Auburn, AL DUI Law Firm
Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Auburn, Alabama can be very serious. It can result in jail time, expensive fines, lost driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record.
If you have been charged with DUI in Alabama, the faster you get professional legal assistance, the better your chances are of prevailing in a criminal case. At Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce & Thompson LLP, our DUI defense attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your legal options and taking every measure necessary to protect your rights and liberty.
DUI Under Alabama Law
Similar to many states, the penalties for DUI in Alabama have increased significantly over the past several decades in an effort to reduce impaired driving on our state’s roads. If you are non-commercial driver over the age of 21, Alabama law considers DUI to be a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater.
A person may also be charged with DUI in Alabama if they are found to be in physical control of a car while they are under the influence of a controlled substance or under the influence of any substance, including alcohol, that has impaired their physical and mental faculties. You may also be charged with a DUI in Alabama even if you are simply sitting or sleeping in a parked car, with the argument being that you were “in control” of that vehicle and could be a danger to others.
DUI convictions in Alabama are harsh for just the first offense, which is why it is vital that you speak with a qualified DUI defense lawyer as quickly as possible after your arrest. A first-time DUI is considered a misdemeanor unless there were special circumstances such as a serious injury or fatality. There can be additional charges and penalties for DUI in Alabama when the violation includes such things as accidents, injuries, fatalities, reckless driving, and having children in the car.
For a first conviction of DUI, the penalties can include up to one year in jail, fines up to $2,100, or both. Your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days, and there is a possibility of having an interlock placed in the vehicle. Probation is mandatory as is a substance abuse evaluation and treatment if necessary.
DUI Under 21 Years Old
If you’re under the age of 21, it only takes a BAC of .02% in Alabama to justify a DUI charge. Unfortunately, you may also face additional charges such as underage consumption of alcohol. The penalties for a DUI under the age of 21 are a 30-day license suspension on top of additional penalties for other charges. If your child is facing these charges, it’s best to speak with a skilled DUI lawyer that can inform you of your rights and do everything possible to safeguard their future.
DUI and CDL
When you drive for a living, getting a DUI can be devastating to your livelihood. The BAC threshold for a commercial driver is .04%, which means that a 200-lb. person could come close to the limit with just two drinks. When a CDL holder is arrested for DUI in Alabama, the consequences are swift and immediate. Not only do they have to deal with the criminal charges, but their commercial driving privileges could be suspended for a year or more. If you have a CDL and have been arrested for DUI, don’t leave your source of income to chance. Enlist the services of a qualified Alabama DUI attorney as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights and your occupation.
Multiple DUI’s in Alabama
If you’ve had a DUI, or several, in the past you should speak with a DUI lawyer about your situation immediately. The state of Alabama imposes harsher penalties for each successive DUI, requiring stiffer fines, longer license suspensions, and more stringent jail sentences. The state’s look-back period is five years, meaning they will go back five years in your past to see if you’ve had a prior DUI to classify your current one. Some of the penalties for successive DUI’s in Alabama include:
- Second DUI: Fines up to $5,100, minimum jail time of 5 days, 1-year license suspension.
- Third DUI: Fines up to $10,000, minimum jail time 60 days, 3-year license suspension.
- Fourth DUI: Fines up to $10,100, minimum jail time 1 year, 5-year license suspension.
All of these subsequent DUI’s will require substance abuse treatment as well as an ignition interlock device.
Driver’s License Suspension From a DUI
There are several instances in which your driver’s license might be suspended in an Alabama DUI case. First, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, your license will be automatically suspended for 90 days. The only defense against this is if the police officer failed to advise you of your legal rights and the consequences of your refusal. You will also receive a license suspension if you take a breathalyzer test and the result shows that you are over the legal limit.
Most people who are arrested for DUI are fearful of one thing above all else – losing their driving privileges. Unfortunately, Alabama doesn’t operate similar to some of its neighboring states, meaning it doesn’t provide DUI restricted licenses. While you can’t get a license strictly for work, you should be able to get fully reinstated after 90 days.
Expungement of DUI Records
If you’ve been charged with an Alabama DUI and your case receives a favorable outcome, you can ask your attorney to help you get your arrest records expunged. Under the right circumstances, misdemeanors and non-violent felonies are eligible for this program. Some of the instances you may request this service include:
- Found not guilty
- Case dismissed without prejudice (under certain conditions)
- Case dismissed with prejudice
- No billed by grand jury
Contact an Experienced Auburn, Alabama DUI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a DUI offense in Auburn, there is no time to waste. The experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorneys at Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce & Thompson LLP have nearly 60 years experience defending Alabamians who have been accused of crimes. Our qualified legal team will promptly examine the evidence that state has against you so that we can advise you of your options and begin working on your defense. Contact us today at (334) 821-3892 or online to schedule an initial case consultation.