Being charged in Atlanta on a DUI when you may not have been the driver happens more than you think. Proof that anyone actually saw you driving a motor vehicle is not required if there is sufficient circumstantial evidence that shows that you recently drove a vehicle. For example: You are the passenger. The vehicle is stopped and parked in a late night fast food restaurant. The driver goes into the restaurant. You get out of the car and stumble, and the workers or other drivers notice you are stumbling around. The police are also there and someone say’s to them, “that person should not be driving”. You are going to be charged with a DUI. Being arrested, and being convicted are two separate things.
If an officer arrives at the scene of an accident and you are the only person near the vehicle and the engine is warm, it is reasonable for the officer to assume that you had driven the vehicle prior to the accident. An officer can approach a parked or stopped vehicle to speak with you and if you are sleeping or sitting with the ignition or lights on that may be enough to establish that you were “in control” of the vehicle or had recently driven.
In Georgia, circumstantial evidence carries the same weight as direct evidence if a jury decides the circumstantial evidence warrants belief. The comparative weight of direct and circumstantial evidence is a jury decision. In the end, there must be evidence of being in physical control of a motor vehicle, not eyewitness evidence.
This type of DUI can be defended. Don’t assume guilt or ple. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP. We can defend your rights and help you defend your good driving record.