Alabama DUI Frequently Asked Questions
What is the first thing to do after being charged with DUI?
You need to contact a Alabama DUI or criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The laws surrounding DUI are very technical and complex and involve several different scenarios and possible penalties if certain information necessary to effective DUI defense is not collected or preserved The first important deadline is hiring a Alabama DUI lawyer or DUI attorney in advance of your arraignment in order to increase the chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DUI, Reckless Endangerment, Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homocide, or other drinking while driving related charge.
There may also need to be medical records, accident reports, cell phone records, or prescription medication records that need to be obtained. The sooner the facts are evaluated by a Alabama DUI lawyer or DUI attorney, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
What part of your practice is devoted to defending Alabama DUI cases?
A large part of our practice is built upon defending Speeding-Traffic violators which does include DUI arrests. Alabama DUI laws and techniques in defending DUI are constantly changing. What worked yesterday may not be the best approach today. It is important to find a lawyer who stays on top of the current Alabama DUI laws, trends, and what occurs in courts everyday.
What if I’m asked about drinking?
You will have to make a judgment call about how to answer. First of all, don’t lie. Lying leads to complications if the officer decides to charge you with DUI, remember that everything you do or say is probably being recorded. You may wish to answer that your attorney has instructed you not to answer questions like that without him or her present.
A. If you have not been drinking, tell the officer you have not been drinking.
B. If you have engaged in very light drinking and believe you are not under the influence of alcohol, tell the officer you have had something to drink but are not under the influence of alcohol, because being honest may help you later in your defense.
C. If you are under the influence of alcohol, politely inform the officer that your attorney has instructed you to never answer an officer’s questions without him or her present.
Do I automatically lose my driver's license when I get arrested for DUI?
No. If you have been arrested for DUI act quickly and contact a qualified Alabama DUI attorney before your time runs out!
Monthly payment plans are available for Alabama DUI defense. Our Alabama DUI defense payment plans are set up in-office on a case by case basis. Please contact The Smith Law Firm for complete details on our driving under the influence monthly payment plans for legal defense.
If my license is suspended for a DUI, can I get a license to drive to work?
In almost every case, yes. Depending on your criminal and driving record, we can almost always get you a Alabama Occupational Driver’s permit that will allow you to drive to and from work. It will also allow you to drive between locations, if your job requires you to travel as part of your duties.
What are the major areas of concern in a DUI case?
1. Whether the stop was constitutional,
2. Whether the administration of roadside tests was constitutional
3. Whether there was Probable Cause for the arrest
4. How Miranda will play a role in the case with statements and other evidence,
5. How the roadside tests were administered,
6. The administration of any Breath or Blood Samples given,
7. The constitutionality of the search and seizure.
Is your firm knowledgeable of the proper administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
Yes. This allows us to better evaluate how you did on the tests, and more importantly, evaluate how the police officer administered them. This is important because most Alabama DUI prosecutions involve results of "field sobriety tests," some of which have been the subject of scientific studies conducted by the NHTSA.
Are you familiar with the breath test machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000, used in Alabama?
Yes. A failed breath test in no way means you are guilty, as any experienced Alabama DUI defense attorney will tell you. We understand how the breath test machine works, what can cause you to submit an erroneously high reading, the philosophy behind breath testing, and how alcohol is absorbed and eliminated from the body. We also utilize, under the right DUI circumstances, experts in the field of Toxicology who are often instrumental in explaining to a jury through scientific evidence that a breath test may be erroneous.
What do police officers look for when they are looking for drunk drivers?
According to the DUI Detection training manual published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2004, officers look for anything which may draw their attention to the vehicle (especially at night time) such as, A moving traffic violation:
Weaving across a lane
Turning with too wide a radius
Almost striking an object or other vehicle
Rapid acceleration or deceleration
Driving on the wrong side of the road
Slow response to traffic signals
Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
Driving in an area other than a marked traffic lane
Throwing objects out of the car or other inappropriate behavior such as leaning out of the window or yelling out of the window.
An equipment violation (burned out tail light or burned out license plate light)
An expired registration or inspection sticker.
Any unusual driving actions, such as weaving within a lane or moving at slower than normal speed.
After the stop, evidence of drinking or drugs in the vehicle itself.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
If you hire a competent attorney, expect your case to last anywhere from a few months to a year. If the case is set for trial, then it will usually take longer for your case to be resolved. The circumstances surrounding the case will also dictate how long the case takes to be resolved.