Can I get charged of a DUI even if I was not driving? 19 Answers as of December 27, 2012

I wasn't driving at the time the police arrived from a public disturbance call, yet the officers arrested me and booked me under public intoxication and DUI. They also did not read my rights to me when they handcuffed me.

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Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
Based on the facts that you are presented and it would appear that they are limited grounds for which you could be arrested for DUI and I believe would be advisable to consult an attorney who is skilled in representing individuals charged with DUI to represent you in this matter and hopefully convince the prosecution not to proceed with the case.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 12/27/2012
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You can be arrested, because the police received info that you were behind the wheel.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/20/2012
Law Office of John Schum, LLC
Law Office of John Schum, LLC | John Schum
Under certain facts, you could still be charged. I need to see the discovery to know how the police are intending to show you were operating the vehicle and then I could let you know how likely it is for them to get a conviction. I encourage you to have a lawyer and the judge will try to get you to either use the public defenders or hire your own attorney. This is important because the DUI will stay on your record forever and if you get stopped again the punishment may increase significantly or mean mandatory jail. There are ways to challenge and win these cases but that requires having an attorney that knows the law. If you are going to try to do it yourself, that will be difficult. The maximum punishments for a first offense are one of the following: a fine between $150 and $1,000; not more than 72 hours of community service or between 48 hours and 5 days in jail. Your license will be suspended for a year and you will need to have an ignition interlock system installed in your vehicle if you want to drive. There is also a requirement for a substance abuse assessment and a 14 hour course. If you cannot win the case, I could probably help keep the fines and any other punishment towards the lower end of the range. I hope this helps you sort your legal situation out.
Answer Applies to: Hawaii
Replied: 11/6/2012
Law Offices of Sean Logue
Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
They would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in operational control of a motor vehicle. You should consult with an experienced DUI lawyer about your case.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 11/6/2012
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2012
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Not having been read your rights only affects any statements you may have made. If you weren't driving the officer and ADA would have to show you were in order for you to be guilty of the DUI. As to public intoxication if you were in a vehicle I not engaged in any illegal, outrageous, Lou or obnoxious behavior then you should be able to defend that case rather easily as well. If you're interested in hiring an attorney contact us at your convenience.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Of course you can be charged. You were charged. The real question is whether the State can prove the charges filed against you. You need to hire an experience dui lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
    If you were not seen driving and did not admit to driving you should be able to win the trial. Call for a referral to a good DWI lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Yes, if the police have evidence that you drove the car while intoxicated, they can arrest you. They don't need to personally witness it.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If they can't show that you were driving while intoxicated then they probably will not win that one. They added it so they could dismiss it if you pled to the other charge. They do not have to read you your rights when they arrest you if they are not going to question you after arrest about the alleged crime.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    You can get charged with DUI if there is a witness to your driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes you can, because they will use circumstantial evidence to show that you must have been driving just a moment prior to the cop's arrival. You need to hire a DUI specialist, and do it soon because you have only 10 days to save your license. You have a good no-drive defense, but it won't mean much if you have no representation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    In Illinois, if you are observed behind the steering wheel, with the keys in the ignition, you are eligible to be charged with DUI. "Actual physical control", is akin to actual driving. Also, you need not be on a public highway at the time of the arrest. Unless you confessed to a crime, the fact you were not read your rights will have no effect on the case. Hire counsel to represent you, and he can gather all the evidence the prosecutor has, and review all the facts to determine what options are open to you, be they motions to suppress statements, plea bargain, or taking the case to trial.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    They probably charged you with Actual Physical Control. If you had the keys, they probably have you cold. The reading of rights does not justify dismissal of the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    The police do not have to catch you in the act of driving in order to place you under arrest for DUI. They may have other reliable evidence to indicate that you were operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while intoxicated and that is what they have to prove. Anybody can be charged with anything. It is up to the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the police do not have to read you your rights when arrested; only when in police custody and they wish to interrogate you. Do not plead guilty to anything or give statements to law enforcement without first consulting with an experienced DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You can't be charged if you were never driving; however, your note does not indicate that. You say you were not driving "at the time the police arrived". That implies to me that at some point you were driving. If someone saw you driving and called to report it to the police, then, with witness testimony, yes, you can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/5/2012
    Peacock Law Group of the Lowcountry, LLC | Richard Peacock
    The state has a weak case to prosecute a DUI against you in most instances under the circumstances given at this time. You should consult with a local attorney as soon as possible regarding these charges.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 11/5/2012
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