Were you recently pulled over by a police officer and handed a Birmingham or Jefferson county traffic ticket? If you drive regularly, it is all too easy to fall into bad habits. You may drive 10 mph over the speed limit and get a speeding ticket—one of the most common traffic citations. You may perform a rolling stop or pull a U-turn where you shouldn’t. What might seem like a harmless maneuver can result in criminal charges. Worse yet, you may face a ticket when you do not deserve it. Sometimes the police are too liberal in handing out citations despite minimal evidence.
Instead of assuming the penalties are inevitable, contact a traffic ticket lawyer in Birmingham, AL at Alabama Criminal Lawyers. You can reach us at (205) 981-2450 or use our online form to request your free consultation.
Traffic violations in Alabama are considered criminal offenses. So, if you are given a Birmingham traffic ticket, it is important to review what violation the ticket specifically addresses, the level of the offense, and the potential penalty.
Most citations are punished by fines, driver’s license points, traffic school, and/or a license suspension or revocation. In some cases, you may face days, weeks, or months of jail time.
Some traffic violations amount to more serious misdemeanor crimes. If you are found guilty or plead guilty to a misdemeanor traffic offense, you face jail time, probation, and community service in addition to typical penalties.
Because of the potentially harsh consequences of a citation, you should contact a traffic ticket lawyer right away. An experienced attorney can explain how you can fight a ticket and the possible outcomes of presenting a defense in traffic court.
Our traffic ticket lawyers in Birmingham, AL can represent you against:
Under AL Code §32-5A-170, you can be ticketed for driving a vehicle at a speed that is greater than what is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and in regard to actual and potential hazards. Alabama also has established maximum limits, including 30 mph in an urban area, 35 mph on any unpaved road, 55 mph on state highways unless a different specific speed is listed, and 70 mph on interstates.
If you get a speeding ticket, contact us right away. Fighting a speeding ticket can be a good idea, and it is the only way to avoid Alabama speeding ticket points on your license and fines. You face two or five points on your license, depending on whether you were driving at least 25 mph over the speed limit or not.
You can be charged with a traffic offense under AL Code §32-5A-190 if you drive a vehicle carelessly and heedlessly in willful and wanton disregard for the rights or safety of persons or property, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or manner that is likely to put other people and property in danger. If you are convicted of reckless driving in Alabama, you face between five and 90 days in jail, up to $500 in fines, and other penalties.
If you drive or are in control of a vehicle while impaired due to alcohol and/or drugs or with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with a DUI. You face hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, months or years in jail, driver’s license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock device, and more if convicted under AL Code §32-5A-191.
Several Alabama statutes dictate proper lane use, including AL Code §32-5A-80—86. If you fail to drive on the proper side of the road, properly pass on the left or right, or adhere to no-passing zones, you can be ticketed for improper lane usage.
Under AL Code §32-5A-89, no driver shall follow another vehicle closer than is reasonable and prudent. You need to leave at least 20 feet for each 10 mph of speed. If you follow another vehicle too closely, you can be ticketed.
Based on AL Code §32-5A-31, drivers are required to obey instructions from any official traffic control device. If you disobey a device, such as by running a red light, you can be ticketed.
Under AL Code §32-5A-350, it is illegal to use a wireless device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving. If you are caught texting or emailing while driving, you can be ticketed, which can result in fines and points on your license.
When you are ticketed in Alabama, you may have the option to simply pay the fine. For some offenses, you are not required to attend a court hearing if you pay the fine before a certain date. This is an option, but you need to think twice before typing in your credit card number.
Automatically paying a ticket is pleading guilty to the offense. If you do not go to court to fight the ticket, you have no opportunity to mitigate the consequences. When you pay the fine, the full license points will be added to your record.
Instead of paying a ticket right away, you should talk with a traffic ticket lawyer in Birmingham, AL about how to fight the ticket in court and the likelihood of beating the ticket or mitigating the penalties.
If you plead or are found guilty of a traffic offense in Alabama, it can cost you:
The financial penalty for a ticket will depend on where you were ticketed and the offense. Many traffic offenses are part of a fee schedule in Birmingham or other towns or counties. You should talk with your lawyer about the full cost of a traffic offense.
Alabama uses a driver’s license point system. For every traffic offense, a certain number of appoints are assigned. For example, speeding between one and 25 mph over the limit is two points. Following too closely is three points. Reckless driving is six points. If you reach a certain number of points within a period of time, then your license is suspended for between two months and a year.
Some traffic offenses require your license to be suspended for a period of time. Or, your latest ticket may cause you to hit a number of points that require suspension.
For some traffic offenses, you can be jailed for weeks or months. You should ask your attorney about whether jail time is possible if you plead or are found guilty of an offense.
The number of driver’s license points you receive for speeding in Alabama depends on how far over the speed limit you were. Between one and 25 mph is two points while 26 mph or more over the limit is five points.
Points from a traffic conviction remain on your record for two years. After that, the points no longer count toward a driver’s license suspension.
You may lose your driver’s license if you hit 12 points in two years. Your license will be suspended for 60 days if you accumulate 12-14 points in a two-year period; 90 days for 15-17 points in a two-year period; 120 days for 21-23 points in a two-year period; and 365 days for 24 or more points in a two-year period.
You may choose to address a traffic violation or offense without a lawyer. However, we recommend you contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers. We are much more experienced in fighting traffic violations and helping drivers maintain clean records and avoid losing their licenses.