Can I still be charged for a DUI for sleeping in my car? 12 Answers as of December 18, 2013

If my public defender tells me to plead guilty to a charge that I know is not valid, can I fight it? I was charged with a DUI. The night in question, I was sitting in my car sleep in a parking space. The car was not running and the keys were not in the ignition. The police report does not state anywhere that the keys are in the ignition and they were not visible.

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You represent yourself and plead NOT GUILTY.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 12/18/2013
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
The question is not whether or not you can be charged, that is already occurred. Real question is whether or not you can be convicted. I would suggest you hire an attorney and attempt to defend yourself.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/13/2013
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
Question depends on where you are sleeping.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 11/13/2013
Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
Look on the 'net for "actual physical control", short answer is Yes.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/13/2013
Law Office of Edward J. Blum
Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
Fight it. Get a lawyer. If the cops didn't see you drive there is no DUI as the D stands for .... Drive.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/13/2013
    Kevin H Pate
    Kevin H Pate | Kevin H Pate
    I'll take a stab and the keys were in your possession. Listen to your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Sounds like a good case to fight. I would file a motion to dismiss. Ask the judge for a different lawyer or hire your own.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    If the keys were anywhere inside the car, then that is "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    Meadows & Howell, LLC
    Meadows & Howell, LLC | Brad Howell
    The keys do not have to be in the ignition and the car does not have to be running in order for you to be convicted of a DUI. Whether you can be deemed as in "actual physical control" of the vehicle, as the law requires, depends on all of the relevant facts, but from what you've stated in your question, it appears that you could be convicted of a DUI. You can still always choose to take the charge to trial, but it does not sound like your public defender's suggestion is completely off base, as you'd have to prove a lot more than just the fact that the keys were not in the ignition or visible.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    Hudson Bair | Hudson Bair
    Yes, you can be charged for DUI, you have been charged, you are actively defending these charges. If your car was lawfully parked it seems hat you have at least one defense, you may want to get a copy of your police reports and get a second opinion. Many lawyers in your area will likely be happy to meet you to discuss the facts of your case and possible defenses.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    Law Office of Paul Carmouche | Paul J Carmouche
    Based on what you are saying you should not plead guilty. Tell your PD that you will not plead guilty and want to go to trial if the DA will not drop the charge. Unless the police have a witness that saw you drive up and park there, they do not have a case. I assume that you did not tell them that you drove there shortly before they found you.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/13/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes, via circumstantial evidence. Which is why you need to hire a DUI specialist, because your facts are way too nice to plead guilty without a fight. With a PD, you will get what you pay for and be convicted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/13/2013
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