Top Athens, AL DUI Lawyers Near You

DUI Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

221 Longwood Drive Southwest, Huntsville, AL 35801

DUI Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

217 Randolph Ave., Huntsville, AL 35801

DUI Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

100 Jefferson Street South, Suite 100C, Huntsville, AL 35801-4849

DUI Lawyers | Huntsville Office | Serving Athens, AL

111 Jefferson St N, Huntsville, AL 35801

Athens DUI Information

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Find a DUI Attorney near Athens

What Is Considered Drunk Driving?

Drunk driving or driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), operating while intoxicated (OWI) or operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) is an offense that takes place when an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. While various states have different names for drunk driving offenses, DUI is one of the most common ways that the offenses are referred to as a whole.

While federal law largely pertains to commercial drivers (for whom the legal BAC while driving is .04 or less), state laws are generally called on when infractions of the law come into play for the average citizen. Federal DUI laws can be levied if the offender is traveling through federally-owned lands, indigenous lands or crossing state lines, but the vast majority of drunk driving charges are meted out at the state level.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving while under the influence or DUI is a serious matter across the nation, including in Alabama. This criminal offense may result in a number of serious penalties such as the loss of driving privileges, fines, mandatory counseling, or jail time. However, there effects of a DUI conviction can be felt outside the courtroom as well and may cause other issues in your day to day life. Accordingly, it is important for anyone facing a DUI charge in An Athens to work with a competent criminal defense attorney to protect their rights and mitigate any legal issues.

How long does a DUI stay on your record?

The length of time a DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record (different from your driving record that the DMV uses) depends on the state you live in. Some states will remove a DUI from your criminal record after five years, at which point, if you are arrested and convicted for DUI again, the system will treat you as a first-time offender. In other states, this could be 10 years. Other states do not do this at all, meaning the conviction will always be on your record, unless you can expunge it.

Have You Been Charged with a DUI?

If so, it is imperative to immediately contact a An Athens: DUI lawyer who knows all the defenses that may be available to you. To violate DUI law, the blood-alcohol content must be at least .08 percent, and if it is higher than .14 you can be charged with extreme DUI. Alcohol content is determined by blood, breath, or urine tests. If you refuse to take one of those tests your driver’s license is automatically suspended.

How long do you go to jail for a DUI conviction?

This depends on the state that you live in. Some states have mandatory jail sentences (although in some it’s only a few days) for a first-time offender, while other states have no jail time for first-time offenders. For each DUI conviction you receive, your odds of going to jail for a longer amount of time will increase.

DUI Penalties

If convicted of a DUI, there are some fairly steep penalties you may find yourself facing. Sentencing for a DUI in Alabama may include loss of driving privileges, fines, mandatory counseling, and even jail time in more serious cases. A DUI can lead to other consequences outside of court-imposed sentencing as well. Some states also require ignition interlock devices in the cars of people with DUI convictions. Having a DUI conviction may cause problems with your current employment, impose difficulties obtaining future employment, damage your reputation, raise the cost of car insurance, and even jeopardize professional licensing.

A DUI conviction is punishable by license revocation, months in jail, or years in prison for repeat offenders and stiff fines.

Should you plead guilty to a DUI?

Many people think they should plead guilty quickly to “move on” from the incident. But that will mean having a conviction on your record for years to come, which can have serious negative effects on your life. You should always discuss your case with an attorney before you ever make any decisions on pleading guilty.

Is Drunk Driving a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

Drunk driving can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. First-time offenders with no aggravating factors could be looking at a misdemeanor charge in most states. Repeat offenders, or offenders who commit DUI or DWI with aggravating factors, could find themselves facing felony charges.

Aggravating factors may include, but are not limited to: committing DUI with children in the car, speeding or reckless driving while under the influence, highly elevated BAC levels while measured (.08, .15 and above) or causing a serious injury or death as a result of driving while under the influence.

What happens when you get a DUI?

A DUI conviction can mean spending time in jail, having to pay fines and court costs, and attending drunk driving classes or entering into rehab. It could also mean having to deal with the effects of a driver’s license suspension, which could affect your job. Some states also require ignition interlock devices in the cars of people with DUI convictions. In short, the penalties are serious, and you should treat them seriously.

