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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Intent to operate a motor vehicle is not an element of the charge of DUI

LAW OFFICE
OF

EDWARD J. CHANDLER, P.A.

A professional Association

Attorney & Counselor at Law 
Tel: (954) 788-1355
Fax (954) 788-1357
 


The Intent to Drive is not an element of DUI Charge

Intent to operate a motor vehicle is not an element of the charge of DUI:

Florida DUI law reads, in pertinent part, as follows:

Fla. Stat. 316.193, Driving Under the Influence:

(1) A person is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence and is subject to punishment as provided in subsection (2) if the person is driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and:

(a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or any substance controlled under chapter 893, when affected to the extent that the person's normal faculties are impaired;

(b) The person has a blood- alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or

(c) The person has a breath alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Although Florida law guarantees a defendant the right to argue his theory of defense, a defendant may do so only so long as the "theory is valid under Florida law." Peterson v. State, 24 So. 3d 686, 690 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). 

Intent to operate a motor vehicle is not an element of the charge of DUI, nor is lack of intent to operate a motor vehicle a legally cognizable defense to DUI. See § 316.193, Fla. Stat. (2010).

Evidence sought to admit (that he had called for a ride and was waiting, in his car with the radio on, for that ride at the time of his arrest) is irrelevant to whether or not petitioner committed DUI – specifically, the “actual physical control” requirement. See § 90.401, Fla. Stat. (2010) (defining relevant evidence as “evidence that has a legitimate tendency to prove or disprove a given proposition that is material as shown by the pleadings”). Evidence of Petitioner’s alleged lack of intent to drive would not operate to prove or disprove whether the petitioner was in “actual physical control” of his vehicle. In fact, such irrelevant speculation regarding the Petitioner's subjective intentions would only serve to do one of three things: (1) confuse the jury; (2) lead the jury to believe that “intent” is an element of the crime of DUI; and/or (3) create sympathy for the petitioner, possibly resulting in a jury pardon.




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Edward J. Chandler, Esq. is a dedicated legal professional well-versed in criminal law since 1991 in the State of Florida and Federal court.  He brings his legal experience to the table to fight for you. This gives the Law Office of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. an edge when dealing with complex legal matters. 

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Edward J. Chandler, Esq.  has 20 years experience as a trial attorney and will tell you the truth about what he can (or can not) do to help you.


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In criminal cases my fees are based on the seriousness of the charges (felony or misdemeanor, prior offenses, etc), where the case stands, and the amount of work and court dates we anticipate. For experience and sound legal counsel, call the professionals at The Law Office of Edward J. Chandler, P.A. today!

Edward J. Chandler, Esq.
has been practicing criminal law in Florida since 1991.

No single element is more crucial in creating a successful relationship between a client and a law firm than the quality of the service performed by the professionals involved. "Quality," of course, is expressed by key characteristics such as knowledge, skill, experience and dedication. In that sense, it is an intangible. An expression of quality is strategic problem solving which takes the form of expert legal counsel and, when necessary, aggressive court action.

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He represents those under investigation or arrested for Federal and State crimes and will take your case to trial if necessary.He will file necessary pre-trial motions such as a motion to suppress a search, evidence or statements made in violation of your constitutional rights, and can file a motion to dismiss the charges.
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  •  In criminal cases my fees are based on the seriousness of the charges (felony or misdemeanor, prior offenses, etc), where the case stands, and the amount of work and court dates we anticipate.I usually charge flat fees, so you won't have any surprises.
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FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE: Facing federal charges is a stressful experiences, even with one of the best Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys in Florida at your side.

By the time you realize that you are the target of federal criminal investigation, the government has already built a strong case against you. The Feds and its criminal investigative agencies, DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, and the Treasury Department,  have almost unlimited material and human resources to prosecute their cases. Federal prosecutors obtain conviction in more than 95 percent of federal criminal trials!

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Choosing The Best Criminal Attorney For Your Case Anyone facing an allegation that they have violated state or federal law needs a strong and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney they can respect and trust. Money, jailtime, and even someone's life may be on the line and a criminal lawyer has to be trusted to fight hard for his client's best interests.
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Before deciding on the right criminal defense lawyer for your case, you should talk with the attorney and get a feel for how you will work together. There's no bond like that between a criminal defense lawyer and his client, and deciding who to hire as your criminal defense attorney may be the most important decision of your life.

LAW OFFICE
OF

EDWARD J. CHANDLER, P.A.

A professional Association

Attorney & Counselor at Law 
Tel: (954) 788-1355
Fax (954) 788-1357