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Defining driving in Lubbock DUI cases is a difficult task. There have been several cases where someone has been convicted for a DUI when they were not technically driving the vehicle when they were arrested. If you have been charged with a DUI and you believe you were not driving your vehicle, reach out to an accomplished DUI defense lawyer. An attorney could review your case, assess your options, and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process.
Operating a Vehicle
In Texas, there is a statute concerning operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a public place. However, there is no case law definition of what operating means. There have been several criminal appeal cases that have attempted to address what operation means, however, there is no legal definition of operating a motor vehicle. This means that operating basically means whatever the jury thinks it is if it is a jury trial.
It is important to understand that there is no case law stating what operating means. This is why defining driving in Lubbock DUI cases is hard to do.
Defense Strategy for Operating a Vehicle
Due to the fact that the state cannot tell the jury what operation of a vehicle means, the defendant’s attorney will have an opportunity to challenge the evidence to the state’s case.
A defense lawyer will usually ask the state and jurors why people choose to operate in the first place. The answer is that people operate a vehicle for transportation. People use a vehicle to get from point A to point B. Therefore, if the vehicle was not was used for its intended purpose, then perhaps it was not operated.
If the intended purpose of someone’s car is to get them to their house, work, or store, then that is what operating a vehicle is. If the defendant was not driving their car but was sleeping in their vehicle, then the defendant’s lawyer would have a defense to argue as to why the individual was not, in fact, operating the vehicle.
Evidence in Lubbock DUI Cases
There are circumstances where the police officer may be unclear about who was actually driving the vehicle at the time they ordered the car to pull over. It is important to remember that in a criminal case there can be direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence, for example, is if a police officer is saying they see the vehicle driving down the road, pulls the individual over, walks up to the door, and the suspected individual is in the driver seat. The evidence of who was driving the vehicle is conclusive to the officer.
An example of circumstantial evidence would be if there was a car wreck and no witnesses saw the accident happen. Then the police get to the scene and see individuals outside the car who are not admitting to who was driving at the time of the wreck. In this situation, the police will use circumstantial evidence to establish who was driving. An officer will do this by evaluating the scene and then making a determination as to who they believe was actually driving the vehicle.
If you have further questions about defining driving in Lubbock DUI cases, reach out to an accomplished DUI lawyer that could help.