Being pulled over and subsequently arrested for a DUI in Alabama is a serious matter and the more prepared you are for legally, the better you will fare during your court appearance. The state of Alabama has pretty severe consequences for DUI charges, so having someone to defend you and help you navigate your options is incredibly important if you want to get the least consequence possible.
When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Alabama?
Let’s go over what the state of Alabama sees as legally intoxicated. Different groups can face different penalties and may have stricter laws attached to their age or profession.
- Regular, non-commercial drivers aged 21 and over are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
- Drivers of commercial vehicles are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater.
- School bus and day care drivers are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is greater than .02.
- Drivers under the age of 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .02 or more.
What is Alabama’s Implied Consent Law?
An important law to understand is Alabama’s Implied Consent Law. This states that anyone who is operating a motor vehicle in Alabama has given their “implied consent” to a blood, breath or urine test to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). You do have the right to refuse these tests and if you do, you will face the following consequences:
- First Refusal comes with a 90-day license suspension
- Second or subsequent refusal within a ten-year period comes with a one year license suspension.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer for DUI Charges
Having an attorney on your side could mean less jail time, less fines and more leniency overall in court. Below are the major reasons why you should hire a lawyer if you are facing a potential DUI charge.
Help with Penalties/Convictions
One of the biggest and most obvious reasons to hire a lawyer to help with your DUI case is that they can help get your penalties lessened for your DUI charge. A DUI attorney will do their best to keep the charges against you to a minimum so that you’re not at risk of having a criminal record. You may also be able to serve community service and/or pay other fines in order to keep this information private. These penalties for DUI charges are as follows:
- First-time offenders face imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $600 to $2,100, or both. Driver’s license suspension for 90 days. First-time offenders will also be required to attend a DUI or substance abuse program.
- For a second DUI conviction (within ten years of the first offense) faces imprisonment, which may include hard labor, for up to one year. The imprisonment sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than five days or community service for not less than 30 days. The fine ranges from $1,100 to $5,100. The driver’s license revocation period is one year.
- On a third conviction, the offender faces a prison term, which may include hard labor, of up to one year. The imprisonment sentence shall not be less than 60 days. The fine ranges from $2,100 to $10,100. The driver’s license revocation period is three years.
- On a fourth or subsequent conviction, the offender faces a felony conviction including a prison term of one year and one day to 10 years. The fine ranges from $4,100 to $10,100. The driver’s license revocation period is five years.
Potential for Dismissal
An arrest or BAC test that did not follow the correct procedures can lead to a dismissal of the charges. Consequently, this winning result prevents the high costs of Alabama DUI fines and legal fees that would otherwise follow a guilty plea or conviction. While dismissal isn’t all too common, if you hire a lawyer for your case, they will do everything in their power to get your case dismissed on these grounds if this happened to you.
Contact a DUI Attorney Today and Get the Help and Respect You Deserve
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 need 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.
Our experience allows us to better inform our clients of what to expect prior to even entering the courtroom. We believe in integrity, justice, and honor. We know that going through the legal process is not easy and therefore aim to take as much off of your plate as possible. Contact us today, and let us fight for your future.