My boyfriend and I were at the bar with a friend of mine on July 1st. We didn't want to walk home that night so my boyfriend drove my car home , he forgot to turn the headlights on and we got pulled over. The cop asked me a bunch of questions that night about why we drove and if I knew he had been drinking and I said that I did. I did not get any kind of citation that night , they took my boyfriend to jail and the other car drove my friend and I home and towed my car. 3 days later I got a citation in the mail for aidding and abetting DWI stating that because I allowed my boyfriend to drive and I knew he had been drinking. I had also been drinking that night and also was not thinking clearly. I would just like to know the consequences of this charge and what I can expect tomorrow in court, and what you may know about this charge. I have court tomorrow Tuesday August 26th.
This is an interesting question. I practice in Georgia, where the intent element of DUI makes it virtually inconceivable that another individual could act as an accomplice. The reason that accomplice liability would be so difficult (if not impossible) for a prosecutor to establish in a Georgia DUI case is that in Georgia, the prosecutor must show that the accomplice had the same level of intent as the pricipal criminal actor. I would like to know how your case was resolved.
This charge is gaining popularity in Minnesota. Often, however, it is difficult for the prosecution to make an effective case. Witnesses tend to be reluctant to provide evidence at trial and the prsoecution msut also prove that you were aware that the drver was intoxicated and over teh legal limit. WIthout proving that you have training in that regard, the prosecution faces an uphill battle at trial.
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We practice law only in California. You should consult an attorney in your city or state for legal assistance.
Contact your local public defenders office for legal representation or contact private counsel. Do not offer any statements to the police or their investigators without counsel present.
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Hopefully, you got a consultation with an experienced attorney who is licensed in Minnesota. I practice in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and am familiar with a similar Pennsylvania statute, which is a summary offense for authorizing or knowingly permitting a motor vehicle that you own or control to be driven in violation of any provisions of the motor vehicle code. This includes driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance (DUI / DWI / DAI). A defendant convicted in Pennsylvania based on your situation in Minnesota would face the same fine and license suspension as the driver.
Law Offices of William R. Bickerton
Unfortunately, you may be properly charged with aiding the DWI given the fact pattern you provided. Also unfortunately, you answered various questions of the police which may or may not be used against you in Court. That determination will rest with a Judge who will decide whether you were subject to a police inquiry or investigation, in which instance, you should have been given your Miranda Warnings ("You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to an attorney being present with you, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided free of charge") and if you were not given those warnings, anything you said should not be used against you.
However, since the police found you in the car with your boyfriend, they have corroborative proof of your involvement, so they could still prove their case against you.
All in all, the next time you and your boyfriend are drinking in a bar, call a cab to go home. Its safer and you can always go back and get your car in the morning.
Any issue in criminal law is very complex and has tremendous potential consequences. Because of the risk to you financially and personally, it is in your best interest to personally speak to a criminal defense lawyer regarding your issue. Most criminal defense lawyers in your area will talk to you briefly on the telephone for free or meet with you for a brief, free consultation. I encourage you to speak to someone face-to-face or on the telephone and see if there is any way they can help you. Discussing a criminal case on-line can be dangerous because you never know who may see your entry. Remember, anything you say (or type) can be used against you. I wish you the best of luck.
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