DUI charges in San Fernando with no evidence

 Question: Is it possible to drop DUI charges in San Fernando due to no evidence?   Last weekend I was a passenger in my own car and a guy that I had seen at this bar a few times was there and we were talking.  I told him I was going to call a cab and leave my car at the bar for the night, but he only had 2 beers and said he could drive my car home and then call a cab from my apartment since that would be a lot closer to his place and save him money.

I agreed and we were driving up the 405 when we ran out of gas.  I had forgotten that I needed gas, and I guess he didn’t think to look when he started the car.  Anyways, we were near an exit so we walked to the gas station.  He just called a cab to pick him up at the station and I borrowed a gas can and walked back to my car.  When I got there, there was a cop car and a tow truck.  I ran up to them before they towed my car away and told them it was my car.

After some questioning, I realized the officer was thinking about arresting me.  I told him I did not drive the car there.  When I told him the story, he didn’t believe me.  He then pointed out that it appeared I was going to drive home from there since the other guy was not with me anymore.  To be honest, I didn’t really think much of how I was going to get my car home from there, but from the time the time before the car ran out of gas I did not drive, and the cop never saw the car move (until it got towed and I was arrested…) I was not the driver of the car?

Now I have a court date in San fernando for a DUI.  Can I be convicted of this even though I wasn’t driving???

Answer: If you were not the driver of the car, and there is no evidence linking you as the driver (ie. you were a passenger, and it is clear there was another person that was driving the car), then that is a strong defense to get the DUI charges dismissed. For there to be a DUI conviction, there needs to be driving performed by the person who was arrested of the crime. From what you stated, there was never any driving performed by you, so the DUI charges should be dropped.

That being said, it is not going to be as easy as going into the court and stating that you were not the driver.  Prosecutors tend to believe what is in the police report, and it’s the attorneys job to try to expose issues with the case that lead to defenses.  I have been successful in defending similar DUI cases at both court and with the DMV.

Contact me at 818-336-1384 if you would like to discuss in further detail.  This sounds like an interesting case and one I would like to defend.

Phil Hache

DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney
Handling DUI and Criminal matters throughout Courts in Southern California including Van Nuys, San Fernando, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Metro, Bellflower, Alhambra, Malibu, Compton, Inglewood and other Courts.
Office in Sherman Oaks