If I was sitting in a car that had no keys in the ignition but was arrested for DWI anyway?

Was this a wrongful arrest?

Asked on June 25, 2017 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Even though the keys are not in the ignition, if an intoxicated driver as the ability to exert control over the vehicle that is enough to be arrested for DUI. Therefore, if the keys were somewhere else in the vehicle, that would count as "driving". This is true even if the arresting officer did not observe the person driving; circumstantial evidence of driving is sufficient. However, this is not to say that there are no defenses to this. An experienced DUI attorney could possibly get the charge dismissed or at least reduced. It would be well worth it it retain a lawyer to represent you.

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