No one wants to be pulled over by police when they are driving, but if you’ve been drinking, it strikes a particular fear, even if you haven’t been drinking enough to be considered intoxicated.
That may not matter. Being charged with a DUI in Alabama will permanently stay on your record, potentially harming you financially and professionally. An experienced Alabama DUI attorney is your best ally, and your next moves will be crucial.
Attorney Jason Darley will explain the options ahead of you for the best outcome. You only get one chance to get it right, and Mr. Darley has the experience you need to navigate the road ahead.
A Plea Deal
The majority of driving under the influence (DUI) cases in Alabama are resolved through plea bargaining. A plea allows for a resolution after the driver pleads guilty or no contest in exchange for a lesser charge or more lenient penalty than might be imposed otherwise.
If you are the defendant who has been charged for DUI, understand that the prosecutor likely wants to move your case along without having to put in the effort to prepare for a trial.
Mr. Darley will review the police reports, witness statements, physical evidence or video, and photos filed in the case. He will then understand the strength of your case and the weakness of the other sides.
If there are holes in the case brought by the prosecutor, Mr. Darley will apply his skills to maximize your advantages to obtain a more favorable plea deal. In some cases, after he has examined the evidence, he will advise you not to plead guilty to DUI because there are holes in the case brought by the prosecutor.
This is where an attorney with extensive criminal defense experience works to your advantage.
DUI Charge Options
A first DUI offense in ten years may put the defendant in a better position to make a deal. The prosecution has a wide range of options in dealing with a first-time offender, including settling a case using the Pretrial Diversion Program, also known as deferred prosecution.
The first offense is usually a misdemeanor, leading to the possibility of jail for up to one year and a mandatory loss of license. Prosecutors may require the accused to go through an alcohol treatment program, and do not be surprised if that is accompanied by random screenings, counseling, and classes.
Probation is also possible from six to 24 months, as are fines, community service, and defensive driving classes.
A second, third, or fourth offense can lead to prison time of up to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000. A DUI felony will offer little room for a plea bargain when there is a serious injury or death.
Your DUI/DWI attorney will become a valuable asset in trying to negotiate a plea bargain. He knows whether these diversion programs are reasonable considering your charges and the evidence against you.
Jason Darley has the technical and legal skills needed to understand how to handle an offer from the prosecuting attorney to negotiate to his client’s advantage.
It may be to the defendant’s advantage to approach the prosecutor to initiate the plea negotiations. Again, this is a time when it is best to have the experience of Mr. Darley on your side.
Your Alabama DUI Attorney
In many cases, attorney Jason Darley has found that the officers on the scene committed errors in pulling the driver over and conducting a field sobriety test.
Were you told the field sobriety test was optional by the officer on the scene? Was there probable cause to pull you over and search your vehicle? Was the arrest legal and constitutional?
Evidence from the scene will aid in this investigation, as will the results of the toxicology tests on your blood, breath, or urine.
Mr. Darley will put his experience to work to review the circumstances of your DUI. Call his Mobile office to explore your options during this critical time at (251) 732-7058.