Birmingham DUI Attorney

If you’re ready to hire a criminal law attorney, there are many ways of getting in touch:

 

"I would recommend him to my friends and family without hesitation."

– Michael W

Facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Alabama can feel hopeless. The police and prosecutors often act like they have a slam dunk case against you. They act as if a guilty verdict is inevitable. This is far from the truth, and pleading guilty or failing to vigorously defend yourself with help from a criminal defense lawyer would be a mistake.

To schedule a free DUI consultation, contact us today at (205) 981-2450 or through our online form. We represent individuals in Birmingham, Hoover, Alabaster, Mountain Brook, and other areas of Jefferson and Shelby counties.

Alabama DUI laws

Under AL Code §32-5A-191, it is illegal to drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while:

  • There is 0.08% or more weight of alcohol in your blood;
  • You are under the influence of alcohol;
  • You are under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree that renders you incapable of driving safely;
  • You are under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance that renders you incapable of driving safely, or
  • You are under the influence of any substance that impairs your mental or physical capabilities to such a degree that renders you incapable of driving safely.

Alabama DUI law considers several types of impairment a DUI.

You can be pulled over, arrested, and charged without a drop of alcohol in your body. If test results show you have a controlled substance, prescription medication, or over-the-counter medication in your system, and it was enough to cause you to be impaired, then you can be charged.

You also do not have to be driving to face a DUI in Alabama. If you are in physical control of the vehicle, even if you are not driving down a road, you can be arrested. This could mean sitting in your front seat with the keys in the ignition and taking a nap. You might be trying to sober up –  yet get into trouble anyway.

Whatever led to your situation, contact a DUI defense attorney right away.

We Defend Against All DUI Charges

 

First Offense DUI

If this is your first DUI charge ever or your first DUI within the past 10 years, contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers right away. We will fight against a conviction and DUI penalties.

Second Offense DUI

We can defend you against a second DUI charge within a 10-year period.

Third Offense DUI

Our Birmingham DUI attorneys vigorously defend against third DUI charges within a 10-year period.

Felony DUI

You can be charged with a felony if you face a fourth DUI within 10 years or when any drunk driving incident caused another person serious injury.

Aggravated/Super DUI

If a blood or breath test showed you had a BAC of 0.15% or higher, then you face an aggravated or “Super” DUI in Alabama.

Boating Under the Influence

You also can be charged with a DUI if you are found to have a 0.08% or higher BAC or to be impaired by other drugs and alcohol while operating a boat.

Statutory Penalties for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted or plead guilty, you face various consequences for a DUI, including jail time, fines, classes, driver’s license suspension, an ignition interlock device (IID), and more.

Depending on the level of the offense, your DUI sentence may include:

  • First DUI Offense (Misdemeanor): Up to one year in jail, fines up to $2,100, court costs, 90-day driver’s license suspension or installation of an IID. You may qualify for probation instead of jail time.
  • Second DUI Offense (Misdemeanor): Between five days and one year in jail, hard labor, fines up to $5,100, court costs, one-year driver’s license suspension or two years of an IID. You may be eligible for 30 days of community service instead of a minimum of five days in jail.
  • Third DUI Offense (Misdemeanor): Between 60 days and one year in jail, hard labor, fines up to $10,100, court costs, three-year driver’s license revocation or an IID.
  • Fourth or Subsequent DUI (Class C Felony): Between one year and one day and 10 years in prison or the county jail, hard labor, fines up to $10,100, court costs, five-year driver’s license revocation or an IID.
  • Super DUI: If convicted of any DUI offense with 0.15% BAC or higher, the court must impost double minimum punishment.

DUI Under 21

When you are under 21 years old at the time of the traffic stop, you can be charged with a DUI for having a 0.02% or higher BAC or for being impaired by a controlled substance or other drugs.

If your BAC is not above 0.08%, then you face mitigated penalties for a DUI. Your driver’s license may be suspended for 30 days. However, if your BAC is more than 0.08% when you are under 21 years old, you will face the full possible consequence of a DUI conviction.

You should contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible to discuss how to defend against an underage DUI in Birmingham, AL.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

The Time To Hire An Attorney Is Now.

Call us at 205-981-2450

Your Rights During a Traffic Stop & DUI Arrest

If you are pulled over by a police officer in Alabama, you need to be aware of your rights. You cannot ignore the officer entirely. You must provide your name, identification, and proof of insurance.

However, you do not have to answer any questions. You can politely decline to answer questions regarding where you have been, what you have been doing, or where you are going. Whether you feel comfortable answering an officer’s questions or not is up to you.

If an officer suspects you are intoxicated, they may ask you to step out of the vehicle. You must comply. You cannot refuse and remain in your vehicle.

