Do I Really Need A Lawyer for a DUI Charge?
Many times we are asked "Should I just go to court and plead guilty my DUI charge?" Our answer is always, "NEVER." Never. A DUI charge is by far the most serious misdemeanor criminal charge in Alabama law and will remain on your record forever. Many people do not realize that there are five (5) separate punishments that are imposed by the Court in every DUI case:
1. MONEY: Fines range from $600.00 to $6,000.00 at the Judge’s discretion. Court costs are in addition to this amount;
2. JAIL: Up to one (1) year in city or county jail at the Judge’s discretion. Probation is also at Judge’s discretion;
3. DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION: 90 day suspension for first DUI, 1 year suspension if you have a CDL, 90 days if breath test refused, 90 days if breath test is taken but results are over 0.08 (reinstatement fee is approximately $400.00 to get license back after suspension);
4. CLASSES: Every person convicted of a DUI has to complete the Court Referral Program or “DUI School” ranging from eight (8) hours of classes to inpatient rehab. (The costs are based on the level of your classes.); and
5. IGNITION INTERLOCK: A device installed on your vehicle that you have to blow into and be 100% alcohol free before the car will start. Must be maintained monthly by a probation officer. Usually for at least a 2-3 year term (will cost approximately $3,000.00 over the full time for installation and monitoring).
There are many other “hidden” costs and punishments in a DUI conviction such as inability to get certain jobs, insurance costs skyrocketing, etc. An attorney that is skilled in this area of Alabama law can keep a conviction off your record, prevent your driver’s license suspension, and/or save you thousands of dollars depending on the facts of your case.
Our firm helps clients in DUI cases every day. Call us at 251-968-2320 for your free consultation.