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Facing “Standard” DUI/DWI Charges? What Prosecutors Have To Prove

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If you find yourself being charged with a DUI/DWI, police and prosecutors will instantly try to convince you there is no other option but to plead guilty and accept whatever punishments are thrust upon you by the court. However, what they fail to tell you is that prosecutors often have a difficult time making these charges stick. In an attempt to gain convictions in these cases, prosecutors often actually file two separate DUI charges against defendants, hoping one of them will lead to a conviction. Since this can be very intimidating for those who are charged, don’t believe everything prosecutors and police tell you. Instead, once charges have been levied against you, immediately contact Grey Law and hire a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.

Can I be Convicted of Both DUI Charges?

When police believe car accidents caused by alcohol or drug abuse take place, prosecutors will charge you with two counts of DUI. One will be related to your level of impairment, while the other will focus on the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system at the time of your accident, which is called a “per se” DUI. However, even if police and prosecutors lead you to believe you could be found guilty of both charges, the court can usually only punish a defendant for one conviction. Since you initially may not understand the charges against you and their potential consequences, hire a car accident lawyer to learn what you should do next.

What are the Elements of a DUI Charge?

When facing DUI or DWI charges in these situations, prosecutors must prove certain elements in order to gain a conviction. To begin with, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that not only were you actually under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but that you were indeed operating a motor vehicle when the accident occurred. In addition, depending on the laws in your locality, they may be required to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway, rather than a private road. While this last part may seem inconsequential, it can actually make a tremendous difference in many cases. If you believe you are innocent of such charges, hire a car wreck lawyer Los Angeles prosecutors know will fight hard to protect a client’s rights in these cases.

“Per Se” DUI

In regards to a “per se” DUI, the burden of proof on prosecutors is not that substantial. While they only need to show you were driving with a specified amount of alcohol or drugs in your system, they are not required to show this level caused an actual impairment while you were behind the wheel. To prove their point on this matter, they usually rely on blood alcohol levels gathered by police through the use of a breathalyzer. However, these instruments are not always reliable, and many police officers still do not possess the training needed to use them properly in the field. Thus, it is entirely possible the level recorded for you was wrong. If you know you were not legally impaired while behind the wheel, work with a car injury attorney who has experience proving the unreliability of breathalyzers.

Proving Impairment

When trying to prove impairment, prosecutors must prove you were actually high on drugs or legally drunk at the time of the accident. While some states have laws stating a driver is considered impaired if they are affected in even the slightest way by drugs or alcohol, others require more substantial proof before ruling on impairment. Also, it is important to note that even if it turns out you were on prescription drugs given to you by a doctor, prosecutors can still charge you with DUI/DWI. To beat these charges and clear your name, rely on an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles from Grey Law.

Were You Actually Driving?

Though it sounds as if you had to be actually driving a vehicle down a road when charged with DUI/DWI, that is not necessarily true. In many cases, the term “driving” simply refers to you being the person who was operating the vehicle or were in actual physical control of the vehicle when charged. Therefore, if you were simply sitting in a car whose motor was running, you may be charged with DUI. Likewise, if you were near the steering wheel or had car keys in your hand or the ignition switch, you could also be facing these charges. Since you may have good reasons to not be charged with this crime, discuss your case with a Los Angeles injury lawyer who can help you walk out of court as a winner.

Were You on a Public Road?

While some DUI laws allow people to be charged no matter where their vehicles were located, others require that the person charged be on a public roadway at the time of the accident. Thus, if you were on private property with private roadways at the time police arrested you for DUI, it is possible they in fact were the ones in violation of the law. However, since prosecutors will be eager to make the charges against you stick, hire an experienced car accident lawyer as quickly as you can. By doing so, your car wreck lawyer Los Angeles defendants trust with these cases can provide evidence to the court showing police overstepped their boundaries in this instance, which will probably result in the charges against you being dismissed.

Don’t Assume the Worst

Whenever DUI/DWI charges are filed against individuals, they are often confused and automatically assume they are going to jail. Unfortunately, these fears are preyed upon by police and prosecutors, which often results in defendants making poor decisions or speaking to police without the presence of a car injury attorney. Instead of making this potentially life-altering mistake, say as little as possible to police and prosecutors. In the meantime, schedule a consultation today with Grey Law, an auto accident lawyer in Los Angeles you can trust.

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