Anaheim, CA asked in DUI / DWI for California

Q: Burden of proof for driving on DUI


My friend got a dui and there were two people in the car. She was told by a police officer friend that if both of them say they weren’t driving, another person was and basically make up a person, say the friend was driving and ran That they can’t prove who was driving the ca and can’t convict. Is this correct? Would an attorney knowingly allow this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Francis Nicholson
John Francis Nicholson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Woodland Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have several issues here surrounding your question. The standard of proof for conviction is "beyond a reasonable doubt" that your friend was driving, and that an acceptable scientifical test was performed that your friend was under the influence based upon the blood alcohol level as specified under California law.

It is unclear how the story that someone else was driving but ran away is possible since the usual scenario is that law enforcement stops the vehicle and does not lose site of the vehicle that would allow someone to run away, unnoticed. That being said, it is likely that the story of the 2 passengers is simply not believable. Merely because someone testifies as to an alleged fact does not make it true. Disbelieved allegations, that the actual driver ran away, may result in a conviction of your friend based upon the standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."All that is needed to support the conviction is disbelief of the story of the witness or witnesses.

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