If you have never faced any type of legal trouble, you may feel panicked and overwhelmed if you suddenly face criminal charges. Commonly, individuals have allegations of driving under the influence brought against them, and in your case, the charges may have come about unexpectedly. Because you have a clean record and feel unprepared when it comes to such a situation, you may wish to gain more information.
No matter the reason for the traffic stop that led to your arrest, DUI charges could come about due to per se laws. This law means that even if you did not commit any other driving violations but a breath or blood test indicated that your blood-alcohol concentration level reached or exceeded .08 percent, police officers could charge you with driving under the influence.
The role of driving in DUI
Though you may have always considered DUI charges applicable when intoxicated individuals drive vehicles on the roadways, other elements could also lead to such charges. Laws regarding DUI do not always use the term “driving” to define the offense, and as a result, you could potentially face charges even if your vehicle was not in motion at the time officers approached your vehicle. Of course, this type of scenario could bring about many questions regarding the applicable nature of such allegations.
Nonetheless, you may wish to understand what other factors could play a role in whether authorities could bring charges against you. In determining whether you have driven under the influence, police and the court may look at the following elements:
- The location of your vehicle at the time of the stop
- Your location inside the vehicle at the time of the stop
- Whether the keys were in or out of the ignition
- Whether the vehicle was operational
In your case, you may have reason to argue that these elements do not place you in a position to face a conviction for DUI charges.
The elements used to charge you with driving under the influence could also play a role in your defense presentation. You have the ability to examine evidence brought against you, and the information regarding your arrest and charges may help you determine the defense approach with which you feel most comfortable. Because facing such a situation can prove stressful, you may want to ensure that you gain reliable information.