Florida DUI’s & Actual Physical Control

Fla Stat. § 316.193 makes it a DUI to be in “Actual Physical Control” of a motor vehicle while your normal faculties are impaired, or you have a B.A.C. of .08 or above. This DUI provision equates being in “Actual Physical Control” as the same charge as speeding, running a red light, or even hitting another vehicle while DUI.

Just what is Actual Physical Control?

If you are charged with Actual Physical Control, your jury will be told:

  • That you must be physically in (or on) the vehicle, and
  • Have the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether you are actually operating the vehicle at the time.

These types of DUI often occur when a person is asleep in the car, parked in a parking lot/side of the road, keys in the ignition, radio on, and yet the engine is turned off. Whether a person is guilty of DUI-Actual Physical Control is a factual decision that is for the jury to decide.

The experienced Tampa DUI Attorneys at Taracks & Associates have handled cases where the car was legally parked in a parking lot, pulled off to the side of the road, and even parked in the driveway at a house. While it may seem crazy that a person who is not actually driving a car can get arrested for DUI, these types of cases are routinely aggressively prosecuted.

No one fact or set of facts determines whether a judge or jury will consider whether the facts of you and your vehicle add up to a crime. For instance, if your car will start without a key in the ignition, and you are asleep in the passenger seat with the radio on, and the engine is off, will you be found guilty of APC? The manner in how the officer treated you once he approached your car can be a very critical fact that needs to be discovered.

Formal Review Hearing

More often than not, the details that are needed for a real assessment of this kind of DUI is not contained in the police report. If a person accused of Actual Physical Control – DUI was asleep when the officer approached their car, then how can the necessary details be collected?

One of the best ways of gathering the facts necessary for a successful defense of an Actual Physical Control DUI is at the Formal Review Hearing. This is the hearing that is used to reinstate your privilege to drive that was suspended by the officer the night of your arrest. At this hearing, the officer’s that were involved in your case are subpoenaed and asked questions under oath by one of our experienced Tampa Defense Attorneys.

Keep in mind that if the proper paperwork is not filed within 10 days of your arrest for Actual Physical Control DUI, then the chance of questioning these officers under oath at the Formal Review Hearing is lost. This, unfortunately, can reduce our ability to gather all the facts necessary for a successful defense of this serious charge.

Time is of the essence, so call the experienced Hillsborough DUI Lawyers at Taracks & Associates today for your free consultation.

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