Physical Control

Physical Control of a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence

If you have been arrested for Physical Control in the state of Washington, you are facing strict sanctions and penalties such as jail time, fines, and the suspension or revocation your privilege to drive. As a skilled Physical Control attorney, Luke Baumgarten has the experience and knowledge to guide you through the entire case, from the initial jail call all the way through trial.

Like DUI, there is a lot more to a Physical Control case than simply whether you were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while you were intoxicated. There are a many legal issues which, if identified by your attorney, could lead to suppression of evidence, could justify an amendment to a lower-level offense (like Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangerment, or Negligent Driving in the First Degree), or could even lead to a dismissal or acquittal.

Physical Control is defined by RCW 46.61.504.

Defenses to Physical Control:

  • Consuming alcohol after driving: It is an affirmative defense if the defendant proves that it is more likely than not that he or she consumed a sufficient amount of alcohol after the time of being in actual physical control of the vehicle and before taking a breath test to have a BAC of .08 or higher.

  • Safely off the roadway: It is a defense to a charge of Physical Control if, prior to being pursued by a law enforcement officer, the defendant had moved his or her vehicle "safely off the roadway."

  • Reasonable Doubt: As with any criminal case, the government has the burden of proving each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

In many respects, Physical Control is very similar to the crime of DUI. For more detailed information regarding possible penalties and license sanctions, visit our DUI page.

If you have been charged with Physical Control, call Baumgarten Law Office for a free consultation: 509-593-4370.