Alabama DUI Charges
Being arrested and convicted of a DUI in Alabama is an expensive endeavor: emotionally, mentally, financially, and legally. If you are convicted of a DUI in Alabama, you can face losing your driver's license, DUI classes, expensive court fines, high court costs, and possibly a jail sentence of one year. And that's just on a first offense. Continued DUI arrests and convictions can lead to felony DUI charges being brought, permanent revocation of your driver's license, and a term of incarceration in a state penitentiary. Have I got your attention yet?
After you have been arrested for DUI in Alabama, you have just 10 days from the time of your arrest to file a written request for a driver's license revocation hearing if you have any chance of saving your Alabama driver's license. Therefore, if you have been arrested for driving Under the Influence (DUI), the quicker you get a lawyer to represent you, the better the chances you have in court.
At Patriot Law Firm, LLC our Alabama DUI defense lawyers are committed to helping you throughout the entire process. Without the right lawyer, the nightmare that you face will only get worse. Alabama DUI laws are complex and punitive. YOu must hire a lawyer who knows how to protect you and your rights.
Alabama Driving Under Influence Laws
Alabama does not allow driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, or while under the influence of drugs, or any other controlled substance. Driver's under the age of 21 have a legal BAC limit of 0.02%. Currently in Alabama, there are five (5) different variations of DUI. Each particular type of DUI has different circumstances and items that must be proven by the state in order to secure a conviction. DUI defense has become somewhat of a specialized skill that requires true attention to detail.
Remember that you can be arrested, under certain circumstances, even without a drop of alcohol in your body. If evidence reveals that you have ingested a prescribed medication, an illegal controlled substance, or even certain over the counter medications, you may still be arrested and convicted in Alabama of DUI.
In Alabama, you also do not have to be driving to be charged under DUI. If the vehicle is in your physical control or, yet you are not driving down a road, you can be arrested. Contact a Chelsea DUI defense lawyer right away, whatever your situation led to.
Common DUI Charges
Felony DUI: Under DUI charges, you can be charged with a felony if your drunk driving results in a severe injury to another person or if you are being arrested fourth time in last 10 years with DUI charges.
Aggravated DUI: In Alabama you can be charged with an aggravated or Super DUI, If a blood or breath test proved that you had a BAC of 0.15% or higher or had minor children in the vehicle with you at the time of the offense.
Boating Under the Influence: If you are proved to have a 0.08% or higher BAC or to be influenced by other alcohol and drugs while you are operating a boat or water vessel in Alabama, you can be charged with BUI. Alabama's DUI and BUI laws mirror each other.
Potential Penalties for a DUI charges
If you are arrested for DUI in Alabama, you may face punishments such as incarceration, monetary fines, and suspension of driver's license, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your personal vehicle, and many others.
On the basis of the level of the crime, your DUI sentence may comprise:
First Offense: Considered a misdemeanor DUI charge, you face up to one year imprisonment, (possibly a suspended sentence) suspension of driver's license for 90-days, penalties up to $2,100, or installation of an IID, and DUI classes.
Second Offense: Under second misdemeanor DUI charges, you may be sentenced between five days and one year (five days to serve are mandatory), penalties up to $5,100, difficult labor, two years of an IID, or suspension of driver's license for 12 months. You may be qualified for 1 month of community service rather than being incarcerated.
Third Offense: Under third DUI misdemeanor charges, you could be sentenced between 2 months and one year imprisonment at hard labor, penalties up to $10,100, court charges, three-year driver's license suspension, and a year's installation of Ignition Interlock Device.
Subsequent DUIs: If you commit a DUI for the 4th time in a 10 year "lookback" period, it will be considered Class C Felony. That means from one year and one day up to 10 years in a state penitentiary. you have to face Between a year and a decade imprisonment, tough labor, monetary fines up to $10,100, court charges, five-year driver's license suspension or Ignition Interlock Device installed.
Committing DUI Under the age of 21
As stated previously, the legal BAC limit for someone under the age of 21 is 0.02% BAC.
To discuss how to defend against a DUI if you are underage (the drinking age in Alabama is 21), you should reach out to a Birmingham DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Your Potential Rights During Arrest
Be aware of your legal rights if you are pulled over by a police officer in Alabama. You must give your name, identification, and evidence of insurance. You can humbly refuse to answer the questions concerning what you have been doing, where you have been, or where you are going. An officer may ask you to step out of the vehicle if he feels that you are drunk. Obey the instructions and do not resist and stay in your vehicle.
You possess the right to decline any cognitive or physical sobriety tests asked. If you choose to decline taking these Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, do so in a polite manner. If the officer believes that you are indeed too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle, you will be arrested. Remember that you have the right to remain silent, and if you say anything, whatever you say can and will e used against you in court.
Once you get the chance to contact someone, call a Birmingham DUI attorney immediately at Patriot Law Firm, LLC.
Driving Under Influence Tests
There are various DUI tests can be conducted and you should know how these tests vary and how they may or may not be used against you.
Breath Tests: At the roadside an officer may ask you to exhale into a small, handheld gadget when you are pulled over. This device is known as a PBT breathalyzer.
Sobriety Tests: The remaining pre-arrest inspections are the three standardized physical coordination tests called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: the one-leg stand test, the walk and turn test and the horizontal gaze test. You can and should politely refuse to perform any of the sobriety test.
Blood Tests: A police officer can obtain a search warrant for the BAC of your blood. Such a warrant would have to be approved by a judge before a sample could be taken from your body without your consent.
Breath Tests at Police Station: You may be directed to take a breath test at a police station after being arrested a DUI arrest. You are required to submit to an official, post-arrest breath test under Alabama's implied consent law. AL Code §32-5-192. Failure to provide a testable breath sample when directed to do so will result in an administrative suspension of your Alabama driver's license for 90 days unless the refusal is a second or subsequent refusal within a five year period. In that circumstance, your driver's license will be administratively suspended for a period of 1 year.
DUI Potential Defense
An experienced Alabama DUI lawyer can be essential in designing you defense. An experienced DUI lawyer will investigate the legality for the original probable cause / reasonable suspicion traffic stop, the manner in which the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were administered to the suspect, the officer's interpretation of those SFST results, the type of DUI charged and how the citation was written. Other factors such as the training of the arresting officer as it pertains to DUI enforcement, the manner in which breath / blood tests were acquired and admitted into evidence, and the conformance with USDOT DUI standards.
A competent Chelsea DUI lawyer will carefully examine your arrest and investigation process for analyzing strong potential defenses.
How does Erik Fine help?
When you are charged with any variety of DUI charge, find a qualified Alabama DUI attorney near you. By hiring a lawyer, you possess a greater possibility of having the state's case discredited and getting the very best result possible in the final outcome of your DUI charge. If there is a strong claim against you, a Shelby County DUI lawyer can try to lessen or eliminate the consequences of punishment.
Alabama DUI lawyer Erik Fine can negotiate masterfully with the arresting police officer and prosecutor to negotiate the very best resolution of your DUI, take your case to trial, or perhaps even have your charges reduced or completely dismissed in lieu of jail or prison sentencing.
If you are facing criminal charges in Alabama, contact now or call toat the Patriot Law Firm, LLC for instant legal help.