In the state of Alabama, the offense of DUI is taken very seriously. As such, it is possible that you may go to jail, even for a first offense. However, jail time is not necessarily the result in every single DUI case, especially if you are able to fight the allegations against you. With the help of an Alabama DUI lawyer, you may be able to avoid jail time or even avoid conviction and avoid any consequences associated with a DUI.
At the Eversole Law Office, we work to keep all of our DUI clients out of jail whenever possible. We have successfully helped clients in Madison, Shelby and Jefferson counties as well as throughout the state of Alabama to raise defenses or to arrange plea bargains in order to avoid going to jail after a DUI. To learn more about how our Alabama DUI lawyers can help you to stay out of jail when facing DUI charges, contact us today at (866) 831-5292 to schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help.
Alabama DUI and Penalties
When you are accused of a DUI, whether or not you will go to jail is going to depend upon whether you are convicted of the offense and, if convicted, whether or not you have any prior offenses or other aggravating factors that make jail time more likely.
The best way to avoid going to jail or facing any penalties is to raise defenses or chip away at the evidence that the prosecutor has so that the charges against you are dropped or so you win a not guilty verdict. There are many ways to defend against DUI charges. For instance, you could introduce evidence that there was something wrong with the sobriety tests performed, such as improper training of law enforcement or improper calibration of the breath test. You could also allege that law enforcement violated your constitutional rights at the time when you were pulled over or arrested. If police had no probable cause to pull you over or to administer sobriety tests, then any evidence they collected cannot be used against you. Without evidence, a prosecutor may have to drop the charges or you may win your case in court and obtain a not-guilty verdict.
If you are not able to raise any viable defenses, then whether you will go to jail or not is going to depend on what your BAC was, whether there were aggravating factors, and whether you have prior offenses. For example, for a first offense, while incarceration of up to one year is possible, you likely will be able to avoid jail time and instead your penalty will involve probation, community service, DUI school and fines. IF you are able to enter into a first-time offender diversion program, you may even be able to avoid a criminal record.
For a second DUI offense, however, Alabama Code section 32-5A-191 stipulates that you must be incarcerated for at least five days or perform 30 days of community service. By the time you are on your third offense, your minimum term of incarceration goes up to 60 days and for a fourth or subsequent offense, the minimum tern of incarceration is one year and a day. This means that if you are a repeat offender, you will likely spend some time in jail. Likewise, those with a BAC above .15 are also more likely to face jail time, as are individuals who are involved in a DUI with a child in the car or who are cause an accident while incarcerated.
It may be possible to arrange a plea bargain to avoid jail time or to receive a lesser sentence, even for repeat offenders. While there is no option for a "wet reckless" or reckless driving charge based on DUI in Alabama, there are other alternatives your Alabama DUI lawyer can help you to explore to minimize the consequences you face.
At the Eversole Law Office, we have been able to successfully help many clients to raise defenses in DUI cases in order to get charges dropped or to win a not-guilty verdict. The sooner we take a case, the sooner we can begin to work with you to build evidence for a DUI defense or to negotiate a plea bargain. That's why it's important to contact Steven Eversole as soon as you know you'll face boating DUI charges in Alabama. You can call us toll-free, fill out our confidential online case evaluation form or visit our office in downtown Birmingham.