Misdemeanor Lawyer in Birmingham, AL

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By contacting our team at Alabama Criminal Lawyers, you gain an experienced criminal defense attorney who is not battling case overload. You gain a lawyer who will investigate and analyze the case against you, looking for constitutional, technical, and substantive defenses.

We have the time, skills, and resources to fight the misdemeanor charges against you, whether this is a first-time misdemeanor offense or your third. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (205) 981-2450 or use our online form.

What is a Misdemeanor Offense?

A misdemeanor is a low-level criminal offense. Anything less serious than a misdemeanor is called a violation. More severe crimes are charged as felonies.

In Alabama, there are three classes of misdemeanor. Each class has a different maximum misdemeanor sentence, including jail time and fines.

You should talk with a misdemeanor attorney as soon as possible about the level of the charge and the potential penalty if convicted.

Common Misdemeanor Charges

At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we are here to help you when you are facing misdemeanor charges for:

  • Theft: There are numerous theft laws in Alabama, including theft of property and theft of services. The level of the charge against you for theft depends on the type and value of the property you allegedly stole. A first theft offense is a misdemeanor if the value of the property was less than $500. You will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, if you stole more than $500 worth of property or services, a firearm, drug, or vehicle, then you will face a felony.
  • Shoplifting: Shoplifting is not treated as a separate crime from theft in Alabama. A first offense of misdemeanor shoplifting is a Class A misdemeanor if the property stolen is worth less than $500.
  • Assault: Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with assault in the third, second, or first degree. Assault is a misdemeanor if you intentionally cause someone physical harm, recklessly cause someone physical harm, or cause someone physical harm by criminal negligence and with a deadly weapon. This is a Class A misdemeanor. Second- or first-degree assault are felonies.
  • Speeding: Basic violations of the speed limit in Alabama are traffic tickets. These are violations for which you have to pay a fine and fees. If your speeding is so significant, and your overall driving dangerous, you may be charged a speeding ticket may become a misdemeanor for reckless driving. Also, if your speeding causes an accident, which results in another person being injured or killed, you will face misdemeanor or felony charges.
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI): A first, second, or third DUI offense in Alabama can be charged as a misdemeanor offense. You can be charged with a DUI if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher or if you are impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both. If you are pulled over and arrested under the suspicion of a DUI, you should contact a misdemeanor lawyer right away.
  • Indecent Exposure: Most sex offenses are felonies. However, a first and second charge of indecent exposure is a Class A misdemeanor. If you are arrested for allegedly exposing yourself with the intent to arouse or satisfy a sexual a desire of yourself or another person, and your conduct is likely to alarm or offense the public, call an attorney immediately.
  • Disorderly Conduct: If you inconvenience, alarm, or annoy the public, you can be arrested for disorderly conduct and charged with a Class C misdemeanor. This includes fighting in public, yelling obscenities, public intoxication, public urination, interrupting a lawful assembly, and engaging in disruptive protests.
  • Open House Party: If you are an adult and you have an open house party in which minors illegally consumer alcohol or anyone consumes illegal substances, you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

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Jail Time for Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are considered less serious crimes than felonies, but if you are convicted, they can still lead to time in jail.

If you are charged and convicted of a violation, the lowest possible offense, then you can be incarcerated in the county jail for up to 30 days.

You should speak with a misdemeanor lawyer about alternatives to incarceration. Depending on the misdemeanor crime you were convicted of and your criminal history, the judge may grant you probation instead of some or all of your jail time. You also may need to endure house arrest or electronic monitoring.

Fines for Misdemeanors in Alabama

In addition to incarceration, you will be fined for a violation or misdemeanor. For a Class C misdemeanor, you can be fined up to $500. For a Class B misdemeanor, up to $3,000; and for a Class A misdemeanor, up to $6,000.

Or, if your offense caused another person or business a financial loss, or gave you an unlawful gain, then you can be fined up to double the amount of your gain or the victim’s loss.

For a violation, you can be fined up to $200 or any amount less than twice your unlawful gain or the victim’s financial loss.

Second and Subsequent Misdemeanor Convictions

When you are convicted of a misdemeanor, the judge will use an Alabama sentencing standard worksheet. Which worksheet the judge uses depends on the crime you were convicted of, such as whether it was a drug offense, property crime, or crime against a person.

The judge will use your most serious current conviction, your prior record, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances to fill out the worksheet. This will provide a score and a presumptive range of incarceration.

If you have been previously convicted of one or more misdemeanors, then this will be considered by the judge. Previous convictions increase the likelihood that you will receive a longer term of incarceration and higher fine, potentially up to the maximum allowed by law.

Do You Live Outside of Alabama?

If you live outside of Alabama, but you were arrested and charged with a misdemeanor while visiting or driving through the state, then you need to hire a local misdemeanor lawyer to handle your case. At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we handle misdemeanor charges for out-of-state defendants.

If you are an Alabama resident who has been charged with a misdemeanor in another state, then the best course of action is to look for an experienced defense attorney in that area who can represent you in court.

Misdemeanor Expungement in Alabama

At Alabama Criminal Lawyers, we often receive calls from individuals with a misdemeanor conviction on their record who want to know if they can get their record expunged or sealed. Expungement is a legal process through which a prior record is erased and no longer public record.

Alabama only allows non-convictions to be expunged. In other words, if you were arrested but not charged with a misdemeanor, or you were charged but the charges were dismissed or you were acquitted, then you should talk with a lawyer about expungement.

You may be able to have the record of the arrest and charges removed. However, you may need to wait at least two years from the date the misdemeanor charges were dismissed or you were acquitted.

Contact a Misdemeanor Lawyer Near You

When you are arrested for a crime, or you know the police suspect you of a crime, the best thing you can do is contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers. We will thoroughly review the allegations and evidence against you. If you are facing a misdemeanor, then a misdemeanor lawyer will determine the strongest possible defense.

We may fight to have the charges dismissed based on insufficient evidence. If the charges move forward, we may discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of a plea, or we may encourage you to fight the charges in court. We will identify and pursue a defense specific to your case to increase the likelihood of an acquittal or to mitigate the consequences of a conviction.

When handling misdemeanor crimes, we may focus on obtaining you the least possible penalty upon pleading guilty or being convicted. We will strive to help you avoid incarceration and enable you to remain with your family and friends and continue working or going to school.

To talk with us about how to defend against a misdemeanor in Birmingham, AL, contact us online or call (205) 981-2450.

Do Misdemeanors Appear on Background Checks?

While misdemeanors carry less severe punishments than felonies, they still remain on your criminal record for life. This means that misdemeanors can show up on background checks. However, since misdemeanors are usually prosecuted at the county level, whether or not your misdemeanor will show up is entirely dependent on how thorough the check is.

Will I Go to Jail for a Misdemeanors?

Maybe. In Alabama, there are three classes of misdemeanors, depending on the severity. Each class has a different maximum sentence, including jail time and fines.