A common misconception about driving while under the influence (DUI) charges is that an individual cannot be convicted if they are found driving while intoxicated on their own private property. However, that is not accurate. An individual can be charged with a DUI if they are found to be in actual physical control of the vehicle. To determine whether an individual was in actual physical control of the vehicle, the court will evaluate the circumstances of the situation. Essentially, this means they will assess whether the individual had the vehicle’s keys in their possession and if the engine had been turned on. Additionally, they will look at where the individual was seated as well as other pertinent components. If an individual is found to have been in actual physical control of the vehicle while intoxicated, they will face a DUI charge. A DUI is a serious criminal offense and the penalties have long-lasting negative effects on a person’s life. It is imperative for individuals convicted of a DUI to acquire the right legal representation. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a DUI for driving while intoxicated on private property, contact one of our dedicated and experienced Bergen County DUI Attorneys who can help defend your rights.
Can I be convicted of a DUI for driving while intoxicated on private property in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, there is no legal distinction between driving on public or private property when intoxicated. An individual can be charged with a DUI while they are on their own private property for driving while intoxicated. Regardless of location, an individual can be charged with a DUI. This means if an individual is still in their driveway or pulled over and is “sleeping it off,” they can be convicted of a DUI. As mentioned above, this is because an individual can be in actual physical control of the vehicle without ever moving the vehicle. Ultimately, if an individual is driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%, regardless of whether they were on public or private property, they will face a DUI conviction.
Are there any possible defenses?
With any DUI conviction, a law enforcement officer has to have legal justification that warrants them to pull an individual over or make an arrest. Essentially, this means that an individual must have given the officer reasonable cause for detaining them. If the officer did not have reasonable cause for detaining the individual, this could be a possible defense to a DUI conviction. Additionally, if there was an issue with the administration of the chemical testing, meaning the law enforcement agent did not administer it correctly this could also be a defense. Furthermore, another potential defense would be if an individual could prove they were not in actual physical control of the vehicle while impaired. It is critical for individuals to obtain the legal services of a qualified attorney who can help investigate the circumstances of the arrest.
If you or someone you love has been convicted of a DUI for driving while intoxicated on public or private property, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our qualified and determined attorneys. Our team of skilled attorneys can help defend your interests as well as help you achieve a favorable outcome.