BIRMINGHAM, Alabama. Because misdemeanor charges are considered less serious than felony charges, individuals who enter the criminal justice system with felony charges can sometimes face judges and prosecutors who may be quick to seek a guilty plea. According to Slate, individuals facing misdemeanor charges may plead guilty without knowing their rights. For example, those facing DUI charges may believe that they have no choice but to plead guilty, unaware that they have rights and are innocent until proven guilty. Shockley & Ransom: Attorneys at Law are DUI lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama who can provide qualified DUI defense to those needing assistance.
Misdemeanor repercussions can be serious. Even when individuals do not face jail time, they can face many collateral consequences that accompany a conviction of any kind. A misdemeanor charge can potentially haunt you for life, leading to difficulties acquiring a job, affect your ability to receive certain professional licenses, and can also impact your ability to gain child custody rights, and even access certain government aid programs like food stamps, and student loans.
If you’re facing DUI charges, it is important to understand your rights. While the law has many means to gather evidence against you, including requiring you to submit to a breath test, there are several strong defenses your DUI lawyer can also use. For instance, officers may use field sobriety tests to gather more evidence against you. These tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn, and the one leg stand. Yet, research has found that these tests are prone to human error. Officers can make mistakes and individuals with medical conditions may produce false positives. There have even been cases where tired individuals tested falsely positive. A qualified DUI attorney can gather expert evidence to help you support your case.
While a breath test may seem like strong evidence against you, there are also strong defenses for a positive breath test. Sometimes officers fail to properly calibrate their devices. In other cases, officers may mishandle evidence. Finally, officers must have probable cause in order to stop you in the first place. In more and more cities police precincts are facing increased scrutiny for racial profiling. Officers must have reasons to stop you when they do so. Evidence gathered without probable cause may not be admissible in court.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it is important to have a strong legal defense. The Birmingham DUI attorneys at Shockley & Ransom: Attorneys at Law can take a look at the evidence gathered against you and help you fight for your rights. We can offer you guidance on the best course forward. In some cases, we can assist you in getting your charges dropped or reduced. When so much is at stake: your reputation, your future, even your livelihood, you need a strong DUI defense attorney on your side. Our firm works hard to help you get the best possible outcome for your case.