Birmingham DUIs as a Violation of Probation
Probation is discretionary with a judge. There are sentencing guidelines that are presumptive in some instances. Largely, the question of probation is in the hand of the judge to lay out all of the benefits that continued probation may serve. It is a balancing type of undertaking that a judge has to lay out all the considerations. When someone violates their probation, they open themselves up to consequences that may be more punitive and harsh than probation is. Driving while intoxicated is one way of violating probation that can have a severe impact on someone’s record, and the consequences they may face. If you want to know more about Birmingham DUIs as a violation of probation, consult a qualified DUI attorney that can answer your questions and can try to achieve a positive outcome for you.
Typical Conditions of Probation
For DUI and drug cases under Alabama law, there is always mandatory drug screening and treatment program. It is called court referral. It is an individualized program in the sense that there are different levels of it. Whether someone might be sentenced to a level one condition of probation is dependent on different factors that are taken into consideration, including whether or not one has a prior history, if there is an elevated breath result, and how a person may have an evaluation tool. Basically, it is a questionnaire that they score. That is always a condition and has a couple of different components to it.
There is a supervision component where a person is obligated to report on a periodic basis to a court referral officer, which is the name we give to the person who administers the court for all programs. It would involve some type of education, depending on the level. For some type of substance abuse, that minimum is 12 hours of alcohol and substance abuse counseling and education.
The next level is 24 hours. The third level is some type of health patient, which can vary depending on the program, but typically at least 60 hours of class time. That is the second component. The third component is some type of random drug and alcohol screens. The first thing one might expect is to successfully complete the court for all programs with those three components.
Another condition of probation may be the requirement for an interlock device. Existing law has implemented a requirement for installation, upon conviction, of an ignition interlock system, depending on certain factors. For example, in a mandatory or refusal type of scenario, it is mandatory for a breath result over 0.15 grams per 210 milliliters of breath. There may be another requirement for some type of community work. Not every court requires community service, but some do.
There are sometimes mandatory fines as a condition of probation, which also include some fees the lawyer’s fund or at least partially fund, like the forensic breath testing program, through an add-on type of court cost item. For a head injury, a fee gets added and then there are typical court costs. There is a fine involved that it graduates, depending on what and where the person is in terms of the sentencing scheme. Alabama has a habitual offender type sentencing scheme for DUI, meaning that Birmingham DUIs as a violation of probation can also result in an escalation of charges and sentences.
People who have second or third offenses have graduated an increase of penalties both in terms of fine as well as other consequences. Those are typical. A judge can also impose a split sentence that can require the person to serve, even though the person’s own probation can require them to serve both the term of imprisonment and a county or city jail for some time period. A judge can also order that the person to serve the term of probation and supervision, which can go up to two years of probation for misdemeanor type of offense.
Is Being Accused of a DUI Enough to Be Considered a Violation of Probation?
Being accused of a DUI is enough to be considered a violation of probation. Not every judge will act immediately. There is some discretion as to whether the judge wishes to have the new charge litigated to the conclusion or to go ahead and resolve the issue. It is up to the individual judge.
It also depends on the individual and the nature of the charge of the person on probation. Oftentimes judges have very marginally been convinced that they should grant probation and they have warned the subject that there will be no second chances and no deviations from the rule.
Judges, even though they have a lot of people that pass in front of them, are mindful of the people that come before them and remember names and situations. They do not hesitate to tell people that they better not repeat the previous offense. If a person gets one of those kinds of judges, the person should immediately consult an attorney, especially because the judge might be less lenient the next time around.
How Does Getting a DUI Qualify as a Violation of Probation?
The impact of Birmingham DUIs as a violation of probation cannot be stated enough. If a person is on probation, even if it is not probation for a DUI, it would constitute an event that would trigger a probation violation hearing. The standard conditions of probation in Alabama regardless of the nature or type of offense always includes a requirement that the person violates a state, federal, or local law. If one was on felony probation and during the term of that probation was charged with a misdemeanor DUI that could and would trigger a revocation of the earlier sentence.
There are a couple of different ways a judge can approach that. The judge can issue a show cost, which orders the person to come into court and explain the circumstances of why he or she is being charged with the new offense or the judge could go forth with revoked liberty interest and have the person arrested. At that point, lawyers would talk about whether or not they can secure probation violation, which is a side issue. If an individual has been arrested for a DUI while on probation, they should consult a distinguished DUI lawyer that can attempt to mitigate the consequences.