If you have been pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, you may have spent the night in custody and have received a citation asking you to appear in Court. This does not mean you have been found guilty of a DUI. It simply means that the authorities have a reason to believe you may have been guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.sYou have simply been charged under California Vehicle Code §§ 23152, or 23153.
Before you can be convicted of a DUI, the Court must find that you meet the elements for a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. This may be accomplished by either entering a plea, or being found guilty by a jury of your peers.
So then, what are the two elements that you must meet before you can be found guilty? First, you must be proven to have been driving, and second, you must have been under the influence. If you were just driving and were not under the influence, then there is no DUI conviction. If you were under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, but were not driving, then there is no DUI conviction. If you have been charged with a DUI in either of those scenarios, then your case will be dismissed.
As discussed, you must be driving in order to be convicted for driving under the influence. Generally this element is met pretty easily, as often the driver is driving the vehicle at the time they are pulled over by law enforcement. However, in certain situations, the person being charged is not driving. They may be pulled over on the side of the road, or they may be parked in a parking lot. If the facts do not clearly lead to driving, then the government must establish driving through the officer’s observations and his or her statements on the police report.
Under the Influence
The second elementsis that the person being charged must actually be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.sLike driving, this element may be easily proven. If the person has been consuming alcohol, a breath test will indicate the amount of alcohol in your blood stream. If that is the case, stating that the person was not under the influence would be a fruitless argument. However, if a person is under the influence of alcohol and has refused to submit to a test, or if the person is under the influence of drugs alone, then authorities may have a difficult time proving intoxication. Much like driving, this element would then have to be proven through the officer’s observations and statements in the police report.
If you find yourself being charged, make sure to speak to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer so that you can assess is your case meets the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If you do not, then your case has a weak argument and the potential of being dismissed.