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Physical Control Charges

A physical control charge is very similar to a DUI charge, except that law enforcement did not catch you driving.  RCW 46.61.504.  The prosecutor has to prove you were in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle.  Criminal and civil consequences for a Physical Control conviction are the same as a DUI.  If convicted of a Physical Control charge, the court must impose mandatory jail time, fines, probation, and order such conditions as ignition interlock device, chemical dependency evaluation and follow up treatment, DUI Victim Impact Panel, etc. 

However, there is a significant difference in the way a Physical Control case is defended.  There is a defense to physical control called “Safely off the roadway,” which means that if you have parked your car off the roadway, you can assert this defense and ask a judge or jury to find you not guilty.  To assert this defense, the defendant must bear the burden of proving it by a preponderance of the evidence.  This defense was created by the Washington legislature to encourage impaired drivers to stop driving if they realize they are more impaired than they thought they were.   

If you are charged with Physical Control, it is important to work with an experienced and aggressive attorney who will fight hard for your rights.  Call Ms. Odama right away for a free consultation.


This web page is for informational purposes only. Visitors should not rely upon information on this web page as a substitute for personal legal advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. Contact us If you have an individual legal problem so we can help you with your issue.