Many drivers make the mistake of believing that they cannot be stopped or arrested for any kind of traffic or driving violation if they are on private property. It is true that police might not ticket you for speeding or other minor offenses once you pull into your driveway.
However, they have the right to stop and arrest you anywhere even on private property if they witness you violating traffic laws or committing offenses like driving under the influence. Learn the answer to Can You Get a DUI on Private Property and under what circumstances you might get a DUI in a parking lot that is owned by a private company or individual today.
Private Property DUIs
You are not safe from being pulled over and arrested for any traffic offense let alone a DUI just because you are on private property. In fact, you can get a DUI in a parking lot just as easily as you can on a public roadway if the circumstances merit.
Regardless of where you are in your vehicle, you must obey the traffic laws at all time. These laws include not operating your car or truck while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If law enforcement sees you driving in a manner consistent with driving while intoxicated, the police can pull you over and arrest you for driving under the influence even if you are in your driveway or a private lot.
They can give you a DUI parked or while your car is still running in particular if they are invited onto the private property. People who own private businesses like:
- gas stations
- convenience stores
- golf courses
- stadiums or sporting venues
often call law enforcement to arrest motorists who are driving drunk and putting the safety of the businesses’ clientele in jeopardy. Once they are called to the private property, the police have the full discretion of the law to arrest you for DUI despite the fact that you are not out on the public roadways.
The police will use some discretion when deciding what kind of DUI citation to give you. For example, if you are simply sitting in your car that is not running, you could get a DUI parked citation, which would still require that you show up to court. If you are attempting to drive away from the private property or leading the police on a chase, you more than likely will face felony DUI charges that can lead to you being sentenced to prison.
Regardless of what kind of DUI citation and arrest you are subjected to, it is important that you retain an experienced DUI lawyer to help you with your case as soon as possible. Your lawyer will know the full answer to Can You Get a DUI on Private Property as well as what laws apply to your case under the current state laws.
Why Hire a DUI Attorney
Why should you have an experienced DUI lawyer helping you from Day One of your case? Simply put, an attorney can be your best resource for staying out of jail, receiving the least harshest penalties, and moving on with your life.
The DUI laws in every state seem to change at a moment’s notice. Who has time to read up on all of the newest laws and what they could mean if you make the unfortunate choice to drive while intoxicated? Most lay people have no idea how those laws will ever apply to them or if those laws make driving under the influence on private property a crime.
Lawyers do have the time, however, and know for a fact that driving while intoxicated even if you are on private property is a crime. They also know what legal loopholes are at your disposal and how to use those laws to your advantage before your case is decided.
For example, many states allow for easier punishments for first-time DUI offenders. If you have never before been arrested or tried for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving, you could get off with a lighter sentence. You could even have the charges against you dropped if you have a good DUI lawyer working for you.
If you are a repeat DUI offender, you definitely need a skilled DUI lawyer working on your case. Many judges are bound by law to hand out the severest punishments to people who have multiple DUI offenses on their records. Regardless of whether the prosecutor charged you with a misdemeanor or felony DUI, if you are a repeat offender you could face punishments like:
- time in the city or county jail or prison
- steep monetary fines
- lengthy community service sentences
- suspension or revocation of your drivers license
- house arrest
- court ordered rehabilitation or counseling
All of these penalties make living your normal life difficult if not impossible. You may be unable to drive to and from work or school or afford to pay the civil fines levied against you. If you cannot pay the fines, you may have your wages garnished by the court.
With a good DUI attorney by your side, however, you may be able to avoid any or all of these penalties. It is important that you retain one as soon as you can after being arrested for DUI on private property.
Hiring a DUI Attorney Today
So how can you find a DUI lawyer who is ready and capable of taking your case today? You should start your search for one as soon as you are booked and processed for DUI.
Ideally, you should get one on retainer before you are arraigned. If you cannot hire one before your arraignment hearing, you should contact and hire a DUI attorney as soon as you pay your bond and get out of jail.
Start by asking your loved ones and friends for the names of any DUI lawyers they know. DUI is one of the most common offenses in society today. Chances are that someone you know at work, school, or elsewhere knows the name of at least one good DUI attorney.
If you want to do your own research, you can look for local DUI attorneys online. Look for attorneys who have high client ratings and have good reviews for services and outcomes from people who have hired them in the past. Highly rated DUI attorneys may be able to help you achieve the legal results you want in your case.
Finally, you can call the state bar association for a referral. The state bar keeps a list of lawyers by specialty and provides free referrals to attorneys who practice in DUI law as well as other legal areas. You can call the state bar and ask for a lawyer close to you who can handle your DUI case today.
If you genuinely cannot afford to put a DUI lawyer on retainer, you can ask the court to appoint one for you. The Constitution guarantees you the right to counsel if you are unable to pay for a lawyer yourself.
Private properties like parking lots, convenience stores, and gas stations do not provide you with a safe haven from driving under the influence. Police can enter these properties and arrest you for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol just as easily as if you were driving on a public roadway.
Learn how and why you can get a DUI even if you are on private property and what kinds of legal ramifications you might face in court. Act in your best interests and get the legal representation you need by hiring a skilled DUI attorney today.