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Top Mistakes Police Make in a DUI Case

Dui Case

Police make thousands of stops in their career, so it’s not surprising that some of those stops may be done unlawfully or by accident. If you are arrested for a DUI, you have rights and there are options for you in case you were stopped by mistake. That is why it is important to know what to expect and the process before, during, and after you are arrested.

Here are some of the top mistakes the police make during DUI investigations. This information could help if you are ever suspected of a DUI or arrested for a DUI. 

Top Mistakes Police Make During DUI Stops

Stopping/Arresting a Driver without Probable Cause

When police ask you to stop and pull you over, they need to prove probable cause to make any arrests. If you disagree with the reason, you can contest the validity and it could be dropped or dismissed altogether if the court finds in your favor. A DUI checkpoint could be automatic “probable cause” if the checkpoint is conducted correctly, so if you are stopped at one, that is likely enough evidence for them to conduct their tests.

Failing to Read Miranda Rights to the Motorist Before Arrests

DUI laws state that your Miranda rights should be read to you before you are arrested. These rights state they cannot force you to speak (that you can remain silent) that you have the right to hire an attorney or have a public defender represent you if you cannot hire an attorney. If you are not read these rights, you will seek an order from the Court prohibiting the prosecution from using your statements against you. Comments you made during the arrest should not be used against you if your rights were not read to you.

Wrongful Analysis of Field Sobriety Tests

When the officers conduct field sobriety tests, they do so to help them figure out how impared you are. These tests are intended to find out how steady your balance, coordination and motor skills are and then they determine if you pass or fail. These determinations can be highly subjective and errors when conducting them can happen. Some ways the test results can be wrong are:

  • Medical conditions the officers are not aware of
  • Weather conditions or road conditions
  • Slippery or smooth road conditions
  • Incorrect assessment of your sobriety test
  • Incorrect reading of breathalyzer

Incorrect Breathalyzer Procedure

Because of the sensitive nature of the machinery, there are procedures that police must follow when administering breathalyzer tests in suspected DUI stops. Failure to stick to these rules could nullify all of the DUI allegations. The person administering the test should always have proper training before using the breathalyzer out on traffic stops. Also, the equipment must be recalibrated after a certain amount of uses or after a certain amount of days. This ensures the equipment is working properly and doesn’t falsely give someone a positive test. If you feel your test was inaccurate, you can dispute the validity of the results.

Hostile Treatment from Officers

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but not everyone gets treated that way. Officers are supposed to have their community in mind and always conduct themselves professionally and with the law in mind. If any hostile treatment is given while stopped, you can get their badge number and bring up the treatment in court. If the officer is known for this kind of treatment, your case could be reviewed and dismissed if any violations against your rights are found.

Get The Help And Respect You Deserve with Brackin & Johnson

Were you stopped for suspicion of DUI and subsequently charged? Whether it’s your first or fourth charge, it is incredibly stressful to face criminal charges, and the pressure you feel about hiring the right lawyer can make it even worse. You deserve a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and will give you the best legal services possible.

At Brackin and Johnson, we understand the criminal justice process, how to work with each District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney, city prosecutor, or judge handling your criminal case, and the possibilities prior to ever entering the courtroom.

Contact us today and let us fight for your future. We know that going through the legal process is not easy and are here to help you every step of the way.

Categories DUI

Understanding Medical Power of Attorney: What You Need to Know

Medical Power Of Attorney

Accidents and medical emergencies happen every day and many are impossible to predict. When you choose your medical power of attorney, you are enabling someone to make the important medical decisions for you.

There is much to learn about Medical POA and when it is in your best interest to use it, like in the event of a medical emergency or the like. Having a comprehensive medical plan will help you out in any potential healthcare situation where you are unable to take care of yourself. This article will give you the outline of how a medical POA works and when you should set it up.

What Does Medical Power of Attorney Mean?

A regular power of attorney is when you appoint someone of your choosing as your representative which gives that person the power to act on your behalf. This is a legal document that is upheld by the law and different kinds of power of attorney are available to use in certain situations in your life. A Medical Power of Attorney is one.

What Does a Medical POA Have Authority Over?

With Medical Power of Attorney, you appoint a person, often called an attorney-in-fact or agent, giving them the power to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are sick, incapacitated and/or can’t make decisions on your own. When you give someone medical power of attorney, it is so they can make important decisions about your medical care, such as treatment options, medication, surgery, end-of-life care, and whatever else you deem necessary.

Sometimes, a regular power of attorney is nondurable, meaning this power of attorney expires and is no longer valid if you become incapacitated. Medical power of attorney is durable, meaning it doesn’t expire if you become impaired and won’t go into effect until then as well. 

When Does Your Medical POA Take Effect?

When you make a durable medical POA, it will typically take effect as soon as you become incapacitated. This could mean when you are:

  • Put under general anesthesia
  • Diagnosed with illness that has left you unable to communicate, i.e. a stroke
  • In an accident that has left you in a coma or unconscious
  • Suffering from Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia that impacts your ability to make decisions

Why Should I Set Up a Medical POA?

Setting up a medical power of attorney will be an asset if and when you need it. Here are some of the main reasons to get yourself one:

Gives You Peace of Mind

If you ever have a bad accident or become too ill to care for yourself, someone will have to step up to care for you and make your medical decisions. This way, you can be sure that the person making the decision about your health knows exactly what you want and gives your loved ones a break in an already difficult time.

