If you are facing charges of physical control, it’s likely that you were found in a situation where you had control over a motor vehicle while impaired but not driving. It can be a challenging and complicated situation, but don’t lose hope just yet.
Fortunately, there are strategies that you can use to fight these kinds of charges and achieve a positive outcome. In this post, we’ll explore six effective methods for beating a physical control charge.
We understand that dealing with legal issues can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to DUIs and related offenses. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of practical solutions that have proven successful in many court cases.
“Being charged with physical control is a serious matter. The lasting consequences can affect your career, reputation, personal life and freedom. Therefore it’s important to know how to fight the charge effectively.”
No one wants to face the repercussions of a criminal offense, which is why it’s crucial to educate yourself on the best ways to approach your case. With our helpful advice and expert insights, you’ll be better prepared to overcome the obstacles ahead.
Don’t wait any longer; let’s dive into our top six strategies for beating a physical control charge.
Understand the Charge
If you are facing a physical control charge, it is essential to understand what the court accuses you of and how serious the allegations against you are. Before taking any action, familiarize yourself with the charge and its potential consequences.
Read the Complaint or Indictment
The first step in understanding a physical control charge is reading the complaint or indictment. The prosecutor files the document with the court, setting out the charges against you explicitly. Typically, the accusation includes basic information about what happened, when it occurred, where it took place, and your connection to the event.
You should also look for other significant details, such as injuries sustained by anyone involved, property damage, and relevant legal statutes cited in the complaint/indictment record.
Understand the Elements of the Offense
Knowing the elements of the offense helps build a solid defense strategy. Understanding the specifics of the alleged crime enables you and your lawyer to focus on the aspects that create doubt.
Each state has different physical control laws, but the common denominator among all states is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. In most cases, physical control requires evidence that proves the defendant was operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs/alcohol, causing an impaired ability to drive safely.
Determine the Potential Consequences
The potential penalties differ from one case to another. They range depending on various factors such as previous criminal records, severity of the driving impairment, blood alcohol concentration, etc.
For example, if you are convicted, you may face jail time, fines, community service, probation, suspension/revocation of your driver’s license, ignition interlock device installed on your car, drug or alcohol counseling classes, etc.
Assess the Strength of the Evidence
Evidence, in criminal proceedings, is a crucial factor. The dependability and believability determine how strong or weak your case can be.
If credible evidence exists that you were influenced by drugs/alcohol while driving, building an effective argument to dispute this may become impossible during trial. There are two categories of physical control evidence: direct and circumstantial.
- Direct evidence; It has confirmation related closely to the event being alleged. Alcohol/drug test results indicating impairment levels beyond legal limits offer strong direct evidence against a driver charged with physical control where such charges require proof of impaired ability to drive safely.
- Circumstantial evidence; This points out events indirectly linked to what happened, but they could enhance or deteriorate a prosecutor’s argument. For instance, video footage showing you are impaired while operating a vehicle won’t prove directly that you broke any law. Still, it enhances the prosecution argument for physical control charges, especially when associated with eyewitness testimony pointing to alcohol or drug-impaired behavior before you drove the car.
“The jury will generally evaluate each piece of evidence based on its own merits and then take all items into account together to come up with their final decision.” -David Cohn
The goal should always be the same: work tirelessly to either attempt to get the charges dropped or mitigate the damage from them if convicted. Despite facing the possibility of conviction, a good defense strategy can beat a physical control charge!
Get a Lawyer
If you are facing a physical control charge, it is essential to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you beat the charge or at least minimize its impact on your life. Here are some important steps to take:
Research Potential Lawyers
The first step in finding the right lawyer for your case is conducting research. You may want to start by looking for lawyers who specialize in DUI (driving under the influence) cases, as these attorneys typically have experience dealing with physical control charges.
You can also ask friends and family members if they know any good lawyers, or check online reviews and legal directories to read about lawyers’ credentials and past clients’ experiences. Once you have compiled a list of potential lawyers, consider their experience, track record, communication skills, and fees before deciding who to hire.
Interview Potential Lawyers
To narrow down your list of potential lawyers further, schedule consultations with each one. During these meetings, discuss the specifics of your case, including the circumstances surrounding your physical control charge, your criminal history (if any), and any evidence that could be used against you.
Use this opportunity to evaluate the lawyers’ communication skills, responsiveness, and willingness to answer your questions. Ask about their strategy for dealing with your charge, their success rate in similar cases, and how much they think you will need to pay in fines and other costs associated with the charge.
Choose the Right Lawyer
After interviewing potential lawyers, compare them based on their qualifications, experience, and compatibility with your needs. Choose a lawyer who has a solid track record of winning physical control cases or getting favorable plea bargains for their clients.
It’s also important to choose a lawyer you feel comfortable working with, as you will need to communicate with them throughout the duration of your case. Make sure they have a communication style that suits your needs, whether it’s responding promptly to emails or scheduling regular in-person meetings.
Work with Your Lawyer Effectively
Once you’ve hired a lawyer for your physical control charge, be prepared to work together closely to develop a strong defense strategy. Here are some tips:
- Provide your lawyer with all relevant information related to your case, including any witness statements, police reports, and medical records. The more detailed and accurate your information is, the better equipped your lawyer will be to build a strong case.
