Charged with dui but not driving

Asked 4 months ago - Norfolk, VA

me and my friends was leaving the beach the car got stuck in a ditch the guys want to get help some my other friend tried to push /rock the car out of the ditch the police pulled up and arrested her with dui it was her car but she wasn't driving a guy was he never came back we both want to jail me for drunk in public

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Jennifer Raimo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . DUI law has a very broad definition for driving. If your friend was in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignitition while you were trying to push the car from the ditch, then she is deemed to have been driving at that moment regardless of who was driving on the road before the car ended up in the ditch. Your friend will need to hire a lawyer for this case as soon as possible and may need you to testify as to who was driving at trial.

    You may also want to consider retaining counsel for the drunk in public charge if you have any concerns about it appearing on your record. While this charge does not carry a severe penalty in court (a fine of no more than $250), it can have an impact on some career choices. Also, people who are not citizens can have immigration problems if there are 2 or more convictions on their record. An attorney may be able to negotiate an agreement to drop the DIP charge.

  2. Stephen Patrick Pfeiffer

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Certainly you need to hire local counsel. There many variables regarding a DUI and drunk in public that need to be considered.

    For More information about Attorney Pfeiffer see: 1. http://virginiabeach-dui-attorney.com Please remember... more
  3. Timothy Kevin Wilson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Driving is not required for someone to be convicted of DUI in Virginia. Sounds crazy, but it's true. Virginia courts have interpreted Virginia law in such a way that it allows someone to be convicted of DUI even if the person never drove the vehicle.

    I'm not exactly clear on what happened and didn't happen so I can't be any more specific at this point regarding whether whatever was done would be enough to qualify as either "driving" or "operating" under Virginia law.

    DUI Defense is an extremely complex area of the law and your friend needs to hire a Virginia lawyer who has specialized education, training and experience in the field of Virginia DUI Defense in order to put her in the best position to get the best result. She could start by looking at the National College for DUI Defense website (www.ncdd.com) where she can find a list of Virginia DUI lawyers.

    Best of luck to you both.

    T. Kevin Wilson, Esq.
    The Wilson Law Firm
    Virginia DUI, Criminal & Traffic Defense
    Fighting for Clients All Across Virginia
    703-361-6100 / 540-347-4944
    Trained on Standardized Field Sobriety Testing
    Trained on the Intoxilyzer 5000
    Trained on the Intoxilyzer 8000
    Trained on the Intoximeter ECIR II
    Trained on Police RADAR / LIDAR

  4. Andrew Dennis Meyer

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, all the Commonwealth needs to show is the accused was "operating" the motor vehicle on a highway for a DUI conviction. Your friend would be wise to retain counsel.

  5. Peter John Louie

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Virginia law makes it unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. There are cases dealing with what the term "operate" means. I recently had a client in Norfolk with a similar fact pattern (involving a ditch and a DUI charge), although he admitted to driving, and we still avoided a conviction for a DUI. Your friend needs to hire an attorney to represent her and protect her rights.

    Responding to questions on AVVO does not establish an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and... more
  6. Michael Adam Haber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . And do you have a question?

    Whomever was arrested needs to hire a criminal defense lawyer - most especially if they are innocent.

    If you were arrested then get offline and into an experienced Norfolk, VA area criminal defense lawyer's office. The same advise applies to your friends.

    I hope that I have been helpful to you.

    First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq.... more
  7. Frank Mascagni III

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Both of you need to hire a criminal defense attorney in your area ASAP. We have several avvo criminal defense attorneys on this site from VA that may respond.

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this... more

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