Alabama law does not look kindly on drinking and driving, and for those who find themselves facing DUI charges, much is at stake. Even a first-time mistake can bring serious consequences, and whether it is your first DUI or you have previous convictions on your record, you would be wise to fight any pending drunk driving charges.
A successful defense of a DUI is possible, and an experienced attorney can help you understand the specific options that are available to you. Your right to drive and your personal freedom are on the line, and underestimating the serious nature of what you are up against can be detrimental to your future.
Penalties for first-time offenders
Many people underestimate the serious nature of a DUI in Alabama, especially if it is their first offense. Even one mistake comes with consequences that can affect various areas of your life. Penalties for a first DUI are as follows:
- Up to one year in county or municipal jail
- Fines ranging from $500 to $2,000
- $100 fine for Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
- 90-day license suspension
- DUI school attendance
Additionally, Alabama law now states that first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or higher can face one year in jail and fines that amount to $4,200. A DUI conviction also comes with consequences beyond the threat of jail time and financial penalties. Other ways that this can affect your life include:
- Loss of scholarships
- Difficulty securing employment
- Permanent mark on criminal record
- Higher insurance premiums
- Social stigma
A conviction is never your only option, and a guilty plea may not be in your best interests. The most appropriate approach for your defense depends on the unique factors that apply to your situation. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to defending against DUI charges, and you would be wise to build a defense uniquely tailored to your needs and objectives.
Can I win my DUI case?
Contrary to what many people think, it is actually possible to win a DUI case. From challenging the evidence brought by the prosecution to calling the results of a Breathalyzer into question, there are many ways your attorney can fight to protect your rights and secure lesser penalties or a reduction or dismissal of the charges.
Even if you are unsure that it is possible to win your case or if you are considering representing yourself or pleading guilty because it is your first offense, you will find great benefit in understanding all of your options before making a decision that can affect your life for years to come.