In the state of Alabama, DUI laws are found in Alabama code section 32-5A-191. Under this code section, you can find both the definition(s) of DUI as well as details on the penalties you face. It is important to understand that a DUI charge is not like a traffic infraction, such as a speeding ticket or a ticket for running a red light. A DUI charge is a serious criminal charge and when you are found guilty of a DUI, you can go to jail, lose your driver’s license, be disqualified from certain employment opportunities and have a criminal record.
Knowing the law and penalties associated with DUI in Alabama is important if you are facing DUI charges so you will understand what the implications of a conviction are. You will also want to learn legal options for defending yourself since, as with any type of criminal charge, you are innocent until proven guilty when it comes to DUI charges. The best way to both learn about the laws and consequences of a DUI and to try to fight the charges against you is to contact an experienced Birmingham DUI lawyer.
At the Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we have helped countless clients in Jefferson, Madison and Shelby Counties and throughout the Alabama area who are charged with an Alabama DUI. To learn how we can help you, schedule a free consultation by calling (205) 981-2450.
There are actually five different definitions of DUI charges. If you meet any of these five criteria, you may be arrested for a DUI. The possible reasons for a DUI charge include being in physical control of or driving a vehicle:
Whether you meet any of these criteria can be determined by the results of scientific testing, such as a blood alcohol test, but it can also be determined by information provided by law enforcement at the scene of the crime and, in many cases, by dashboard cameras that take videos of your behavior and your performance on field sobriety tests.
Those who are arrested for, or found guilty of, DUI can face substantial penalties that become much more stringent for repeat offenders. For example, if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI and you either fail your blood alcohol test or you refuse to take a blood alcohol test, an administrative license suspension can go into effect automatically 45 days after you are notified of the suspension- even if you have not yet been adjudicated guilty of a DUI. This suspension, according to the rules set forth in Alabama Code section 32-5A-304, will last for 90 days for a first-time offender; three years for a second or third-time offender; and five years for a fourth or subsequent offense.
The administrative suspension of your license is separate from criminal penalties that are imposed by the court if you are found guilty. These penalties are set forth in 32-5A-191 and summarized by the Alabama Department of Public Safety. They include:
These penalties will be imposed if you are convicted of a DUI, but there are ways to avoid conviction. An Alabama DUI lawyer can help you to explore defenses including alleging problems with breath test equipment or some violation of your legal rights during the DUI arrest process.
We have helped many clients facing DUI charges. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to build a DUI defense or negotiate a plea bargain. That’s why it’s important to call Alabama Criminal Lawyers as soon as you know you’ll face DUI charges in Alabama.
Contact us today at (205) 981-2450 for a free consultation.