and Rita Wilson have been sued for their “involvement” in their 25-year-old son’s alleged DUI. But can they legally be charged?
Can Actor Tom Hanks and Wife Rita Wilson Be Charged for Their Son’s Alleged DUI?
Terry Moogan has filed court papers against actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson for their son, Chet Hank
‘s alleged involvement in a car accident involving a DUI. Moogan is claiming that Hanks and Wilson are responsible because they allowed Chet Hanks to drive their car while he, according to Moogan, was “under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol” during a February 25th car accident in which Moogan suffered whiplash and a brain injury after hitting his head on the dashboard.
The lawsuit claims, “Despite knowing that Chester Hanks
was a careless and reckless driver and a habitual user of drugs and alcohol, they negligently permitted Chester Hanks to operate their vehicle.”
As Chet Hanks admitted in a series of Instagram videos, “A couple of months ago, I was selling coke, doing coke until I couldn’t even snort it up my nose anymore because it was so clogged. If I can change, you can change. There is a solution.”
In another post he states, “I’ve been in rehab. I’ve been trying to get my s–t together, and I’m doing pretty damn good.”
And on January 29 he announced that he had hit his six-month sobriety mark, tweeting: “Blessings are happening all around me,” he tweeted.
Does Moogan Have a Case?
While Moogan has claimed that Hanks was under the influence, police were not called to the scene and Hanks was never charged with driving under the influence. That means that there is no record of Hanks being under the influence at the time of the accident.
is 25 years old – far over the age of 18 at which his father and mother might run the risk of being sued.
State laws vary when it comes to a parent’s liability for their child’s harmful actions, but typically that can only be used for an underage child, or one that is considered to be a legal dependent (if over the age of 18). This most likely does not apply to Hanks, who has an established career of his own, and thus is not likely considered a dependent.
While Moogan might be able to claim that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
should have not allowed their son to drive their car knowing that he had past issues with drug use, the case he is trying to bring is very weak in a lot of areas.
Still, DUI allegations should not be handled lightly, and if you have been accused of driving under the influence, even if there was no report filed, you should still contact a DUI attorney.
Steps to Investigating Typical DUI Charges
The first step in a DUI investigation is being pulled over by a police officer, which can be scary. The first thought you might have is when is the officer going to ask, “Have you had anything to drink today?”
Since the officer can’t force you to answer any questions that could be considered incriminating, the best answer might be to tell them you prefer to speak with a DUI attorney before answering their questions. Having a blood alcohol (“BAC”) content under 0.08 is not considered driving under the influence. Admitting that you may have had one beer just explains why your breath smells of alcohol.
The second step in a DUI investigation are field sobriety tests. California does not give you the right to consult an attorney prior to these tests, but you can still politely decline to take them since you are not legally required to submit to these tests. The risk of these tests is that if an officer takes a subjective view they could decide you failed even though the test results were borderline. These results could then be used to convict you for a DUI. However, if a police officer genuinely suspects you are intoxicated, chances are good you won’t get away with a warning.
The next step in a DUI investigation is the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. This test is normally a breathalyzer test, which is a chemical test prior to being arrested. A breathalyzer test is the most common one used by police officers to identify drivers driving under the influence. Breathalyzer tests are also used after an arrest as well. Before actually being arrest, you have the right to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. If you are afraid your blood alcohol level is high, you can take it knowing the possibility exists of later impeaching the test results.
If you have been lawfully arrested for DUI, the law requires you to undergo the administration of a chemical test by a police officer to determine your blood alcohol level (“BAC”).
According to California’s “Implied Consent Law,” you are required to submit to chemical testing to determine your BAC if a police officer arrests you for DUI and the officer has probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence.
After being arrested, often you can chose either the breathalyzer or chemical tests. The breathalyzer is fairly reliable, but the results aren’t for a number of reasons. Breathalyzer tests don’t test for blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”), which requires a blood sample be taken to be analyzed. Because of this, the police will indirectly make an estimate of your BAC.
Blood Test to Confirm DUI
The most accurate tests to determine BAC are blood tests. Because of this, if given the choice you should choose a blood test if you feel your BAC is under the legal limit of 0.8. Also, your blood sample must be preserved under a specific set of rules that will then be available for your attorney’s use in order for their later independent testing and analysis.
Although you can’t be forced to take a chemical blood test, if you refuse the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your California Driver’s License for one year, no matter what the outcome of the DUI case against you. You can request a hearing to contest the suspension, but it must be requested within 10 days from your DUI arrest date.
Working with Sevens Legal, APC
The Law Offices of Sevens Legal, APC, understands DUI cases inside and out, and they are committed to uncovering contradictory evidence, procedural errors, or violations of your rights. We determine the correct defense strategy based on the facts pertaining to your case. Sevens Legal, APC, handles all DUI cases such as:
First DUI Offense DUI:
Almost 80% of our clients who are first offenders have their cases resolved without a DUI conviction.
Underage juvenile DUI offenders have unique challenges relating to these charges, and respond according to these challenges.
Felony charges involving DUI require immediate attention. These DUI charges include injury or a 4th offense in a 10-year period.
DUI and Drugs:
If the drugs are prescription drugs or banned (“street drugs”) substances, they carry the same penalty as a DUI involving alcohol.
Multiple DUI Charges:
These types of charges involve higher penalties depending on the number of times you have been convicted previously for DUI. Many times we can successfully reduce the statutory jail time by seeking treatment options.
DUI Resulting in an Accident:
This also includes injury and/or death, or property damage. These require an experienced criminal defense attorney. These charges may involve possible time in a state prison, so it’s imperative to hire a skilled and diligent criminal defense attorney.
Boating and DUI:
Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol carry the same negative consequences as driving a vehicle and being intoxicated.
DMV DUI Hearing:
It is imperative to act promptly in order to protect driving privileges. The hearing must be requested within 10 days of your arrest, otherwise the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license.
Beating a DUI charge is never easy, even if you have a strong defense, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced DUI Defense Attorney.
In DUI cases there can be numerous possible police errors, all of which can add up to helping reduce your charges. After reviewing the facts of your DUI case, our attorneys will concentrate on helping seek a dismissal or reduction by preparing a secure case that will cast doubt on any evidence the police may have obtained against you.
The criminal defense lawyers at Sevens Legal, APC, believe every defendant deserves a zealous defense. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.
Criminal Defense Attorneys
3555 4th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-2800