Birmingham DUI Lawyers
Individuals can face drunk driving charges in Alabama if they are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent, or if the officer believes they are impaired by drugs and/or alcohol. Individuals in Alabama may face harsher penalties if they are caught driving with a BAC of.15 percent or higher. DUI convictions for the first time result in a license suspension of up to 90 days. Individuals may face jail time, fines, and other consequences. Repeat offenders may face harsher penalties, including the installation of an ignition interlock device.
A DUI conviction can result in jail time as well as the loss of driving privileges. Heavy fines and court costs are a direct consequence of a DUI conviction, as well as driver license revocation. Being convicted of DUI can seriously affect your life and your future. If convicted of a DUI offense, the cost of your automobile insurance premium will be increased or the coverage cancelled altogether. In many cases, a suspended or revoked driver license as a result of a DUI conviction will result in job termination. A DUI conviction can also result in the denial of a government job or obtaining a government security clearance as well as the loss of a CDL license.
When do I need an Alabama DUI Attorney?
You need to retain a knowledgeable and aggressive DUI lawyer in any DUI related arrest. Although pleading guilty may seem like the quickest and least expensive way of handling a DUI without the aid of a lawyer, the long-term consequences of such a decision most likely will be very serious and daunting.
Facing DUI Charges in Birmingham, Alabama
There are several favorable options available in Alabama that can be implemented to protect your interests that an experienced, skilled DUI lawyer is knowledgeable of. If you’re going to plead “guilty” at your first court appearance, then you certainly don’t need an attorney; but you will later regret that you did not seek counsel that could have negotiated a favorable outcome. It is very depressing and embarrassing when you are charged with DUI and most instances you want to get it over with as soon as possible. Don’t plead until you have spoken with me on a confidential free consultation. Please contact an Attorney on DUI DEFENSE in Alabama with any further and specific questions you may have to get some straight answers.
Am I required to submit to sobriety tests at the scene?
If you are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) and you think you are drunk, you may “respectfully” refuse to take the field alcohol test or ay field sobriety tests. There are penalties associated with refusing the test, but in many cases the penalties are less severe than would be the case if the test result led to a DUI conviction.
- When we defend clients who took the blood alcohol test, we challenge the legality of the arrest.
- Did the officer have probable cause to stop the automobile in the first instance?
- Was the breath test properly administered?
- Was the blood Alcohol test properly administered?
What should I do or say if I am stopped by a police officer in Birmingham, Alabama?
Everyone who is stopped by the police should be aware of his or her rights under the law. Among those rights are the so called Miranda rights. These rights provide that every person has the right to remain silent and if they should waive these rights and speak to the police, anything they say can be held against them in a court of law. It is always a good idea to cooperate with the police, however it is a better idea to protect yourself by not answering potentially incriminating questions. The best move is to politely tell the police you would like to speak with an attorney before answering any questions. This response should stop any further questioning by the police.
In some situations we are able to have cases thrown out if the police officer did not follow proper procedures or otherwise did not have probable cause for the traffic stop. The sooner you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the sooner your rights will be protected. Please contact an attorney on DUI DEFENSE in Alabama with any further and specific questions you may have to get some straight answers.
What is required for the prosecution to prove is that you were in actual physical control of a vehicle and that you were impaired to such a point that you could not operate the vehicle safely. The “actual physical control” issue has been greatly expanded by the courts. If you’re sitting behind the wheel of an automobile with the car keys in your hand or pocket, while legally intoxicated, you have met the requirements to be charged under Alabama DUI laws.
Additionally, we have been successful in preventing many clients from having their driving license suspended at all. Pursuant to DUI law, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is authorized and required to revoke, suspend or otherwise cancel your driving privileges depending upon the number of DUIs received within a certain time period. Under administrative law, we can represent you in this area along with the DUI to fight driver license suspension. It’s very important that you contact us as soon as practicable after your DUI so that we can request the proper hearing with the Dept. of Public Safety to work on your driver license privilege.
DUI Penalties in Alabama
Some seriously question if they need a DUI lawyer for a first offense. Whether this is your first DUI charge or your third, you should always consult with an experienced drunk driving lawyer. In Alabama, the penalties for a DUI can be severe. You could face jail time, loss of your driver’s license, attendance at a driving school, and fines.
- Imprisonment- Up to 1 year or
- Fine – From $600 to $2100 or Both
- License Suspension – 90 Days
- Imprisonment – Up to 1 Year Jail – Mandatory Minimum of 5 Days
- Fine – From $1,100 up to $5,100
- License Suspension – 1 Year
- Imprisonment – From 60 Days to 1 Year
- Jail – Mandatory 60 Days
- Fine – $2,100 – $10,000
- License Suspension – 3 Years
- Class “C” Felony
- Imprisonment – From 1 Year to 10 Years
- Jail – Mandatory 1 Year and 1 Day
- Fine – $4,100 – $10,100
- License Suspension – 5 Years
Here are a list of frequently asked questions on Driving under the Influence. We represent clients charged with driving under the influence in a number of cities and counties in the Birmingham area including: Birmingham, Bessemer, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Jefferson County, Mountain Brook, Cullman, Shelby County, Pelham, St. Clair County, Blount County, Fairfield, Midfield, Trussville, Huntsville, Montgomery, Anniston, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden and more.
Alabama DUI FAQ
If you want to fight the charges that have been made against you, you should definitely hire a lawyer. If it is your first or second offense and feel comfortable with receiving the punishment outlined in this website, you may not need a lawyer. However, with each successive DUI received within a five year period ( a fourth offense DUI received anytime in a person’s life is charged as a felony), the penalties will be enhanced. If you are charged with a felony, you should be represented by a lawyer. Please refer to the portion regarding penalties for more information.
The cost of hiring a lawyer will vary. The reputation, experience and expertise in the area will determine the cost of the attorneys services. As with doctors, generally the more skilled the attorney and the larger the city, the higher the fee. A related factor will be the amount of time a lawyer spends on his cases. The better lawyers take in fewer clients so he can devote more time to each client. The range of fees are great. A general practitioner in a small community may charge only $300 while a DUI specialist with a national reputation may charge $15,000 or more, depending on the strength or weakness of the case. Costs such as expert witness fees, independent blood analysis, court reporter transcripts, etc will likely be extra to any quoted fee.
.08 Blood Alcohol Content or above means you are legally intoxicated. However, driving under the influence cases can be made based solely on officer observations.
The Range of punishment for a DUI depends on the number of previous offenses. For your first DUI you could face 0-365 days in jail. Second and Third offenses carry mandatory jail time. A Fourth DUI or more is a felony DUI with a range of punishment from 1 year and 1 day to 10 years in jail.
Absolutely without a doubt you will not be able to drive for some period of time. Alabama has no exceptions to drivers license suspensions. Mandatory 1st DUI -90 days ; 2nd DUI 1 year; 3rd DUI 3 years; 4 or more 5 years – Once you lose your license it becomes difficult to gain it back.
We recommend that you talk to an attorney about your case. While you will generally not be subjected to additional jail time, you still can face dire consequences.
Action must be taken within 10 days of your arrest. There is no such thing as an emergency or hardship driver’s license in Alabama. However, we can explore other options to save your license.
Can’t I just pay my fine and be done with it? – Every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Always consult an attorney before make any life altering decisions. You can lose your driver’s license. Your insurance rates can go up. Fines in DUI cases are expensive but they are not the only long term cost you may be facing.
Who are the best DUI attorneys in Birmingham, Alabama?