Once outside of your vehicle, you do not have to perform any physical or cognitive tests, known as field sobriety tests. You can and should politely decline.

If an officer believes they have probable cause to arrest you from drunk driving, they will place you under arrest. Before you can be questioned, you must be told your Miranda Rights:

You can and should invoke your rights to remain silent and have an attorney if the officer seeks to question you. This requires you to clearly and specifically say you will remain silent and you want an attorney.

Do not say you think you want an attorney or think you need an attorney. Do not ask the officer whether you should get a DUI lawyer. None of these invoke your right to a lawyer and put an end to police questioning.

Once you have the opportunity to contact someone, call a Birmingham DUI lawyer, or call a relative or friend who will give us a call at Alabama Criminal Lawyers.

How to Handle DUI Tests

There are several DUI tests, and you should understand how these tests differ and how they may or may not be used against you.

Roadside Breath Tests

When you are pulled over by a police officer, they may ask you to blow into a small, handheld device. This is known as a breathalyzer, which is a brand name for a roadside breath test. This is a pre-arrest breath test, and you can refuse a breathalyzer without fear of criminal or civil penalties.

You are not required by law to submit to a pre-arrest roadside breath test, and because these tests are often inaccurate, it may benefit you to refuse. However, if you refuse, it will not save you from being arrested. An officer can use other evidence to arrest you for a DUI. Whether or not you submitted to a breathalyzer during a traffic stop, call a Hoover DUI attorney today.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

The other pre-arrest tests are the three standardized field sobriety tests—the walk and turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. All three of these provide officers with clues that you may be inebriated depending on how well you perform each task.

However, these tests are notoriously unreliable, and officers often fail to give proper instructions or grade the tests accurately. You can and should refuse to participate in any field sobriety test. However, if you did submit to one of these tests and were arrested, call a DUI attorney in Birmingham, AL immediately.

Breath Tests

Following a DUI arrest, you may be asked to take a breath test at a police station or medical facility. You are required to submit to an official, post-arrest breath test under Alabama’s implied consent law (AL Code §32-5-192).

Anyone who drives a vehicle in Alabama has given their consent to submit to chemical tests of their blood, breath, or urine to determine their blood alcohol content if they are lawfully arrested for a DUI. If you refuse a breath test, you face a civil driver’s license suspension for 90 days. This can also be used against you during your criminal case.

Blood Tests

After a DUI arrest, an officer can ask you to submit a blood sample. If you refuse, you can face a civil driver’s license suspension. However, you cannot face criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a warrantless blood test. Whether you submitted to or refused a chemical test after a DUI arrest, you will want a DUI attorney by your side right away.

Let Us Help You With Your DUI Defense

When you are facing any type of DUI charge, you need to look for experienced DUI lawyers near you. By hiring a Birmingham DUI attorney, you have a greater likelihood of having the charges dismissed or obtaining an acquittal at trial. If there is a strong case against you, an experienced lawyer can seek to mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we will carefully review your case. We will analyze the strength of potential defenses, including:

Contact Our DUI Lawyers Today

When you are facing DUI charges in Alabama, you want to work with an attorney who is at the top of their field. A highly knowledgeable, experienced, and successful DUI attorney from Alabama Criminal Lawyers can help you pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers today at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.

Should I get a lawyer for a first time DUI charge?

Yes, if you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Alabama, you should hire a DUI defense attorney to reduce the risk of a conviction or harsh penalties upon conviction. A lawyer can help you keep your driver’s license or get your license back as soon as possible.

What happens if you refuse a breathalyzer in Alabama?

There are two types of breath tests. A roadside pre-arrest breath test is a Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test, but is typically known as a breathalyzer. Then, there is a post-arrest formal breath test performed at a police station or medical facility. This post-arrest breath test can be used as evidence in court. Roadside breath tests are entirely voluntary, and you can refuse to blow into the breathalyzer. You cannot face civil or criminal penalties for refusing a breathalyzer. However, you can face penalties for refusing a post-arrest breath test at the police station.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Alabama?

A DUI conviction is permanent and cannot be expunged. If you are convicted of a DUI, it will stay on your record the rest of your life. However, since 2018, Alabama prosecutors look back 10 years to determine if you should face a first, second, or subsequent DUI charge. After 10 years, any new DUI is a first-time DUI.

Do you lose your driver's license after a DUI charge in Alabama?

You can lose your license if you are charged or convicted of a DUI. If you refuse to submit to a post-arrest chemical test or a chemical test shows your BAC is over the legal limit, you will be subject to an administrative license suspension. This is a civil penalty and separate from the DUI charge. It takes effect 45 days from the date of your arrest and the minimum duration is 90 days. If you are convicted of a DUI, you also will lose your license for a period of time as a criminal penalty.