Keeps You Safe During Procedures

If you are going to have a surgery, appointing an agent to take care of you while under anesthesia can be helpful as you will not be able to consent to anything while incapacitated. You can always choose for the medical POA to end as soon as you are awake and recovering.

What to Look For in an Attorney-In-Fact 

It’s especially important to choose carefully when you are considering the person you will appoint to be your attorney-in-fact under your medical power of attorney. While the language may make you think you need to appoint an actual attorney to be your medical POA, that is incorrect. You just need to appoint someone you can trust and who will have your best interest at heart during your difficult time. Many people appoint a family member or close friend as their attorney-in-fact.

No matter what, trust is the number one factor so make sure you let the person know all of your wishes and that they will stick to them no matter what.

Get the Quality Legal Help You Deserve

At Brackin & Johnson, our expert attorneys can assist you or your loved ones with planning for long term care and ensuring that your medical needs are met should the time come when you or your family member can no longer care for themselves.

An experienced power of attorney lawyer can help you address legal matters that can affect your quality of life and health. You’ll need an expert to interpret complex Alabama laws and you’ll want the very best to help you plan for your loved ones.

We will work with you to ensure that your future is laid out in writing. If you need a skilled attorney specializing in all types of power of attorney, estate planning, or living wills, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

Alabama Marijuana Laws: What You Need to Know

Marijuana Laws

The debate about marijuana legalization has raged on in the United States for over 100 years. It is a common, yet intensely debated and regulated drug. Over the last 30 years, marijuana has slowly become decriminalized and legalized in many states, but not all states share the same views on medical and recreational marijuana usage.

Alabama has had a conservative view on marijuana use in the past but in 2021, became the 36th state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use only. Laws and penalties for marijuana usage are changing and evolving with the times. This article will go over Alabama’s current laws and penalties for marijuana currently as well as what decriminalization might bring for its citizens in the future.

Medicinal Marijuana Law of 2021

Alabama became the 36th state to legalize medical marijuana in 2021, but it’s taken some time to roll out the program and the state is still working on getting everything set into stone. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect if you need medicinal marijuana in Alabama:

Medicinal Marijuana Law and Stipulations

The new 2021 law legalizes medical marijuana for adults and minors, but there are certain conditions that will have to be followed. In order for a person to get approved to use the drug legally, they will have to visit a doctor who is currently licensed to practice medicine in Alabama and has passed an exam on medical marijuana. That doctor then has to verify that you have a qualifying medical condition and determine that other more conventional means of medical treatment or therapy have failed to fix or help your condition. Some of the qualifying medical conditions include:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Depression
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Epilepsy or a condition causing seizures
  • Terminal illness
  • HIV/AIDS-related nausea or weight loss
  • Cancer-related cachexia, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, or chronic pain
  • Spasticity associated with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Spasticity associated with MS (multiple sclerosis) or a spinal cord injury
  • Persistent nausea
  • A condition causing chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy isn’t advised or has proved ineffective

How to Get Medical Marijuana

In order to qualify for a medicinal marijuana card, you would need a doctor’s recommendation as stated above as well as proof of an Alabama residency. When you have these, you then pay to apply for a medical marijuana card. The fee won’t exceed $65. If you’re approved, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will enter your information into the statewide cannabis patient registry system. That’s when you can start buying the prescriptive amount from a licensed dispensary.

Penalties for Possession if Not Carrying Legally

Although 30 states so far have recreational marijuana legalized, Alabama is quite far away from there being shops on every corner in the near future. Getting medical marijuana was huge for those fighting for legalization in the state, but heavy penalties can find you if you are not careful and follow the rules for medical marijuana. Medical marijuana only legalizes certain amounts for certain people (those with medical cards) so if you’re found with marijuana on your person and you do not have one, the penalties in Alabama are quite steep.Here are the penalties as they stand today:

Personal Use

In Alabama, marijuana for “personal use only” (no intent to sell) is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $6,000. A subsequent conviction of marijuana for “personal use only” is a Class D felony punishable by a minimum of one year and 1 day and a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison along with a maximum fine of $7500.

Marijuana possessed for any other reason other than personal use is a Class C felony which is punishable by a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and one day in prison and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, along with a maximum fine of $15,000. Penalties for trafficking or selling to minors goes up from there.

The Future of Marijuana Decriminalization

There are bills currently being introduced, such as bill SB 160, to decriminalize marijuana in Alabama. This bill would reduce the penalty for possession of less than two ounces to a violation and $250 fine for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and $750 for third and subsequent offenses. Third and subsequent offenses would be considered a class D felony but would carry no jail time. Bill SB 160 also contains expungement provisions for past offenses, which could do wonders for those caught up in the legal system unjustly as well.

Get the Advice You Need and Respect You Deserve at Brackin & Johnson

Have you been charged with possession of marijuana in the state of Alabama? No matter if it is your first or fourth charge, we know how stressful it can be to face these charges, and the pressure you feel about hiring the right lawyer can make it even worse. With this in mind, you will need a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and will give you the best legal services possible.
At Brackin and Johnson, we are experts when it comes to the criminal justice process and how to work with each District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney, city prosecutor, or judge handling your criminal case. Our experience allows us to better inform our clients of what they can expect prior to even entering the courtroom. We believe in integrity, justice, and honor. Going through the legal process is not easy and we aim to take as much off of your plate as possible. Contact us today, and let us fight for your future.

Contact Brackin & Johnson Today!

We produce results by getting our clients what they are entitled to receive.

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