Drunk driving charges carry severe penalties in Alabama, and with good reason. Driving while under the influence greatly increases your accident risk, and automobile accidents can ruin not only the life of the driver but also any individuals who are involved in the accident.
If you’ve been accused of drunk driving, you must act quickly. Alabama has a 10-day rule for DUIs, meaning anyone arrested must request a hearing within ten days. Otherwise, they’ll have their driver’s license suspended automatically.
The consequences of drunk driving charges can be far-reaching. If you lose access to your vehicle, it could be difficult for you to maintain your employment, go to college, or take care of relatives. In addition, criminal charges can have other consequences, potentially restricting you from certain forms of employment.
At the hearing, the judge will decide what penalties you should face. They have the discretion to apply a wide range of penalties, and one of the things they’ll take into account when deciding on charges is whether or not this is your first offense.
The penalty for a first DUI could be:
A second DUI offense carries slightly higher penalties:
The penalty for a third DUI could be:
The judge has the discretion to require community service instead of jail and can also allow a motorist to have a restricted license during the period their license is suspended if there is a compelling reason to do so. A good attorney can argue that preventing you from being able to drive would have a lasting negative impact on your life. If you aren’t a habitual offender, this is something the judge might be willing to take into consideration.
The above penalties assume the charge is for a relatively straightforward DUI case. If there are aggravated circumstances, the penalties could be more significant. In addition, if someone is killed in a drunk-driving accident, the responsible motorist could be faced with other charges, such as vehicular manslaughter.
As part of the defense process, our criminal defense attorneys will consider several issues that could be relevant to the case, such as:
Your criminal defense lawyer will meet with you for an initial consultation, during which time they’ll work to determine whether your legal rights were respected during the traffic stop and whether the police officers had enough evidence to arrest you and bring criminal charges against you. If the field sobriety tests weren’t performed correctly, or it’s possible to argue that the stop was unfair, this could work in your favor.
They’ll also explain how drunk driving charges work, what the process is, and the options available to you when it comes to reducing the penalties you’re faced with.
We recommend you seek legal advice as quickly as possible if you’re arrested for drunk driving so you have the best possible chance of avoiding license suspension.
The legal experts at Stoves Law Firm, P.C. have extensive experience when it comes to helping motorists get DUI cases dismissed or reduce the penalties they’re faced with.
The laws surrounding driving under the influence are strict, and there’s no guarantee that any lawyer can get charges completely dropped. However, our attorneys will aggressively fight for you to secure the best possible outcome.
We understand how important it is for people to have a driver’s license. Whether you have a long commute to work, need to take the kids to school, or can only get to the grocery store with your car, the loss of access to a vehicle is something you understandably wish to avoid.
We advocate for you both in and out of court to help you get a suspended sentence, an ignition interlock device, or an affordable fine instead of losing your license. We’ve succeeded in keeping many people on the roads and avoiding unfair penalties.
If you’re faced with a potential DUI, contact us immediately for a free consultation, and give us the chance to advocate for you.