Atlanta, GA asked in Criminal Law and DUI / DWI for Georgia

Q: My daughter of was charged with a dui, failure to maintain Lane and motor vehicle theft. Are these charges correct?

In the state of Georgia. My daughter was under the influence of drugs, she went to a friend's house to get help. No one was at home. She went up to one of his vehicles that was unlocked and sat in it for a while. She realized the keys were in the car so she started the car and went to drive off, in the process of pulling out of the driveway the car slides in the ditch. She was not in her right mind when this happened and had no intent of stealing or selling the car. She was just wanted to get some help. Are the charges correct or would joyriding apply? What statute code applies for the vehicle?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Powder Springs, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The statute code that could apply for the vehicle is OCGA 16-8-2, Theft by taking. It is best to contact an attorney as soon as feasible who can assist you with the specifics of your case and craft an appropriate and tailored defense.

We are glad to assist you. Contact us whenever you are ready.

I wish you and your daughter well.

-The Upshaw Law Firm, (770) 240-0922.

Michael D. Barber Jr.
Michael D. Barber Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Based on what you wrote out, the charges "appear" correct but may not be what she ends up with based on the scenario that you gave. If she entered into the vehicle and was using drugs and then drove the vehicle then the officer can charge her with DUI. O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 has a subsection that deals with drugs and is commonly referred to as DUI Drugs. The theft by taking statute does involve taking motor vehicles that do not belong to you but as you pointed out the solicitors/district attorney's office may have problems proving intent. It sounds like she has some good defenses for these charges you may want to consult with an attorney. Most of us have free consultations.

Patrick Kunes
Patrick Kunes
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Tifton, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The DUI code section for DUI Drugs, less safe is O.C.G.A. 40-6-391 (a)(2). They would have to prove that she consumed some drugs to the point that she was less safe to drive. There is not a per se level that applies for DUI Drugs like there is for alcohol (which is 0.08 grams for a blood alcohol level). Her driving into the ditch can be considered evidence that she was less safe. While you can get a DUI on private property, generally the "rules of the road" don't apply to a private driveway, so she might be able to beat the failure to maintain lane charge based upon not driving upon the highways of this state.

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