be charged up to three years after the incident on a misdemeanor Nd five years after the fact on a felony... I have seen where the officers wait a short period of time prior to an arrest in such a situation... But as more time passes the less likely it is you will be charged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Yes. If there is proof you operated the car and were intoxicated. Did the police see you behind the wheel? Were you the only person there? Etc. Did the police, emt or hospital staff smell your breath? The fact that you were not arrested immediately is good but not dispositive.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
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