The son of former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore was charged with DUI and drug possession in Crenshaw County, The Associated Press reports.
According to news reports, Caleb Moore was stopped on suspicion of speeding by Alabama state troopers. A trooper spokesman told the media Moore was charged with DUI, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding.
This case illustrates how the media's ability to carry news across the world in a heartbeat, coupled with the stigma attached to a DUI arrest, can hurt a person's reputation. When the suspect is under 21, a DUI charge in Alabama for minors is still very serious. Along with possible criminal penalties, underage DUI convicts can lose out on scholarships, be disqualified from college and university admission and not be allowed to join the armed services. The charge will remain part of their permanent driving record as an adult.
That's on top of the penalties for DUI in Alabama, which include up to a year in jail, a fine of $600 to $2,100, a 90-day driver's license suspension, attendance in a DUI school or substance abuse program and possibly having to install an ignition interlock device on the vehicle.
That's why it's all the more important to quickly consult with an experienced and aggressive Birmingham DUI Lawyer who will explore every avenue of the arrest and pick apart the state's evidence in defense of the client.
Roy Moore, who is president of the Foundation of Moral Law and who has formed an exploratory committee to run for president, said he couldn't comment. Moore was removed from office when he refused to move a Ten Commandments monument from the court lobby. The 20-year-old will apply for treatment as a youthful offender, his father told the media in citing why he wouldn't discuss the case.
Alabama Code Title 15 Chapter 19 lays out the process for treating a young suspect as a youthful offender, which cuts down on possible penalties and can keep the charge from showing up on a person's criminal record. It remains to be seen if the negative publicity will affect the suspect's application for youthful offender status.
But regardless of the initial stories, the news media's take on the arrest aren't the same set of facts that a judge and jury hear. And with proper representation, the case can be picked apart.
For instance, the initial traffic stop can be questioned. In this case, the reason for the stop was speeding. The officer must prove the suspect was speeding, possibly through a radar detector, and it must be proven to be accurate. When people are pulled over for seemingly borderline reasons in DUI investigations, sometimes those charges can be tossed out of court if the officer's reasons are questionable.
If the suspect was ordered to take field sobriety tests or breath tests, those, too, can be challenged for accuracy and based on the officer's training. Sometimes, outside factors like the weather or a health condition can affect a driver's ability to perform these tests. And breathalyzers have been shown to be inaccurate and unreliable in every state. Prosecutors have dropped thousands of cases because of inaccurate breath results.
So, the point is that an arrest isn't a conviction and there are a lot of factors that come into play. And just because the charge is a misdemeanor doesn't mean it should be taken lightly. Trying to defend a case on your own may make it feel more like a felony if all the possible penalties are imposed. Trust an experienced Birmingham DUI Lawyer to handle your case.
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