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Can I Get Charged with a Los Angeles DUI if I am Not Driving at the Time of Arrest?

  • September 1, 2017

    Here’s a great article submitted by DelanceyStreet.com, a Los Angeles hard money lender. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) isn’t quite as simple as it sounds. There are so many different factors in this type of arrest, and most people are unaware of all the laws surrounding this type of arrest. There is one law, however, that does make sense. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you must be driving. This is where the law often becomes a bit tricky. You needn’t be driving down the highway drunk or under the influence of drugs to get pulled over and arrested for a DUI. You can be under the influence on your lawn mower in your yard or even backing your car down the driveway so your spouse can get his or her car out of the drive.

    Los Angeles law states you must only be operating a vehicle to constitute driving under the influence. If you are in the driver’s seat of a moving vehicle, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI. You need not be driving. You might be moving the car two inches to allow someone enough space to open their trunk in a parking lot and be arrested. On the same note, you might decide you’re too drunk to drive home one night and simply sit in the driver’s seat of your vehicle with the air conditioner on while you wait for a friend to come get you. If the car remains still during this time, you cannot be charged with a DUI.

    What’s a moving car?

    You know a moving car is a car that’s moving, but what exactly does movement mean in a situation like this? You might know better than to get in the car to drive home after a long day of drug or alcohol use, but did you know you can be arrested and charged with a DUI if you move you move your car out of someone’s way even if you never leave the driveway? Did you know you could be pulled over and arrested for a DUI if you begin to back your car out of a parking space of a bar before realizing it’s a bad idea? Even if your car moved one inch before you put it back in park, you’re legally driving under the influence.

    On the other hand, if you are sleeping off a drunken night in your car without ever driving anyone and someone hits you in a parking lot, your car will move. However, you are not going to be charged with a DUI because your car did not move because of your operation. There are so many fine lines and considerations, it’s so important you hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney to help you with a case like this.

    Probable Cause

    The good news is you can’t just be pulled over in your own driveway for a DUI if the officer doesn’t have probable cause. If the officer sees you moving your car out of the way so there’s more parking space, he or she must have a reason for approaching you. Perhaps they saw you get into the car with a drink in your hand, they noticed your lights aren’t working, or they noticed your tag is expired.

    They cannot, however, pull you over if they do not see you breaking the law or see your vehicle operating illegally. If you find yourself arrested and charged with a DUI even though you suspect the officer did not have probable cause for arresting you due to the lack of driving you were doing at the time of the arrest, you want to contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney right away. An attorney can check for probable cause, argue the case that you were not driving when you were arrested, and potentially have any charges brought against you dropped before trial.

    Your DUI case must meet specific criteria for you to be arrested legally. If the officer who arrested you doesn’t have probable cause or any proof you moved your car while you were in it, there are no grounds for a DUI. Let an attorney gather evidence and find out what happened when you were arrested. You have rights that the law must recognize when you are arrested for a DUI.

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