Could I be arrested for DUI if I was sleeping in my car? How? 25 Answers as of April 22, 2015

Last weekend I had too much to drink at a bar so instead of driving, I tried to do the responsible thing and went to sleep it off in my car in a parking garage. A few hours later, a cop was knocking on my window and he asked me what I was doing. I told him that the truth, and after failing the sobriety tests, I was booked into jail. Can I fight this? Somebody please help what should I do?

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
You can fight it, but you will probably need an attorney, since you could not talk your way out of being arrested.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/22/2015
Nichols Law Firm
Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
You can be arrested. I'm not sure if the prosecution will get very far though.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/22/2015
The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
The prosecutor can legally charge you with DUI even if you are asleep in your car because there is the possibility that you were either driving drunk and pulled over to sleep it off, or you would wake up soon and decide to drive home while you were still drunk. This happens all the time. Hire an experienced DUI attorney to represent you if you want to avoid having a DUI conviction on your permanent record.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 4/22/2015
Law Office of Robert E McCall | Robert McCall
Talk to a local attorney about the incident. Florida does allow an arrest if a person is in "actual physical control" of a parked vehicle and the person is under the influence. Judges usually do not like the charge.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/22/2015
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question requires an attorney consultation. 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. How did your car get to the parking garage? Did you park there before you went to the bar? Do you have any witnesses who can prove that you did not drive your car to the garage after you had been drinking? Since we do not have all the facts, it is impossible to give a completely accurate answers. 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. (S)he would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2015
    S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
    The DUI laws are written in such a way that, if you are in "control" of your car while under the influence you can be cited. This does not necessarily mean that you have to be behind the wheel anymore with the motor running. However, you should retain counsel if you are going to be charged with DUI to discuss more thoroughly the facts surrounding your case to see if there are any mitigating circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    Hire a lawyer. If a jury were to find that you were?"operating" a motor vehicle, you could be convicted. There is one really bad Texas case out there but it is ridiculous. You need to hire a lawyer ASAP to handle your ALR hearing, too.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Happens all the time.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    MatthewR. Schutz, Esq | Matthew R. Schutz
    First question is did you drive to the garage? Where were the keys? Depending on the answers to these questions you may be able to contest.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    You are probably charged with being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence. The state claims that if you have the means to start the car, you could well do so. Physical control is specifically made part of the Minnesota DWI statute.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes you can. You need to hire a DUI specialist, and do it soon because you have only 10 days to save your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    You have some items to fight based upon what you have stated, you should get the arrest report and see if the officer agrees with your memory. You should contact an attorney who practices in the Court you have your DUI charges pending in.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Shalvoy Law, LLC | Walter A. Shalvoy Jr.
    The question is were you operating the motor vehicle. If the key was in the ignition the court considers you to be operating.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    In Illinois, you can be charged and convicted of a DUI if you are in "actual physical control of a motor vehicle" while impaired. So yes, you can get a DUI while sleeping in your car. You will need an attorney to defend the case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes, but it's difficult to get a conviction if the cops can't tell when you were driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren | Russell A. Warren
    Yes you can be tried for DUI. The officers generally look to see if you had "custody, care and control" of the vehicle. An attorney can help you with this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Minnesota has an "in control of the vehicle" law. You should contact an attorney asap and discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    Yes, you can absolutely fight it. In Arizona the statute says you can get a DUI for driving or being "in actual physical control" of a vehicle. In determining whether you were in actual physical control of a vehicle they use a check list of facts to determine if you were just using the vehicle for shelter or if you were likely to drive off in it. ?Factors are things such as: was the vehicle on, were the keys in the ignition, were the lights on, was the radio on, if it were hot was the AC on, if it were cold was the heater on, etc. Contact a qualified attorney in your area to help you fight this case.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Natty Shafer Law
    Natty Shafer Law | Nathaniel Shafer
    Yes, absolutely you can fight it. Utah law states that you can be convicted of a DUI if you are in "actual physical control" of a car. There are many facts that could lead to a jury concluding that you were not in control, such as not having the keys in the ignition, or being in the back seat, or whatever. Talk to a lawyer about your case and fight the charge. Many juries would be sympathetic to someone trying to do the right thing.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You absolutely should fight this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Get an attorney and do not speak with anyone about the incident until you do. This is NOT an easy case or a very good defense, but may be your best chance and worth a try.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Jefferson and Biggs | Matthew Jefferson
    Yes there are ways of fighting this charge. But attorneys cannot contact you. You must contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    You may very well have a defense. IF the car was not running, then you were not driving. You might have said something too much to the arresting officer, of course, and he may have had some kind of tip-off in advance. What you should do is consult a lawyer experienced in DUI defense very soon. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    P. Adam Militello, Esq.
    P. Adam Militello, Esq. | Adam Militello
    There is case law that says you can sleep in your car while drunk. In some cases you can even turn the car on so that you can stay warm. An experienced DWI attorney should be able to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 4/21/2015
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Yes you should fight it an attorney is likely necessary to win depending on where you were located in the car, where the keys were and some other things, you can win at DMV and criminal courts did you do a blood or breath test? if you refused or did a breath test over 0.08, then you must request a DMV hearing at the local DMV office within 7 days of the arrest or else you give up that right and will lose you license (hearing set within 60 days).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/21/2015
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