July 13, 2014

South Dakota v. Burkett: Second and Subsequent DUI Convictions

DUI defense attorneys in Alabama understand that second and subsequent convictions on your record can serious consequences on a new traffic case.

In South Dakota v. Burkett, a suspect is alleged to have entered an auto parts store and asked for various products. He is said to have left the store without buying anything. Later in the day, he entered the store a second time and asked for more random items. He again left without buying anything.

engine-piece-1127022-m.jpgThe store clerk noted that he could smell the presence of alcohol on the suspect the second time. He returned a third time and, this time, the store clerks noticed that he was incoherent and had slurred speech.

At this point, the suspect left the store and got into his van, squealed the tires and drove away. The store clerks called the police and provided the driver’s name, description of the vehicle, and home address, which they got from an order form, but they requested that this be considered an anonymous tip.

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July 10, 2014

Montana v. Zimmerman: Right to a Speedy DUI Trial

Our Alabama DUI defense attorneys understand that excessive delays in the prosecution of a DUI case can lead to increased anxiety and uncertainty for clients. It may also be difficult to find a job or keep your current job while facing criminal charges. While some delay cannot be helped, unreasonable delays caused by the prosecution may constitute a violation of your rights to a speedy trial.

gavel-2-1409592-m.jpgIn Montana v. Zimmerman, officers observed a speeding pickup truck and initiated a traffic stop. Upon making physical contact with the driver, the officer became suspicious that he was drunk and conducted a DUI investigation. After concluding that there was sufficient probable cause for a DUI arrest, the suspect was booked and charged with felony driving under the influence (fourth offense) and additional misdemeanor charges.

The driver refused to submit to a chemical breath test (breathalyzer) and had his driving privileges revoked.


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July 7, 2014

Alabama DUIs and Hit-and-Run Charges

Our Alabama DUI lawyers understand that being involved in a motor vehicle accident can have a major effect on your case.

breathalyzer-46.jpgAccording to a recent article in the Idaho Statesmen, a police officer was engaged in a routine traffic stop when a Ford F-150 sideswiped the police cruiser. The driver then allegedly sped away from the scene of the accident. Fortunately, the police officer was still in the vehicle during the crash and not standing between his car and the suspect’s car.

The police officer proceeded to follow the suspect and eventually pulled him over. Once the officer had pulled over the suspect, he administered the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) and placed the suspect under arrest. It was alleged that the driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was twice the legal limit.

After the suspect was placed under arrest, the officer went to the hospital where he was treated and released.

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July 2, 2014

Birmingham DUI Lawyers Wish You a Safe and Happy Fourth of July Weekend

Our Alabama DUI defense lawyers would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.

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There will be no shortage of fun things to do over the holiday period. If you are in Birmingham, Thunder on the Mountain is a must see. Year after year, it is hailed as one of the nation’s biggest and best fireworks displays. Whatever you choice, we urge you to stay safe on the roads.

With people spending much of their day drinking alcohol at backyard cookouts and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, it should come as no surprise that we typically see a lot of DUI arrests over the holiday weekend.

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June 30, 2014

Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences Gets International Accreditation

DUI cases are reliant on lab work to ensure accuracy in breath, blood and urine samples. In the event that the driver was injured in an accident, a sample will be taken at the hospital and sent to the forensics lab. The forensics analysis is critical to supporting a DUI case and errors or delays can cause problems for the prosecution. Now the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has achieved international accreditation. The five-year process involves a number of complex steps and the agency must meet strict standards to get accreditation by the International Organization for Standardization.

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Defendants who are charged with a crime must understand what they are also up against. Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, forensics departments, and other members of the criminal justice system are looking to prove a case against you. To even the playing field, it is important to consult with an experienced advocate who can challenge the evidence and protect your rights. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in handling complex DUI cases and will explore every opportunity to defeat the charges in your case.

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June 29, 2014

Coast Guard Focuses on Boating Safety, DUI

With summer in full-swing and temperatures rising, the number of boating accidents and DUIs will spike over the next couple months. This means that boat owners and operators should be on alert for law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, which will be taking aggressive action to catch and charge suspected boaters under the influence (BUI). According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating season unofficially starts on Memorial Day and will extend through Labor Day weekend.

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The Coast Guard also expects the risk of drinking and boating accidents to increase over the summer. One of the reasons is that equipment breaks-down, operators become more relaxed and careless, and many will take additional risks while drinking. Our Birmingham BUI defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting individuals who have been charged with DUI or boating under the influence. We understand the significant penalties that can come with a conviction, including loss of license, jail time, fines, and a criminal record. In the event of an accident, an experienced advocate can review your case and protect your rights throughout the process.

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June 27, 2014

Can You Beat a Breathalyzer?

Ever since the breathalyzer became the standard way to test Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), people have had a fascination with “beating the breathalyzer.” A breathalyzer is a test used to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood stream based on a breath test. Even scientists have taken on the challenge of determining what methods may help to reduce a showing of blood alcohol in the event that you are pulled over for the suspicion of drunken driving. Our Birmingham DUI attorneys are experienced with representing individuals who have been arrested and charged with drinking and driving.
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We do know that there are some things you can do that may actually increase the amount of alcohol that shows up in a breathalyzer test. For example, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash that has trace alcohol content may cause your blood-alcohol levels to increase. This is also the case if you spray Binaca or other mouth sprays into your mouth. Don’t hold your breath before a breathalyzer either. While some think that this lowers alcohol level readings, it actually allows more alcohol to diffuse in your lungs and can increase the BAC by up to 15%, an amount that can make a significant difference in a DUI case.

