A pro football player has pleaded not guilty to Alabama charges of DUI and attempting to elude police.
For Detroit Lions player Nick Fairley, it was the second such arrest in as many months here, in his home state.
Birmingham DUI defense attorneys know that a not guilty plea is the first step in any case in which you are hoping to have the charges dropped or reduced. And it should always be the initial charge filed in a drunk driving case.
A lot of times, people believe they've been caught red-handed, and don't consider any other option but to plead guilty right away. This is often a mistake because you may not be considering factors such as whether the officer had probable cause to stop you in the first place, whether there may have been some flaw in the breathalyzer test or whether the sobriety test wasn't properly conducted. These are just some of the possibilities that a skilled defense lawyer can help you explore.
Alabama Criminal Code 32-5A-191 indicates that you can be convicted of driving under the influence if you are driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
A first conviction alone is punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a fine of between $600 and $2,100. You may also lose your driving privileges for three months. The penalties are multiplied with each subsequent conviction.
Unfortunately under Alabama law, there's no option to plead to a lower “wet reckless” charge, as there is in other states like California. But that doesn't mean you don't have options.
You may think that because you don't make the kind of money as Fairley that you can't afford an attorney. But when you start to look at some of the fines you will be paying and other consequences if you're convicted, the reality is you can't afford not to hire one.
It appears Fairley will be fighting both charges.
The first actually stemmed from a complaint that he was speeding with his Escalade down suburban streets in Mobile. Officers didn't catch him speeding, but when they stopped him, he reportedly had a small amount of marijuana in the vehicle. He was booked on possession charges.
Then recently, he reportedly drove past a state trooper – again in Mobile County – traveling at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The trooper reported that at first, the driver refused to stop, even though the cruiser's lights and sirens were on. What happened from there isn't offered up in much detail by the media, except to say that the trooper indicated that Fairley “seemed” intoxicated and that he was subsequently arrested without incident.
The details of what the arresting officer meant by “seemed” and what evidence there is to prove it.
In cases that rely heavily on chemical or breathalyzer tests to prove your blood alcohol content, an attorney can argue that the result falls within the standard rate of scientific error.
Similarly in cases that rely heavily on field sobriety tests, the truth is many are subjective and don't always produce rock-solid proof of anything other than an officer's immediate perception.
If you have been arrested contact Birmingham DUI Defense Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.