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Disclaimer: The criminal driving defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Washington State drunk driving lawyer or attorney for a free initial consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

My defense law firm serves the following Western Washington communities, among others: Snohomish County, King County, Skagit County, Alderwood, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Brier, Camino Island, Darrington, Edgewood, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Tulalip, Mukilteo, Silvana, Smokey Point, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway, Anacortes, Bow, Burlington, Clearlake, Concrete, Hamilton, La Conner, Lyman, Marbelmount, Mount Vernon, Sedro Wooley, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodinville.

I also serve the following Zip Codes: 98011, 98012, 98020, 98021, 98026, 98033, 98034, 98036, 98037, 98043, 98046, 98052, 98072, 98082, 98087, 98201, 98203, 98204, 98205, 98206, 98207, 98208, 98213, 98223, 98241, 98251, 98252, 98256, 98258, 98259, 98270, 98271, 98272, 98273, 98274, 98275, 98287, 98290, 98291, 98292, 98293, 98294, 98296
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Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense

Physical Control

Physical Control is a crime closely related to DUI, but there are some important distinctions.  First, we ll look at the elements of the crime:

According to RCW 46.61.504:

(1) A person is guilty of being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person has actual physical control of a vehicle within this state:

(a) And the person has, within two hours after being in actual physical control of the vehicle, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher as shown by analysis of the person s breath or blood made under RCW 46.61.506; or

(b) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug; or

(c) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor and any drug.

There are two main differences between Physical Control and DUI.  First, DUI requires proof that the Defendant was driving.  Second, for Physical Control, the law provides an exception if the car is parked safely off the roadway prior to being pursued by law enforcement.

Driving

In the DUI context proof that the Defendant drove the motor vehicle is required.  This proof can be direct evidence, like the Defendant was seen driving, or circumstantial, like the Defendant was the only one in the vehicle.  Either way, if the Prosecutor cannot prove the Defendant was driving, the case will get thrown out.  In Physical Control, however, there is no requirement that the Defendant was actually driving the car.  Any control will do.  For example, I have seen cases where the Defendants turned on the car in order to get the heater going in the middle of winter or merely wanted to hear the radio.

Safely off the Roadway

If the Prosecutor can prove that the Defendant had actual control of the motor vehicle, then the Defendant can still be acquitted if he or she can prove that, prior to being pursued by law enforcement, the car was safely off the roadway.

Licensing Penalties

The Department of Licensing will treat a conviction for Physical Control the same as it would a DUI conviction.  You can find a copy of the mandatory penalties here.

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