can i be charged with owi if the offficer just assumes i was driving
Yes, he can charge you with murder if he wants. Proving it may be a different matter. Get a lawyer.
Make sure you get an attorney before you say ANYTHING to law enforcement. Your case could hinge on something as simple as you saying where you were earlier in the evening.
Best of luck.
Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney
The officer doesn't have to see you drive the vehicle in order for you to be charged and convicted of OWI. The prosecutor can use other witness statements as well as circumstantial evidence to prove that you drove intoxicated. However, this is often very difficult to do.
Although it is not a requirement that the officer see you driving, if they can prove that you operated the vehicle on a "public roadway," then you may be charged. The statute requires that you are "operating," a vehicle was your ability to operate the vehicle was visibly impaired. Cases have held that just by virtue of having the keys in the ignition that standing alone is sufficient to prove operating. Also, you must be operating on an area open to the general public. Based upon the limited facts you have conveyed it is a week case. Yet, without looking at everything it would be difficult to give you a definate answer. Please feel free to contact me to discuss the case. I have considerable experience in OWI both as a police officer and an attorney. Hope this is of some assistance.
While you can be charged, if the facts are as you have indicated, some judges will dismiss without a trial if the right motion is filed. You need to talk to an attorney ASAP
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