Shelby County DUI Lawyer
If you were charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you may be facing serious consequences that could negatively impact many aspects of your life for a long time. With fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for as long as 10 years, you should consult with a Shelby County DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney could help you get your life back on track if you were charged with this crime. Call today to schedule a consultation.
DUI Laws in Shelby County
A person driving in Alabama may be charged with DUI if a police officer has reason to believe any of the following conditions exist:
- The driver is under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance
- The driver is under the influence of any substance, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, that impairs their mental and/or physical abilities
- The driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level is .08 percent or above (for drivers under the age of 21, the maximum BAC level is .02 percent)
If a person has questions about the DUI laws in Shelby County, they should call an accomplished attorney.
Sobriety Tests and License Confiscation
Alabama courts give broad discretion to the judgment of police officers in determining whether they have reason to believe someone is operating under the influence. As a result, drivers who fail to stay in their lanes or who fail to obey traffic signals may give a police officer reasonable belief that they may be driving under the influence. A police officer could subject an individual to a field sobriety test under these circumstances.
Alabama also mandates that drivers voluntarily submit to a BAC test. Those who refuse to do so could automatically have their licenses suspended by the Alabama Motor Vehicle Division for 45 days. This is in addition to other court-imposed penalties if they are convicted of DUI.
The arresting officer will then likely confiscate the individual’s driver’s license at the scene. If this happens, the person has 10 days to request a hearing to prevent the automatic suspension of their license. This automatic suspension is separate and apart from their DUI court case. After a DUI arrest, it is essential to contact a Shelby County DUI lawyer right away.
As in most states, the penalties for DUI convictions in Alabama become progressively harsher for drivers who have multiple DUI convictions. As set forth by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the penalties are as follows:
A first conviction will result in a fine of $500 to $2,000 plus an additional $100 fine assessed for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. An individual’s license may be suspended for 90 days and they will be required to attend a DUI School. There is also a possible imprisonment of up to one year in municipal or county jail.
A second conviction could result in a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 plus an additional $100 fine assessed for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. An individual’s license may be revoked for up to one year. There is a mandatory minimum imprisonment of 48 hours in municipal or county jail or community service of at least 20 days.
Third Conviction within Five Years
A fine of $2,000 to $10,000, plus an additional $100 fine for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund, is levied for individuals with a third conviction within five years. Their license could be revoked for three years and they could face imprisonment for a minimum of 60 days and up to one year in municipal or county jail. No probation or suspension is permitted, which means anyone with a third DUI conviction will serve time in jail.
Fourth or Subsequent Conviction within Five Years
A fourth DUI conviction within five years is a Class C felony, resulting in a fine of $4,000 to $10,000 plus an additional $100 fine assessed for the Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. An individual may have their license revoked for five years and be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Whether it is a person’s first DUI charge or fourth arrest, it is important that they seek the services of a seasoned Shelby County DUI attorney.
How a Shelby County DUI Attorney Could Help
If you have been charged with DUI, you may want to contact a Shelby County DUI lawyer to help you stand up for your rights. The penalties of a DUI conviction are severe, affecting your finances, mobility, and ability to live freely.
Contacting a Shelby County DUI lawyer could help ensure all your rights are protected. Doing so as early as possible could allow an attorney more time to determine the best options for your situation through communication and negotiation with other parties.