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Operation Explained as it Relates to a DWI
Wall Township DWI Attorneys
As stated, the law requires proof of operation in order for someone to be found guilty of DWI. In this regard, the law requires four (4) elements to establish operation:
- Control of the vehicle;
- An intention to move the vehicle;
- An affirmative step toward placing the vehicle in motion; and
- The vehicle is capable of moving
The term “control” contemplates that an accused enter the vehicle and sit in the driver’s seat. When this has occurred, the individual is deemed to be in control of the vehicle.
Since intent is a state of mind, the law establishes certain factors that should be considered in determining whether someone possesses an intention to move a vehicle. The first factor is whether or not the accused placed the keys in the ignition. The next is whether or not the accused started or attempted to start the vehicle. Another factor is whether or not the accused actually attempted to move the vehicle and his or he other actions after the vehicle was started (e.g. were they sleeping in the vehicle, etc.).
There are three ways to prove operation. The first way to prove operation is through actual observation. The second way is through circumstantial evidence. What this means is that the facts support an inference that the accused was the operator of the vehicle. The third and final means of establishing operation is through admission by the defendant.