Can I fight this DUI?

Asked almost 2 years ago - City Of Industry, CA

I hit a parked car in a parking lot when I was backing out of a parking space. I had been drinking. I parked my car, got out and we exchanged information. My car was parked and my keys were in my purse. My friend offered to drive me home so I was heading to his car when the police pulled into the parking lot. Witnesses called the police and told them about the accident. They wanted to give me a field sobriety test but I declined. I went to the station, was booked, and blew a .21 BAC. I got charged with a DUI. I am an Arizona resident (valid AZ drivers license) and this all happened in California, where my license was suspended a year ago when I resided in CA. I don't think it's legal that I was given a ticket for a DUI since I was not driving and didn't intend to drive?

Attorney answers (10)

  1. Chris J Feasel

    Contributor Level 17

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . But you were driving - "I hit a parked car..." - hello?! Get a CA attorney to deal with this. Your BA is a problem.

    Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing... more
  2. Sean Michael Patrick

    Contributor Level 17

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You were driving when you backed the car out of the parking space. During that time your BAC was above the legal limit. You will have a very difficult time fighting this one, but I would retain a criminal defense attorney to ensure your rights are adequately preserved.

    I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which... more
  3. Daniel William Cohen

    Contributor Level 8

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Driving means any volitional movement. Thus it does not require that it be very far or for a long period of time. Also, a DUI can occur on private property such as a parking lot. The fact that the officers did not see you driving is not always fatal to the prosecution case, especially when there witnesses. However, can you fight it? Maybe yes maybe no. There are a number of potential defenses to a DUI some obvious, some not . You need to speak with an attorney & thoroughly discuss the case.

  4. Adrienne Patricia Allen

    Contributor Level 15

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree, so I have added Criminal Defense to your categories so you can get answers. Good luck.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general... more
  5. David Lee Fiol

    Contributor Level 17

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to submit this question to a criminal/DUI attorney in California. Unfortunately I don't think you are going to receive a response that will please you - I have encountered situations like yours and my impression is that even a parking lot accident subjects you to DUI charges.

  6. David Mark Wallin

    Contributor Level 14

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It's clear that the prosecution will try to establish your intoxication, at the time of the accident in the parking lot. You should be about the business of retaining competent counsel If you want to speak with me, call me at 661-267-1313. I wish you well....David Wallin

  7. Oscar Rene Gutierrez

    Contributor Level 12

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can fight the DUI, but it is an uphill battle. If the witnesses testify, there is circumstantial evidence of you driving the car. Also, the accident is also circumstantial evidence of your driving. Your BAC poses an issue because it's almost three times the legal limit in CA.

    You yourself may think it is not legal, but you technically were driving. As mentioned, the distance does not matter.

    The information above is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and... more
  8. Richard Andrew Harting

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You were driving allegedly while intoxicated. this will be supported by witnesses and expert testimony as to your level of intoxication at the time of the incident based on your level of BAC at time of booking. You need to consult an experienced DU I attorney promptly. You may contact our office for referrals. 800-809-8848

  9. Brian Russell Michaels

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First of all remember this is a public forum and there is no privilege that attaches to specific facts you disclose here. The issue is can law enforcement show you were DUI at the time of driving. You admit here you were drinking and driving and that you exchanged information with the other driver. Clearly someone called the police, probably because they suspected you might be DUI as law enforcement almost never responds to these kinds of traffic matters. No one can tell you exactly how good your case is without reviewing the reports in your case. As a former DUI prosecutor I can tell you this is not a slam dunk for the DA, but neither is it for you since it would appear there were witnesses. Your case turns on those witnesses. You were also wise not to do FST's since you are not required by law to submit to them as you are with the chemical test. This sounds like a case where you have a decent chance at a hung jury. Maybe a not guilty but thats real fact dependent. That Blood Alcohol is real high. I have tried DUI's for both sides so if you would like to ring me for a consult with more facts feel free to call.

    Brian Michaels
    www.socalcrimdefense.com
    3109919179

  10. Brian K Wanerman

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You CAN always fight a DUI. But, were you charged with one. Whether or not, you should consult a criminal defense attorney right away.

Related Topics

Field sobriety test for DUI

Field sobriety tests are a series of non-chemical tests typically conducted by officers who have stopped someone on suspicion of DUI.

Criminal defense

Criminal law establishes the classifications of crimes, how guilt or innocence is determined, and the types of punishment or rehabilitation that may be imposed.

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