Can You Be Charged for Drunk Driving if You Are Parked?

Yes, in many jurisdictions it is entirely possible to be charged with drunk driving even if parked. A conviction may depend on actual proof that you operated the vehicle while intoxicated.

Further, attempted DUI is a discrete charge in many states and as such, the burden of proof to establish this particular charge is much lower than with full DUI. Regardless of the situation, it is not advised that you enter the drivers’ seat of a car with a BAC higher than the established level in your state.

Driving High vs. Driving Drunk: What’s the Difference?

While BAC can be easily measured by the use of the breathalyzer or a number of other devices, it can be more difficult to prove intoxication by a number of other drugs, including cannabis (marijuana).

Where cannabis’ active ingredient (THC) stays in a human system for a number of weeks, false positives have proven particularly difficult for state prosecutors looking to secure convictions based on allegations of intoxicated driving. Newly deployed devices seek to circumvent this problem, but the matter remains legally contested in many jurisdictions.

Field sobriety tests, body cam evidence and other metrics are currently also used to judge whether or not a driver is impaired by drugs other than alcohol. In terms of legal repercussions, DUI laws are generally broad enough to encompass all activity where a driver is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol, and the sentencing is usually severe for both.

Those found guilty of DUI or DWI for drugs other than alcohol may face additional drug-related penalties (possession, trafficking, etc.) in some jurisdictions. Diversionary programs, or mandatory drug education programs may also be part of any punishment for drunk driving.

How long does a DUI stay on your record?

The length of time a DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record (different from your driving record that the DMV uses) depends on the state you live in. Some states will remove a DUI from your criminal record after five years, at which point, if you are arrested and convicted for DUI again, the system will treat you as a first-time offender. In other states, this could be 10 years. Other states do not do this at all, meaning the conviction will always be on your record, unless you can expunge it. An Athens criminal defense lawyer can better help you determine how long an Alabama DUI conviction may stay on your record.

How long do you go to jail for a DUI conviction?

The amount of jail time you may receive at sentencing depends on a few factors. The first is the state that you live in. Some states have mandatory jail sentences (although in some it’s only a few days) for a first-time offender, while other states have no jail time for first-time offenders. Second, for each DUI conviction you receive, the odds of going to jail for a longer amount of time increase. Third, the amount of jail time you may receive can increase if there are any aggravating circumstances. One common example of an aggravating circumstance is the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system.

Should you plead guilty to a DUI?

Many people jump to conclusions and plead guilty quickly to “move on” from the incident. However, pleading guilty to a DUI means having a criminal conviction on your record for years to come, which can have serious negative effects on your life. Instead, you should always consider discussing your case with An Alabama criminal defense attorney before you ever make any decisions on pleading guilty.

What happens when you get a DUI?

A DUI conviction can mean spending time in jail, having to pay fines and court costs, and attending drunk driving classes or entering into rehab. It could also mean having to deal with the effects of a driver’s license suspension, which could affect your job. In short, the penalties are serious, and you should treat them seriously.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

  • How many years have you been practicing law? How long have you practiced law in the local area?
  • How many cases similar to mine have you handled in the past?
  • What is the likely outcome for my case?

In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.

Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer

  • What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
  • What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?

An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic “road map” on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you’ve laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.

Types of legal fees:

Bill by the hour: Many attorneys bill by the hour. How much an attorney bills you per hour will vary based on a number of factors. For instance, an attorney’s hourly fee may fluctuate based on whether that hour is spent representing you in court or doing research on your case. Attorneys in one practice area may bill you more than attorneys in a different practice area.

Contingent fee: Some lawyers will accept payment via contingent fee. In this arrangement, the lawyer receives a percentage of the total monetary recovery if you win your lawsuit. In sum, the lawyer only gets paid if you win. Contingent fee agreements are limited to specific practice areas in civil law.

Flat fee: For “routine” legal work where the attorney generally knows the amount of time and resources necessary to complete the task, he/she may be willing to bill you a flat fee for services performed.

Common legal terms explained

Plaintiff – a person or party who brings a lawsuit against another person(s) or party/parties in a court of law. Private persons or parties can only file suit in civil court.

Judgment – A decision of the court. Also known as a decree or order. Judgments handed down by the court are usually binding on the parties before the court.

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