Homewood DUI Lawyer
One mistake behind the wheel in Alabama can lead to a series of legal consequences when an individual is caught and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. A suspended license, points on a driving record, hefty fines, and jail time are just a few of the possible penalties for DUI misdemeanors and felonies.
A person going through the difficult experience of a DUI charge must worry about the legal repercussions as well as the negative impact on relationships and employment that such a charge and conviction could carry. With a suspended license, a person’s mobility is limited, and they must depend on family and friends to help them get around without a vehicle. This is especially troubling for someone whose livelihood depends on driving.
Given the serious consequences of a DUI charge in Alabama, whether a first offense or a repeat offense, it is of utmost importance that an individual seek out legal counsel to defend their rights and reduce sentencing in court. A Homewood DUI lawyer can fight on your behalf to represent your case and work to see that you are not unfairly sentenced.
DUI Law Violations in Alabama
Driving under the influence is a violation of the law no matter what the situation because it can put the driver and others at risk and as such, the state of Alabama takes this violation seriously. The Alabama Legislature Code of Law Section 32-5A-191 states that driving under the influence means:
- A person aged 21 years or older driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% and higher
- A person under 21 years driving with a BAC of 0.02% and higher
- A person driving a vehicle for commercial purposes with a BAC of 0.04% and higher
- A person driving any vehicle under the influence of controlled substances
- A person driving any vehicle under the influence of controlled substances and alcohol
When a driver is stopped by law enforcement for suspected DUI, the officer may do tests to determine the level of intoxication and may also require the driver to submit a chemical test to measure BAC. If the driver refuses the test, they will be penalized by the Department of Public Safety with a 90-day license suspension for a first offense and one year for a second offense. Refusing a test will also mean forfeiting the right to a hearing in court to plead the case.
DUI Misdemeanor Sentencing
A DUI charge may be a misdemeanor, which is a lesser violation with lesser sentencing, or a felony if other more serious laws are violated as a result of the intoxication. A first offense DUI violation for a person who is pulled over for speeding and whose BAC is over the legal limit may be charged with a misdemeanor. The Alabama Department of Safety lists the penalties for DUI misdemeanor offenses as the following:
- First offense DUI misdemeanor
- $500 – $2,000 fine, plus an additional $100 fine to go to the Impaired Driver’s Fund
- Up to one year in municipal or county jail
- Suspended driver’s license for 90 days or the option of a restricted license for 180 days
- DUI classes for rehabilitation
- Second offense DUI misdemeanor
- $1,000 – $5,000 fine, plus an additional $100 fine to go to the Impaired Driver’s Fund
- 48 hours’ imprisonment after arrest, and up to one year in municipal or county jail
- Driver’s license revoked for one year
- 20 days of mandatory community service
- Third offense DUI misdemeanor
- $2,000 – $10,000 fine, plus an additional $100 fine to go to the Impaired Driver’s Fund
- 60 days of imprisonment after arrest without probation, and up to one year in municipal or county jail
- Driver’s license revoked for three years
The penalties in each case of a DUI misdemeanor in Homewood will depend on the situation and be determined by factors such as age, BAC, type of vehicle and any other traffic infractions that may also be part of the charge. A DUI lawyer in Homewood knows how to present a DUI case in court and to negotiate lesser penalties for a misdemeanor charge by questioning the toxicology report and the arrest among other aspects of the case.
A DUI felony charge is more serious as it means that in addition to a DUI violation, another criminal law has been violated. This is also the case for a person charged of multiple (four or more) DUIs within a five-year period. If another person was injured or killed as a result of the individual’s reckless driving, the charges fall under Class C felonies in Alabama. Possible cases that may elicit DUI felony charges include:
- Repeat DUI offenses and convictions in a five-year period
- Driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle
- Injury to a person
- Serious damage to property
- Criminally negligent homicide
Sentencing for a DUI felony in Alabama may include a fine of $4,000 – $10,000, a sentence of one to 10 years in municipal or county jail and a driver’s license revocation for five years. A DUI felony charge carries more severe penalties that could be life-changing for the defendant if convicted. Being charged with a DUI felony requires a Homewood DUI attorney who knows how to fight the case in court.
Defending the Rights of Those Accused
After being charged with a DUI violation, life may change suddenly for the accused, and if convicted, the penalties can have a negative impact on the individual’s employment status and relationships with family and friends. The sentencing options for these offenses are severe and the fines, possible jail time and license suspension or revocation, are difficult to deal with, making it a time of stress, confusion and fear.
With legal representation to argue the case and negotiate sentencing, the experience could be less distressing. Contact our firm today to learn how a Homewood DUI lawyer can defend your rights and negotiate on your behalf in order to help you get the best outcome for your case.