- Be honest and forthcoming with your lawyer. Don’t withhold information or lie about the circumstances surrounding your charge, as this could damage your case and make it harder for your lawyer to defend you effectively. Remember, anything you say to your lawyer is confidential and cannot be used against you in court.
- Stay up-to-date on your case. Attend all necessary court appearances and hearings, and keep in close contact with your lawyer so that you know what to expect at each stage of the legal process.
- Follow your lawyer’s advice. Your lawyer has experience dealing with physical control charges and knows how to protect your best interests. Listen carefully to their recommendations and follow their lead whenever possible.
- Don’t speak to anyone else about your case without consulting your lawyer first. This includes friends, family members, and law enforcement officials. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it’s best to let your lawyer do the talking.
By working effectively with your lawyer, providing them with accurate information, and following their recommendations, you can increase your chances of beating your physical control charge.
If you have been charged with a physical control offense, the evidence collected will play an essential role in determining your fate. It is crucial to collect as much relevant information as possible to support your defense case and prove your innocence. Below are some steps that will help guide you on how to gather evidence when fighting a physical control charge.
Identify Relevant Evidence
The essential factor in proving your innocence is to identify all relevant evidence that can support your defense strategy. Identification of such evidence may vary depending on the charges against you, but typically includes police reports, witness statements, video footage, GPS data, and blood test results (if alcohol or drugs were involved). To thoroughly investigate the incident, consider hiring a professional criminal lawyer who has experience in handling similar cases; they can provide invaluable advice throughout the process.
Collect Physical Evidence
When facing a physical control charge, physical evidence plays a key role in establishing what occurred. Such evidence can include photographs of accident scene, marks on the road or vehicle, or broken parts around the vehicle’s crash site. Collecting and presenting physical evidence at trial will enable your lawyer to challenge any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s claims and better defend your side of the story.
Gather Witness Testimony
Witness testimony significantly affects the outcome of your case. Witnesses accounting for details about the alleged incident allow you to present a more context-rich view to the court. Eyewitnesses to events leading up to the arrest, field sobriety tests, and if applicable, the car DUI arrest are usually significant players in building your defense. A well-documented and persuasive account of events from witnesses helps eliminate speculation and inaccuracies attributed to the prosecution by allowing their stories’ consistency to shine through in front of the judge.
Document Your Own Evidence
Recording your own evidence and presenting them in court significantly amplifies your side. If you have video or audio recordings from before, during, or after the alleged incident, they may positively impact the case’s final judgment. Although many states prohibit recording police without their consent, video captured by dashboard cameras or body-worn cameras can demonstrate critical evidence that could potentially exonerate you of any fault. Additionally, keeping a personal journal with entries outlining key details surrounding the event may help bolster your defense strategy further.
“There is no substitute for thoroughgoing, ardent, and sincere earnestness” – Ellen G. White
In conclusion, when fighting a physical control charge, collecting evidence is paramount to proving your innocence. Take time to identify all relevant evidence early on and work closely with your criminal lawyer throughout the process.
Explore Possible Defenses
Research Legal Defenses
If you are facing a physical control charge, it is important to be proactive in protecting your rights. One of the main steps in defending against this type of charge is to research legal defenses. Understanding what defense strategies may work in your case can help make sure that you receive fair treatment.
One possible defense is arguing that you were not actually in physical control of the vehicle at the time of the arrest. Physical control typically means that you had the potential to operate the vehicle, such as being in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition. However, if there is evidence showing that you did not have actual control over the car, this could help defend against the charge.
Another potential defense is claiming that any incriminating field sobriety tests or chemical tests were conducted improperly. Police officers must follow strict procedures when administering these tests, and any failure to do so could result in unfair charges. It may also be possible to argue factors such as weather conditions or certain medical conditions affected the test results.
Consult With Your Lawyer
A competent attorney will be able to evaluate your individual circumstances and advise on the best course of action for your case. Consulting with your lawyer early on in the process can potentially help you avoid costly mistakes later on. They can also determine whether you have a strong enough defense to pursue trial or recommend negotiating for a plea deal instead.
Your lawyer may also suggest investigating whether law enforcement had probable cause to stop your car in the first place. If there was no reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed, then the entire stop and subsequent ticket might be invalidated, which would result in the case being thrown out entirely.
It is important to note that complete dismissal of the charges is not always possible. However, a skilled lawyer can potentially work with prosecutors to negotiate a lesser charge or reduced penalty. In some cases, it may be possible to have the charge expunged from your record entirely.
Remember, being charged with physical control is not necessarily a guilty verdict. By exploring potential defenses and working closely with your lawyer, you can protect yourself and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Negotiate a Plea Deal
Being charged with physical control, which is also known as “operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. However, one way to address this situation is by considering a plea deal with the prosecution.
Assess the Strength of the Case Against You
Before negotiating a plea deal, it’s important to assess the strength of the case against you. This means identifying any weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence. Weaknesses could include improperly conducted field sobriety tests, faulty breathalyzer machines, and other issues that may call into question the validity of the charges against you. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your case, you can make educated decisions on whether accepting a plea deal is in your best interest.
