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What are the consequences of refusing a DUI breathalyzer test in Alabama?

Should you or shouldn’t you take a breathalyzer test? That’s a question you likely will have to consider if you are ever pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. It is an important question, and your decision, either way, will likely have significant consequences. Anyone pulled over in Alabama has a legal right to refuse the breath test. If you decline to take the test, however, the state may suspend your license for at least 90 days. The police officer may arrest you under the state’s implied consent law – even if you didn’t touch a drop of alcohol before driving. An article in Verywell Mind suggests drivers should never refuse the breathalyzer test. While you have certain rights as a citizen, driving isn't one of them. Driving is a ...

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Alabama Attorney Discusses Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

Being charged with any crime can be a frightening and confusing ordeal. However, the type of charge depends on the severity of the alleged crime. If you have been charged with a crime, it’s important to understand the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. If you have any questions regarding your charges, an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney can help you. What is a misdemeanor? Misdemeanor charges generally apply to smaller, nonviolent crimes. Some common misdemeanors include: Shoplifting – When a person who appears to be a customer steals from a store. This type of crime can also be charged as a felony, depending on the value of stolen goods. Public intoxication – When a person is visibly and explicitly under the ...

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Arrested for Drunk Driving in Alabama? An Attorney Can Help!

As the holidays approach, law enforcement throughout Alabama will be ramping up efforts to keep drunk drivers off the road. They may set up road blocks or pull you over for any infraction that might seem to suggest that you’re driving drunk. Consequences can be harsh Being arrested for DUI can have a serious impact on your life and future. If police find evidence that you are driving drunk, you will be arrested and taken to the nearest police station. At that time, you will be given a ticket or summons notifying you of the date you must appear in court. If you deny or fight the charges, the court may present dashboard camera footage of the evidence found during a field sobriety ...

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How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case – An Attorney Explains

Social media has become an integral part of our society and our daily lives. However, it’s important to understand that what you post on social media may not be as private as you think, especially if you have been charged with a crime or you’re being investigated by police on criminal charges.   Whether or not criminal suspects know it, what they say and do on social media is often being watched by law enforcement. And all it takes is a simple search of social media and other sites to find the information they need to solve a case.   In recent years, more criminals have been caught because of their social media activity. Most recently, a social media post helped police catch three suspects in North Carolina who reportedly mutilated a cat. The ...

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Finding Alternatives to Jail Time in Alabama

The United States ranks first in the world in an unwanted category – the number of people incarcerated. The most recent tally in 2018 shows about 2.2 million people are in jails or prisons, a number that exceeds any other country on earth.  Judges nationwide, and in Alabama in particular, have gained attention for their efforts to cut that figure. They offer alternative sentences, often reflecting the actual crime committed.   What Options May Be Available To You?  Judge Marvin Wiggins was one of those judges. On a day that a bloodmobile was outside the courtroom, he told defendants they could give blood in order to avoid jail time. Many did so. But the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed an ethics complaint against the judge for his action and Wiggins later was censured for ethics violations.   ...

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Alabama Law Mandates DUI Interlock Devices

Alabama now has tougher DUI laws than ever before, which are going to cost people both money and freedom. One of those new laws includes a requirement that all persons convicted of DUI in Alabama will be required to have ignition interlock devices installed. (The other law pertains to the so-called "look-back period," which is the length of time the DUI judge will have to examine your prior DUI record.) Alabama's DUI Laws, Explained The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (which previously reported half of the 18,500 people arrested by county and municipal agencies for alcohol violations in 2016 were charged with driving under the influence) offers a concise breakdown of DUI penalties based on how many prior convictions the offender has. Penalties vary ...

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Alabama Incarceration Rate at an All Time High

Alabama's jails and prisons are notoriously packed and overcrowded. But now a recent analysis reveals Alabama has one of the worst incarceration rates - fifth in the entire world. The Prison Policy Initiative reported on the global context of incarceration, tallying state rates as if they were individual countries. Globally, the top results were all American states, where Alabama ranked fifth overall. The highest rates per 100,000 population were: Oklahoma - 1,079 Louisiana - 1,052 Mississippi - 1,039 Georgia - 970 Alabama - 946 The national average in the U.S. was 698. A total of 23 states were reported to have rates higher than the U.S. national average, but in comparison to the rest of the world, every single state appears extreme. Problems ...

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Should You Accept a Plea Bargain in Alabama Criminal Court?

Alabama criminal cases are routinely settled through plea bargain agreements. However, there is nothing routine about representing criminal defendants in these negotiations. ConnectUS recently focused on some advantages and disadvantages to accepting a plea bargain. It is an interesting list because many of the prosecution advantages should be recognized by defense attorneys and used to the best advantage of their defendants. The truth is that most criminal cases resolve without a trial. Without plea-bargaining the system would be hopelessly backlogged. Plea bargains reduce case loads, reduce congestion of trial schedules and eliminate uncertainty of outcomes. A criminal defense lawyer in Birmingham can even tell how the state feels about its case by the kind of initial plea-bargain offer a prosecutor makes. Prosecutors like ...

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Birmingham Criminal Cases Are Being Drastically Affected By Body Cameras

Like many law enforcement agencies across the nation, the Birmingham Police Department has widely increased its use of body-worn cameras in recent years. Camera footage has the potential to drastically affect the outcome of criminal case proceedings. Some footage will help a defendant’s case, and some footage will hurt it, but the ultimate result of body camera footage should be an accurate representation of interactions with a law enforcement officer. This gives criminal defendants and the general public the ability to hold officers accountable for inappropriate - or illegal - actions. In today’s politically charged climate of strained relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, it is more important than ever to have accurate information about the interactions between them. ...

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Not All Birmingham Marijuana Arrests Result in Prison Sentences

Marijuana has become a complicated legal issue in recent years. It is subject to a patchwork of regulations across different states, which all vary greatly in the severity of punishment for the possession or trafficking of marijuana. Federal law prohibits all uses of marijuana, but the enforcement of federal laws has changed substantially with the change in presidential administrations. With all of these widely different laws, and uneven application of these laws, it can be difficult to know what to expect when one is charged with a marijuana offense. It is important for defendants to understand that not all marijuana cases in the Alabama courts will automatically result in a guilty verdict. How Alabama Law Classifies Marijuana Offenses Prison sentences in Alabama are ...

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