Article provided by: Alabama DUI Defense
Mark Polson at Polson & Polson is a leading Birmingham DUI attorney with a successful track record. As one of the best criminal attorneys in Alabama, our expert has an excellent working relationship with attorneys in the prosecution office, which can benefit your case considerably.
What happens after a DUI arrest in Alabama?
Facing charges for a drunk driving crime can be a frightening experience. For a first or second DUI, you may get away with a misdemeanor, but if your first DUI was a felony, your second offense could also become a felony according to the Alabama laws. As a rule of thumb, all third offense DUIs fall under felonies in most states, including Alabama. Here are some of the phases involved in a DUI case after the arrest:
- Arraignment – This refers to the first time you appear in court after the arrest. During an arraignment, the judge will read out your charges, and you have to enter a plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
- Preliminary hearing – In the state of Alabama, you can request a preliminary hearing. During the hearing, the court will assess and examine the details of your case, and check if there is sufficient evidence to consider a trial. In the absence of sufficient evidence, the judge may dismiss your case.
- Possible trial and appeal – In the presence of sufficient evidence, your case can go to trial, and it can be a lengthy process.
Be sure to contact a Birmingham DUI attorney in the early stages to avoid severe fines, sentences and to reduce your charges. An attorney can come up with a strong DUI defense strategy for your case and can help you receive a favorable outcome.
Jail time and fines for Alabama DUI convictions
The jail times and fines you face will vary depending upon your prior DUI convictions. In Alabama, the judge can order jail time or fines or both for a first, second, or third DUI within ten years. For a 1st offense, fines can range between $600 and $2,100, and jail time up to a year.
For a second offense, fines can range between $1,100 and $5,100, and jail time can range from 5 days to 1 year. For a third offense, jail time can range between 2 months and a year, and fines can range between $2,000 and $10,000.
When to hire a lawyer for a DUI/DWI charge?
The criminal court handles all the DUI charges, and it can be difficult for you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case without legal experience or knowledge. As soon as you face charges for a DUI crime, you must hire an attorney to reduce or dismiss your charges.
If you lack any prior convictions, and this is your first DUI that doesn’t involve any aggravating factors like injuries or a high blood alcohol concentration, hiring an attorney may not be worth it.
Polson & Polson is an expert Birmingham DUI attorney with a thorough understanding of the local laws, rules, and regulations. Schedule a consultation with our Birmingham DUI attorneys at (205) 871-8838 for a free consultation.