Recently I was arrested on a dui charge. Prior to the arrest I was at a social gathering of the home of my ex husband who gave me the drinks. An augment broke out. Ex then choked, kicked, threatened and forced me to leave. I did not want to leave but several others came out of the home and began to kick my car and threaten me and told me to leave. Fearful of my life and further damage to my car, I decided to at least get out harm's way and call for help. But before I could do this, the police (they called them) saw me and followed and pulled me over (not because I was driving erratically, but because they had the description. My ? is, should I file an assault charge on him as I am now going to try to explain I had no choice BUT drive to get out of harms way- I pulled over immediately.
I had only barely gotten out of the driveway when the police pulled me over. They saw me en rout to the home. I was still in somewhat of a state of shock, and I didn't know what to do, as it appeared the police were heading to the house. I drove very slowly looking for somewhere safe to pull over, as it was a private road with no where to park. I drove for less than a minute.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Because you waited, you would need to go to your local district court and file an application for a criminal complaint for assault and battery. Whether or not you can use these circumstances to mitigate the offense charged, would be an appropriate question to pose to your attorney, should you choose to hire one, to defend you in the criminal charges. This is very fact dependent. Please speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Beat of luck to you.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Speaking in the most general terms, being the victim of an assault is not a defense to DUI. There is a longshot possibility that you may be able to convince a factfinder that you were coerced to drive in an impaired state. In order to prevail with this type of defense you'd have to show that the timeline was very compact. Not much time should have elapsed between the fight and the escape. I think this defense breaks down if you drive any farther than was absolutely necessary to escape danger.
If you were the victim of an assault then you should apply for charges. The sooner the better.
The most important thing you can do right now is hire a lawyer to defend your DUI. Too much time and money is at stake. You need a lot more help than you can get on a message board.
DUI / DWI Attorney
I agree with the other attorneys. You already stated that you did not want to leave. You would have a hard time with your assault charge when it appears, from your own statement, you were not really in much fear as you had to be physically removed from someone else's house. As for driving only a short distance, it doesn't matter. The law says you can't operate the vehicle at all if you are intoxicated. It's good that you are thinking up a defense (sort of) but leave that to your lawyer. The one you came up with sounds like it will do more harm than good. Good Luck!
The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.