Perspective clients often tell me that the police cannot prove their case because they did not see someone drive.
Driving is an essential element that must be established in any DUI case. However, many people misunderstand the rules of evidence.
Indirect evidence can, in fact, prove a fact or facts. Proof by inference is called circumstantial evidence.
The classic example of circumstantial evidence is when we wake up with snow on the ground. Even if we do not witness the storm, we can prove it happened by seeing its results the next morning. When we see 12 inches of snow on our front lawn, we know that it has snowed, even if it is not presently snowing.
The same is true when we discuss driving. In Georgia, the police must prove that the accused was driving a motor vehicle. However, many times the police do not directly witness the driving.
Indirect evidence of driving can include but is not limited to, asking a person whether they were driving, asking other witnesses to an accident, having concerned citizens report the license plate of a suspected impaired driver, and when the police come upon an accident scene.
The police can also reasonably assume that a person is driving when they come upon an accident, and the owner of the vehicle is the only person present.
Of course, any assumption is rebuttable. I have had cases where the driver of a car fled the scene, leaving the passenger. The police then wrongfully assumed the passenger was driving.
Before assuming you have a good case or a case that cannot be proven, consult with our Georgia DUI Attorneys. The defense that the police did not see you drive is usually not the best potential legal defense. It is better to focus on issues that may result in a good outcome in your case.