Actual Physical Control
About Tampa DUI Charges & What It Means to Be "In Control"
Proving intoxication is not enough to convict someone of driving under the influence. In order to be charged with DUI, a person must also have been in actual physical control of the vehicle in question. If a defendant has not met this requirement, the prosecution will be unable to charge them and pursue a conviction.
Proving Physical Control
Actual physical control describes a person’s presence in a vehicle, in addition to their ability to operate it. Based on this definition, a car doesn’t have to be turned on to charge the driver. Instead, the evidence presented must demonstrate that a person could turn it on on short notice.
The following may be used to constitute actual physical control:
- Possession of or being close to a key
- Location in the car (e.g., the driver’s seat)
- Operational state of the vehicle
If most or all of these conditions are met, a person may be charged. This can even apply when the defendant has been sleeping in the car without driving. If you have been charged with DUI, don’t wait to contact an experienced attorney to handle your case. Our team at Thomas & Paulk can combat your charges on several grounds, including actual physical control, to help you seek a positive result.
Accused of DUI? We Can Help.
Depending on your circumstances, Thomas & Paulk may be able to use actual physical control to your advantage as we fight your charges. Our Tampa DUI lawyers focus a large part of their services on drinking and driving cases, and we can represent you in a wide range of circumstances. With experience in more than 7,000 cases over the past 20 years, our firm is more than equipped to take on your case.
Trying to understand concepts like “actual physical control” and the many ways these can be interpreted can be difficult for any person. Fortunately, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to address even the most complex DUI cases with confidence.
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