If you, a family member or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving in Birmingham, Alabama, or surrounding areas, the following information may be of help. Many people who get pulled over for driving while intoxicated realize that they have no true defense. As a skilled Alabama DUI Attorney, some of my clients have asked me what their options are when the police clearly had them “dead to rights.” Although this may seem like the end of the road, it may not be.
Under some circumstances it is possible to negotiate a “deferred prosecution” for an Alabama DUI charge. Using this approach, as opposed to fighting the DUI charges in court, is sometimes advisable when there are no other grounds to have your Alabama DUI charge dismissed. If a lawyer believes his client cannot prevail in a jury trial, or in situations where the client/defendant seeks to end the drunk driving nightmare as quickly and as cheaply as possible, the deferred prosecution avenue is sometimes the best choice.
In a deferred prosecution, a person who is charged with an Alabama DUI basically agrees to plead guilty. In such instances, as long as the defendant completes certain requirements (which differ slightly from one jurisdiction to the next), the drunk driving charges are dropped.
A typical Alabama DUI deferred prosecution requires the defendant to pay fines, attend alcohol abuse classes, take random drug and alcohol screenings, and complete community service. Normally the defendant will have approximately six months to complete these requirements. If the requirements are met, the prosecution dismisses the DUI charges.
This is a beneficial strategy because your permanent record is at stake. Just one DUI conviction can be devastating to an individual; it can result in the loss of a job or the end of a career, cause an increase in insurance premiums, and stay on your record forever. Deferred prosecution eliminates most of the serious and lasting consequences of an Alabama DUI charge. Deferred prosecution can be offered to those with multiple Alabama DUI convictions as well.
As an Alabama DUI lawyer, I have participated in numerous deferred prosecution negotiations. It is essential that anyone charged with a DUI in Alabama hire an experienced Alabama DUI lawyer who can get you the most attractive deal possible. Deferred prosecution is not guaranteed, nor is it offered to everyone. Unfortunately, I have seen way too many Alabama DUI defendants go to court without hiring an attorney and end up with a permanent criminal record when they would otherwise have qualified for deferred prosecution.