Building a Defense for Third-Offense DUI Charges in Birmingham
Courts treat third-offense DUI offenses in Alabama very seriously. Not only because it is a third-time DUI, but also because the person faces a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 60 days. The court wants to make sure that the accused individual is properly represented and has a fair trial and hearing because they are facing such significant consequences.
Because the charge is taken so seriously in Alabama, it is critical that an individual consults with a third-offense DUI lawyer in Birmingham before the case begins. An experienced attorney can help build a defense against an individual’s third-offense DUI charge in Birmingham to help produce a positive outcome on the client’s behalf.
Building a Defense
An experienced lawyer treats third-offense DUI charges the same as they do with first or second offense charges in terms of aggressively preparing and investigating the charge. A lawyer will first look to determine if there are any problems or defenses available that may stem from the initial contact or stop of the vehicle, the roadside sobriety investigation, or any forensic or toxicology testing.
When building a defense for third-offense DUI charges in Birmingham, it is important to investigate an individual’s prior convictions to determine if the government will enhance the case up to a third-time penalty. Even if the prosecution knows that the person was convicted previously, they still must prove the priors from an evidentiary standpoint by introducing certified records from the various courts where the priors took place.
An experienced lawyer can evaluate that type of work and see whether prior pleas were done in a constitutional manner and whether the records are certified or documented in a way that can be used to enhance an individual’s sentence. Understanding this element can help both a client and their attorney build a defense against any third-offense DUI charges they may be facing in Birmingham.
Importance of Immediate Representation
For a third offense, the timing of the defense is incredibly important. Unlike a first offense, where the time that the individual is seen in court does not matter as much, a third-offense defense should be heard as soon as possible. When an individual is seen in court could make the difference between that person facing a 60-day jail sentence or no jail sentence at all.
An attorney may play more of a long game when building a third-offense DUI defense in Birmingham. This can help on a third offense as it allows for more time to accrue in an attempt to let some of the prior charges drop off. A lawyer may file an appeal or some other sort of legal process in order to help delay this action.
An experienced lawyer will try and strategically figure out when the dates are when the priors will drop off. They will attempt to determine if there is any possibility of keeping the case in play until that date comes up and therefore lessening the penalties that the client is facing. This is a critical element to consider when building a defense for third-offense DUI charges in Birmingham.