My friend decided to drive for me because I was drinking and she wrecked my car. The law showed up and I blowed way over the limited so I was given a dwi.
Good question! That happens more than expected and is sometimes associated with the State's ability (or inability) to make a "prima facie" case. Operation of a motor vehicle is what is commonly referred to as an essential element of any DWI DUI Impaired Driving case.
Put simply, they're complicated and sometimes involve a "Trexler" issue, associated with North Carolina v. Trexler.
Given all the different possible fact scenarios, it makes sense to consult with an experienced attorney with substantial experience handling such cases.
Again, great question! Best of luck,
In jurisdictions such as Massachusetts, operation is a necessary element to prove Operating Under Influence. Court decisions have interpreted "operating a motor vehicle" as occupying and having the ability to control or set the vehicle in motion. Stated otherwise, being in the vehicle with the keys (whether in ignition or not) will equate with "operation" for the purpose of proving the element of driving. If you are not in the vehicle you may have a valid defense.
Based on the information that you have provided, I believe that the State will certainly have a difficult time proving the "driving" element of DWI. It is not cut and dry, so you should hire an attorney who practices in the County where you were charged. In some instances, the State will dismiss such a case prior to trial if they determine that they will be unable to prove an essential element.
As another attorney posted, getting charged is one thing. Getting convicted is another. Remember, the state must prove each element "beyond a REASONABLE doubt. Based upon the evidence, testimony, etc., is it REASONABLE to beleive that your vehicle appeared where it did by any means other than by your own operation. Did your"friend" say that you were driving just to save her hide? Another area to focus on is the allegation that you were intoxicated at the time of the operation. How long did it take for the law to arrive? Who said what and what did you admit. Qualified counsel is critical in cases with this kind of ambiguity.
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