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June 25, 2014

Mother Charged; Child Endangerment and DUI

A DUI arrest and additional criminal charge can result in significant fines, penalties, and a criminal record. In the event that the DUI had aggravating circumstances, such as an accident, injury, fatality, or DUI with a minor, the defendant will likely face even more significant charges and penalties. In a recent Alabama case, a mother was charged with driving under the influence. She is also facing the additional charge of child endangerment because she was driving with her child.

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In the event of a DUI arrest, defendants should consult with an experienced defense attorney who can review the facts, identify the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and explore every opportunity to minimize charges and penalties. Our Birmingham DUI defense lawyers have extensive experience representing clients facing charges under a wide range of circumstances. Remember that every case is unique, depending on the facts, and can be challenged on different grounds. Getting pulled over without probable cause, improper administration of a breathalyzer, and police misconduct could be grounds for your defense, even case dismissal.

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June 20, 2014

Driver Arrested Drunk and Naked in Alabama

Drunk driving arrests may occur under a wide range of circumstances. Most commonly, an officer will spot a driver who has violated a traffic law or who appears to be under the influence, trail them, and eventually pull them over. In other instances, a driver may be the victim of an accident, or cause an accident. In some cases, erratic or strange behavior may draw attention to a driver and other motorists on the road. In a recent case, an Alabama man was pulled over for allegedly driving outside of his lane. When officers pulled him over, it turned out, he was allegedly under the influence of prescription medication and—completely naked.

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In any DUI case, officers must have probable cause to make a stop. Drivers do not realize that officers are often collecting evidence to be used against them even before they are pulled over. Once the stop takes place, officers will continue to collect evidence, track your behavior, things you say, and document any information that can be used to prove you were under the influence. In this case, the defendant’s driving naked, evidence of drunk driving, as well as the prescription drugs found in his car be used as evidence to bolster the prosecution’s case against him. Our Birmingham drunk driving attorneys are experienced in providing strategic defense to drivers charged with DUI. We are committed to ensuring our clients get aggressive defense to level the playing field in the Alabama criminal courts.

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June 17, 2014

Iron Bowl DUI: Charges Reduced From Murder to Manslaughter

Drunk driving accidents that result in injury, bodily harm, property damage, or fatalities will leave offenders facing significant penalties beyond normal DUI charges. With strategic advocacy, these charges and penalties can be minimized. However, there are no guarantees when navigating the criminal justice system.

According to a recent report, a jury found an Alabama man guilty of manslaughter after a fatal drunk driving accident after the Iron Bowl in 2012.

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The charges were reduced from murder to manslaughter after the jury deliberated for three hours. This case is an example of how proper defense and the presentation of evidence can potentially reduce charges, and ultimately penalties, in a DUI case. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in protecting the rights of individuals accused of drunk driving related crimes. We will take a comprehensive approach to your case. We are committed to informing our clients about their rights and minimizing the harsh penalties associated with DUI charges.

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June 13, 2014

Addiction, DUI and Custody Battles

Defendants who are arrested and charged with DUI often face long-term consequences. In addition to the obvious—a night in jail, loss of license, criminal charges, penalties, and fines—drivers may also face very serious personal consequences. DUI can impact your professional life, reputation, family, and can even have legal consequences involving child custody. In a recent NPR report, the author of memoir, Drunk Mom, discusses the dangers of alcoholism and motherhood. The interview sheds light on the myriad ways that alcoholism, and drinking and driving, can impact the life of a parent.
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Individuals who are arrested and charged with DUI often have an addiction or a problem with abusing alcohol. Remember that there are ways to get help to deal with addiction while you are also going through the criminal justice system. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense lawyers understands the complicated nature of addiction and will work with defendants to get the help they need. When possible, we will explore alternative sentencing programs to help defendants with addiction seek medical help and find the road to recovery.

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June 7, 2014

User Rights: Testing THC Without a Breathalzyer

As the use of medical marijuana becomes more widespread and states legalize recreational use, legislators and law enforcement officials are faced to answer the question of how to curb stoned driving without a breathalyzer test. In addition to not having a precise determination of how much THC actually impairs driving, officers do not have a test they can use to determine blood levels of THC. Research also shows that THC can show up days after smoking, when the user is no longer high.

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This legal question has left many medical marijuana patients struggling, even in fear that they may be charged with driving under the influence. Some states have set very low thresholds, including Colorado where a driver can be charged for driving with 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood of THC. As many users and drivers know, this criminal charge could leave them without a license. Our Birmingham DUI attorneys are experienced in providing strategic counsel and advocacy to individuals who are facing DUI charges. We have in-depth experience in Alabama’s criminal justice system and are committed to raising awareness to protect the rights of our clients. In the matter of marijuana DUI, it is important for drivers to be cautious about the legal uncertainties in Alabama and nationwide.

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