If you’ve been charged or arrested for DUI in Birmingham, AL, you may wonder, “When do I need a DUI attorney?” Being arrested can be a frightening and stressful experience. When you are arrested, an officer is not required to read you your Miranda rights. However, you still have the right to remain silent and are only required to provide your driver’s license or identification during the traffic stop.  You do not have to answer any other questions. When is the right time to hire a DUI attorney? You may only have a limited amount of time to protect your rights, so it is wise to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Anything you say to officers can and will be used against you in court. An experienced drunk driving defense lawyer can stand beside you every step of the way to help you make choices to result in the best possible outcome for your case.

While officers have been granted a wide range of powers to collect evidence for drunk driving, you are innocent until proven guilty. What tools do officers use to charge individuals with a DUI? Under Alabama’s implied consent law, you consent to submit to a drug or alcohol test just by choosing to drive on Alabama’s public roads. Refusing to submit to a breath test after you have been arrested could result in the automatic suspension and loss of your license. In general, if you are being arrested and asked to submit to these tests, you do have the right to ask for a DUI lawyer, but you may have to submit to these tests before you can speak to your attorney.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances (known commonly as a DUI) is a serious offense that carries significant penalties. Penalties for a first-time DUI in Birmingham, Alabama include, but are not limited to:

  • Up to one year imprisonment
  • A fine up to $2,000
  • A mandatory 90-day license suspension (or Interlock ignition device)
  • One year suspension of commercial driver license/CDL 

However, if this is a second conviction or subsequent conviction, the penalties can, and probably will be, much more serious. You may also face other collateral consequences for a DUI, including having a criminal record, having to carry more expensive car insurance, and facing difficulties traveling abroad due to your DUI conviction. If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important that you contact an attorney as quickly as possible. You have limited time to take certain actions to protect your rights.

Consequences for a DUI can go far beyond just fines, court costs, and jail time. They can adversely affect your job, your marriage, and your future. However, you are not guilty just because you were arrested and charged! You can’t afford to hire a lawyer unfamiliar with this area of the law. The DUI lawyers at Shockley, Ransom & Sparks: Attorneys at Law will take the time to review your case and help you understand your options going forward. The time following a DUI charge can be incredibly stressful, confusing, and lonely. You need a drunk driving defense lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama working for you.


James J. Ransom, III, is an experienced attorney with over twenty years of experience in law enforcement and practicing law in the State of Alabama. He is a member of the prestigious National College for DUI Defense. He will work for you to make sure that you are represented fairly and that you receive the best outcome possible for your case.  When you hire Shockley, Ransom & Sparks: Attorneys at Law, you get the qualified knowledge of a lawyer who has worked on both sides of a case. Our firm understands what is required to get a conviction and also understands the circumstances in which charges may be dropped or reduced. We know what to look for when it comes to protecting your rights. For example, we know what kind of breathalyzers may be used and how these machines must be maintained. We have an understanding of how the chain of evidence must be handled. We can review how evidence was gathered and managed in your case and investigate your case to determine whether there were any mistakes in how your breathalyzer may have been calibrated or maintained. Our firm also understands that officers must have probable cause to stop you in the first place. We can read, analyze, and scrutinize police reports to determine the initial reasoning offers used to make your stop and determine whether officers had sufficient probable cause before arresting you or asking you to submit to tests. You may be facing losing your driver’s license. You may be facing criminal charges. When the stakes are high, you need a strong Birmingham, AL DUI defense. You need Shockley, Ransom & Sparks: Attorneys at Law.

Penalties for a DUI in Birmingham, Alabama

Some wonder whether they need a DUI lawyer for a first-time offense. Whether this is your first time DUI charge or your third, you should always speak to a qualified drunk driving attorney. The penalties for a DUI in Alabama can be serious. You could face time in jail, loss of your driver license, be required to attend a driving school, and may face fines. The extent of these penalties will depend on the seriousness of the charge, whether this is a first-time or subsequent DUI, whether there were minors in the car, and whether someone was hurt in an accident. Even in a case of a first-time DUI, you could face time in jail, serious fines, loss of your driver license, and be required to attend driving school. Your reputation could be damaged and you could face difficulties getting jobs or traveling in the future. Even a seemingly minor DUI charge can carry serious penalties. You need the best DUI defense lawyer in Birmingham. Contact Shockley, Ransom & Sparks: Attorneys at Law.

Because the penalties for DUI convictions can be severe, you should not hesitate in seeking a strong DUI defense. You may be able to avoid some of these penalties by retaining an attorney who will investigate and negotiate on your behalf. In some cases, your charges may be reduced or dropped, depending on how officers handled your case and how evidence was processed or gathered. In other instances, individuals facing DUI charges understand that they need help. The state sometimes offers plea deals and reduced charges for individuals who are willing to attend rehab or those who are taking steps to turn their lives around. Alcoholism is an illness and some individuals need assistance, not jail time.

And if your case must be tried, James J. Ransom, III has the courtroom experience and knowledge to present the best DUI defense possible. We’ll take the time to review your case and offer you an honest assessment of your options. Facing criminal charges can be stressful. This is why you need qualified DUI lawyers on your side who can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Who are the best DUI defense lawyers in Birmingham, AL? Shockley, Ransom & Sparks: Attorneys at law work tirelessly to help you protect your reputation, your future, and your rights.