License After a Third-Offense DUI Charge in Birmingham
In Alabama, there are two different ways a license could be impacted after a third-offense DUI charge. When arrested for a DUI, the most immediate impact, even if an individual is not convicted yet, is an administrative action under the implied consent law.
Like convictions and sentencing for convictions, there is a five-year look-back period under the administrative act. If a person has a third-time DUI charge within a five-year period, they are facing a three-year administrative action.
That administrative action can be challenged. However, it must be done so immediately after an arrest. There is a demand letter that must be sent in either 10 or 30 days to the state, and then a petition must be filed into the circuit court. If a person is convicted of a third-time DUI, they face a three-year driver’s license revocation along with a lengthy period of ignition interlock.
To best defend against any sort of potential penalties, an individual should not hesitate before obtaining legal representation. A Birmingham third-offense DUI attorney can craft a strong defense to help reduce or dismiss any consequences affecting a person’s license after a DUI.
Challenging the Suspension
The process for challenging a license suspension after a third-time DUI charge or arrest is essentially the same as on a first-time DUI charge. However, the length of the suspension is much greater, and the state or the lawyers who represent the state take a much firmer stance in negotiating away or reducing such a lengthy suspension time.
Unlike defending a case on the criminal side, an attorney looks at the prior administrative context and makes sure that the state has proven those in the correct manner. However, sometimes, they can challenge the prior context as to not be counted. This can help lessen the penalties on an individual’s license after a third-offense DUI charge in Birmingham.
Applying for a Restricted License
An individual can apply for a restricted license after being charged with a third-offense DUI in Birmingham. If someone is convicted of a third-time DUI charge in Alabama, they can apply for an interlock restricted license, but only after they have served a minimum six months of actual suspension time.
That must be done by the sentencing court and a lawyer must help them negotiate and have the correct orders sent to the Department of Public Safety, or what is called ALEA in Montgomery.
Being Acquitted of the Charge
If a person is acquitted of a third-time DUI, the likelihood is they are still under suspension for their administrative action. If there was a breath test in the case, then an experienced lawyer can file a letter with the state and have the license returned and the balance of the suspension stopped. It is important for an individual to understand that they may not be immediately granted their license back after a third-offense DUI charge in Birmingham.
If there was a breath test refusal, then the person will probably be subject to the full balance of the administrative suspension. However, a lawyer could have contested and stopped that administrative suspension, and if there was an issue about the probable cause for the arrest or it is deemed to be an illegal arrest, then an experienced DUI defense lawyer could argue for the balance of the administrative suspension to be deleted.
There are a few penalty enhancements that may increase the penalties an individual is facing after a third-offense DUI in Birmingham. For example, if an individual has a minor in the car, an individual may be subject to double the minimum penalties as well as required to use an ignition interlock device. In terms of having a firearm in the vehicle, there is no distinction as to how it relates to a DUI.
If there is an accident or injury, an individual could end up being charged with assault. If there is an accident with a death, an individual may face a homicide charge. If somebody has an accident and then flees the scene, they could be charged with felony leaving the scene or misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident.
A person may be charged with a felony DUI only if they have three prior DUI convictions within a five-year period.
Benefit of an Attorney
In Alabama, it is important to have a lawyer that solely focuses on DUI cases, especially on a third offense. That is because an individual is facing such serious penalties on a third offense, which include jail time and a driver’s license suspension.
A lawyer familiar with the court, the nuances of the case, and the personalities involved in the case is best suited to help an individual lessen the penalties associated with the charge.