What is Actual Physical Control in DUI cases?

The Florida Standard Jury Instructions defines "actual physical control" in DUI cases to mean a person was “physically in or on the vehicle and had the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she is actually operating the vehicle at the time”.

A person does not have to be driving to be arrested for a DUI!

When a person is arrested for an actual physical control (APC) theory of DUI, the situation can be confusing. “Actual physical control” arrests can occur when a person is intoxicated and has physical control of his or her vehicle. Often times an attorney can argue to have your charges reduced or dropped. Building a strong defense could make a difference in your APC DUI case.

What is Actual Physical Control in DUI cases?

The Florida Standard Jury Instructions defines “actual physical control” in DUI cases to mean a person was “physically in or on the vehicle and had the capability to operate the vehicle, regardless of whether he or she is actually operating the vehicle at the time”.

The most common APC situations are
1) the driver asleep (passed out) at the red light;
2) parked (passed out) in the drive through line of a fast food restaurant or
3) pulled over on the shoulder of the road to sleep it off.
APC also includes a person who had been drinking sitting in the front seat of his or her vehicle with the keys in hand and can include even the person sleeping in the back seat of the vehicle with the keys. He or she still could be considered in actual physical control (APC) of the vehicle.

Elements of Actual Physical Control DUI

There are crucial factors to determine whether someone accused of DUI had actual physical control:

1) Actual or constructive possession of the key to the vehicle or proof the vehicle can operate without a key. This can mean the key in the ignition, on the driver’s person or in close enough proximity to the driver.

2) Whether the engine was running or not.

3) Where the vehicle was parked and how it got there.

4) Where the driver is located, position and state of consciousness.

5) Whether the vehicle was disabled (broken down, mechanically inoperable, stuck, or otherwise immovable)
How easily the defendant could have cured the vehicle’s disability

These factors can help give a great DUI defense attorney more ammunition to defend your rights in court. Some people who have been arrested for DUI don’t meet the definition of actual physical control. A great DUI attorney can make that argument in court.

Brevard County Actual Physical Control DUI Attorney

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and believe your case involves issues around APC (actual physical control) of the vehicle, contact John C. Murphy your APC DUI defense lawyer at Murphy’s Law Offices, P.A. John has years of experience handling complicated DUI cases. Attorney John C. Murphy as a DUI lawyer and as a former DUI judge handles or has handled very serious DUI cases all the way including trial. He understands how the prosecution works and knows what it takes to get a favorable outcome in your case.

Call (321) 985-0025 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your unique APC situation.

When you are charged with a crime, you want an AGGRESSIVE criminal defense attorney that will fight for your rights.

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