Consider the Pros and Cons of a Plea Deal
A plea deal allows you to plead guilty to a reduced charge or accept a lower sentence than what would be handed down if you went to trial. One advantage of accepting a plea deal is that it can save you time and money associated with going through the court process. Additionally, pleading guilty to a lesser charge might spare you from consequences such as losing your driver’s license, jail time, or higher fines.
On the flip side, taking a plea deal requires admitting guilt even if you believe you are innocent. The decision to take a plea bargain should never be taken lightly and requires careful consideration. To do so, seeking legal counsel can help you better understand the potential risks and benefits of entering a plea agreement.
Negotiate the Best Possible Deal with the Prosecutor
If after reviewing your case facts and assessing the pros and cons, you decide to pursue a plea negotiation then preparing for matters at this stage of the process will be crucial. Hiring a criminal defense attorney with experience in driving under the influence (DUI) cases to represent you while having conversations with the prosecutor is an excellent idea.
You shouldn’t accept the first plea deal presented by the prosecutor, as most offer deals on the more conservative side in anticipation of counter-offers. Instead, your lawyer can help craft a different proposal that suits both parties and work towards the best possible outcome for you regarding any fines or penalties imposed.
“When clients negotiate things alone, they often forget important details, such as what their future job prospects may be if they have a conviction.” – Mark Dycio
By negotiating the terms of a plea bargain with legal representation, there is potential that it can assist in obtaining preferred results that meet or exceed one’s expectations. Therefore, when facing charges like physical control, seeking information and assistance early in your case could potentially eliminate many of the uncertainties that arise during these types of hearings.
Prepare for Trial
If you have been charged with a physical control charge, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare for your trial. Here are some key things to keep in mind while preparing.
Prepare Your Testimony
Your testimony can be incredibly powerful if delivered correctly. This is your opportunity to give your version of events and explain why you should not be found guilty of physical control. It’s important to be honest and clear when giving your testimony, and to make sure that your story aligns with any evidence presented in court.
To ensure your testimony is effective, it is recommended that you practice beforehand. Consider working with a lawyer, friend, or family member to simulate a courtroom scenario so you can get used to answering questions under pressure. This will help you feel more confident on the day of the trial.
Prepare Your Witnesses
If you plan on calling witnesses during your trial, it’s essential to properly prepare them so they can provide accurate and compelling testimony. Make sure your witnesses know what they need to say and how to say it. Encourage them to stick to the facts and avoid speculation or assumptions.
Additionally, you should discuss with your witnesses whether they may be subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor, and what kinds of questions they might expect. Make sure your witnesses understand that they must respond truthfully, even if it may not be in your favor.
Prepare Your Exhibits
Exhibits such as photographs, videos, or other physical evidence can be very persuasive in court. However, simply presenting exhibits without proper preparation can actually harm your case. Before submitting an exhibit into evidence, you must establish its authenticity and relevance.
You should also rehearse how you will present your exhibits in court, making sure that you have copies of everything and that they are all organized. If needed, consider hiring an expert to explain the relevance of certain evidence.
- Make sure your testimony is honest and clear
- Practice giving your testimony before going to trial
- Properly prepare any witnesses that you plan on calling
- Work with an expert to establish the authenticity and relevance of your evidence
“Your chances of winning a physical control charge will increase significantly if you take the time to properly prepare for trial.” -The Law Offices of Michael C. Tillotson
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a physical control charge?
A physical control charge is a criminal charge related to operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It differs from a DUI charge in that the individual charged was not necessarily driving the vehicle at the time of arrest, but rather in physical control of the vehicle. This means that the individual was in the driver’s seat, had access to the keys, and had the ability to operate the vehicle if they chose to do so.
What are the consequences of a physical control charge?
The consequences of a physical control charge can be severe. Depending on the state, penalties can include fines, license suspension, probation, and even jail time. A physical control charge may also result in a criminal record, which can impact future employment opportunities and lead to other negative consequences. Additionally, insurance rates may increase and the individual may be required to attend alcohol or drug treatment programs.
What are some defense strategies to beat a physical control charge?
Defense strategies for physical control charges may include challenging the evidence, arguing that the individual was not in physical control of the vehicle, or questioning the validity of the arrest. Other potential strategies may include seeking a plea bargain or negotiating for reduced charges. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action for your individual case.
How important is hiring a lawyer to beat a physical control charge?
Hiring a lawyer is crucial for successfully beating a physical control charge. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help gather evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and negotiate on your behalf. They can also help guide you through the legal process, ensure your rights are protected, and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.
What evidence can be used to beat a physical control charge?
Evidence that may be used to beat a physical control charge can include witness testimony, video footage, and chemical test results. Additionally, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge the validity of the arrest or question the accuracy of the evidence presented by the prosecution. It is important to consult with an attorney to determine the best evidence to use for your individual case.
What are the next steps after beating a physical control charge?
If you have successfully beaten a physical control charge, the next steps may include having your record expunged, attending alcohol or drug treatment programs, or negotiating for reduced charges. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action for your individual case and ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.