Physical Control Lawyer
There are few things more confusing than a ‘physical control’ arrest. That there is no clear definition of what, exactly, physical control is does not help. This explains why so many of our clients facing a physical control charge aren’t really sure what they may have done wrong.
Here’s a solid fact: a Physical Control charge is serious. When you are arrested for physical control, you face two legal actions - in criminal court and with the Department of Licensing (DOL).
A conviction carries the same penalties as a DUI conviction: a fine, mandatory alcohol treatment program, jail time, suspended driver’s license, and more.
The charge is confusing, everything after that is a blur. A stressful, scary blur. Don’t try to go it alone. You need help as quickly as possible to save your driver’s license and stay out of jail. Contact Knauss Law Firm.
What is Physical Control?
A car is pulled off to the side of the road. Someone is sleeping. The keys may or may not be in the ignition. There's a whiff of alcohol or pot in the air. A police officer checking out the car can assume that the driver - at some point - drove while under the influence of something. The charge is physical control.
That's fairly clear cut, but physical control rarely is and there is no clear definition in the law to follow.
It comes down, then, to several 'factors'. Which seat were you in? Where and how is the car parked? Where are the keys? Where in the car is the driver? Have they left the car but are still nearby? Is there an open bottle? The smell of alcohol or pot?
There's more, and it all adds up to a ton of variables and the way a law enforcement officer interprets them. Physical control is often a "I know it when I see it" charge.
What Can Happen?
Between the criminal court and the DOL, if convicted you're facing:
- License Suspension
- Minimum mandatory jail sentence (up to 364 days)
- Fine (up to $5,000)
- Ignition Interlock
- SR22 high risk insurance
These can have ongoing repercussions in your personal, family, and business life.
What to Do
Do not wait, contact the Knauss Law Firm as soon as possible. While the facts are fresh in your head.
We will protect your rights moving forward.
Physical Control is a confusing charge that many legal professionals feel is plainly unfair as it punishes drivers who are trying to be responsible – for themselves and the public.
That confusion and perceived unfairness along with the many variables and how they are interpreted by the arresting officer leave room for a strong defense. That starts with you. We work with you from our first meeting on to strategize a defense. We will scour the police reports and start our own investigation.
We will do everything in our power to eliminate or minimize the effects a physical control arrest will have on you and your family.
Knauss Law Firm has years of experience over hundreds of DUI and physical control cases in courts all around Greater Seattle. Moreover, our founding partner, Matt Knauss, was a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. Armed with insider knowledge, he can anticipate the prosecution's moves and bolster your defense. He levels the playing field between you and the State of Washington.
But it starts with a call. Let’s fix this problem so you can get your life back!