Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney
Well-Respected and Aggressive Birmingham Lawyers
Burrell & McCants, LLC is a well-respected law firm throughout the Birmingham, AL area, and for good reason. Our attorneys have good relationships with prosecutors, police officers, and other attorneys in surrounding municipalities, which can help us fight for favorable results in your case. We take an innovative approach as we develop creative defense strategies for your case, and you can count on us to represent you aggressively in court while seeking to compassionately understand your situation.
Driving Under the Influence in Alabama
It is illegal for anyone in Alabama to drive or be in actual physical control of a vehicle if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while they are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any impairing substance to a degree that renders them incapable of safely driving a vehicle. The BAC threshold is lowered to .04% if the licensee is driving a commercial vehicle, and it drops to 0.02% for drivers who are under 21 years old.
Note that Alabama’s “implied consent” laws require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DUI to submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. If the driver was placed under arrest and refused to submit to the officer’s request for a breath test, the license will be immediately suspended for 90 days. Be aware that this refusal suspension is separate from the criminal conviction and may be imposed even if the criminal charges are dismissed. Refusal of a requested chemical test may also be used against the accused at trial.
The penalties for DUI depend on the number of previous offenses:
- 1st offense – up to 1 year in jail; $600-$2,100 in fines; 90 days of license revocation; 6 months of ignition interlock device (IID) installation
- 2nd offense – 5 days to 1 year in jail; $1,100-$5,100; 1-year license revocation; 2 years of IID use
- 3rd offense – 60 days to 1 year in jail; $2,100-$10,100; 3-year license revocation; 3 years of IID use
Visit our page on DUIs in Alabama for more information.
Accused of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a serious crime in Alabama with serious penalties. In order to be found guilty of a domestic violence offense, a defendant must have committed a specified violent act and the defendant and victim must share a certain relationship to be considered an act of domestic violence:
- current or former spouses;
- parent and child;
- parent or parents of a child;
- current or former household members; and
- couples who are or were in a dating or engagement relationship.
A defendant charged with domestic violence may pursue a few different options to fight an accusation of domestic violence. For instance, they may assert self-defense and argue that the alleged victim was really the aggressor. Alternatively, they may argue that the underlying offense, such as assault, was not proven, or that the defendant and victim were not in one of the relationships protected by the domestic violence statutes. (Although a defendant can be charged and convicted of both the underlying offense and the domestic violence offense, a judge can only impose a sentence for one of the offenses).
Alabama punishes those convicted of domestic violence according to the degree of the crime and any prior acts of domestic violence. A defendant convicted of domestic violence in the first degree is guilty of a Class A felony, which carries a maximum of life or 99 years in prison. Second-degree domestic violence and domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation are classified as Class B felonies with up to 20 years in prison. Domestic violence in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail.
Possessing Illicit Drugs
Alabama divides its controlled substances (CDS) into 5 different schedules according to their degree of dangerousness, where Schedule I is the most dangerous without an accepted medical use:
- Schedule I – opiates and certain opium derivatives and hallucinogenic substances
- Schedule II – coca leaves and opium
- Schedule III – codeine and amphetamines
- Schedule IV – barbiturates
- Schedule V – medicines that have very small amounts of specified narcotic drugs
Note that some CDS such as codeine, a common pain medication, may be possessed legally so long as the holder has a valid prescription.
Possession of marijuana for personal use (possession in the second-degree) is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by no more than 1 year in either county jail or in hard labor to the county and a maximum of $6,000. Possession of imitation CDS is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by no more than 3 months in jail and up to $500 in fines.
Drug possession at the felony level includes:
- possession of any CDS listed in Schedules I through V, unless otherwise authorized by law (a second possession of marijuana for personal use conviction elevates the crime to a Class C felony);
- obtaining CDS by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, concealment of a material fact, or by altering a prescription;
- possessing marijuana for other than personal use, such as sale (possession in the first degree).
The above are Class C felonies that are punishable by 1-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
For more information about drug possession in Birmingham, take a look at our Drug Crimes page.
Seek a Skilled Fighter for Your Case
If you have been accused of a crime in Birmingham, from DUI to domestic violence to drug possession, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to fight for your case. Attorney Christopher L. Burrell has the professional skill and experience to litigate your side aggressively in court and defend you against wrongful accusations in Birmingham.
Best lawyer ever.- Antoinette
Very knowledgeable and you will be very happy.- Ashlie
Him and his staff had been amazing.- Candance
I am glad they are representing me.- Cheryl
Focused on actually listening to the clients' needs!- Ed