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LawTalk, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience
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I am facing a 2nd dui within 5 years in northport alabama.

Customer Question

I am facing a 2nd dui within 5 years in northport alabama. I have a bench trial scheduled in July. What should I expect and if appealed what are the consequences. Does that make the judge maD and want to impose a more serious penalty? I refused the breath test and am not even sure myself if i was too intoxicated to drive. what could be my immediate consequences? Thanks for any respose.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good evening David,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Under Alabama law, the refusal to take the test results in an automatic conviction for failing to take the test, and a 90 day suspension. Then the officer comes in an testifies that you appeared intoxicated, perhaps you failed the field sobriety test, but at any rate you didn't test. You can still be found guilty of a DUI even if your refusal means that the state can't prove that your BAC was over .08%, the legal limit for those over 21. The Prosecutor will use your refusal to argue that you refused only because knew that you were drunk. There really is unlikely to be any reasonable ground for appeal---and it would be a waste of your time and money. But yes a frivolous appeal might anger the judge---and because the penalty for the second DUI has a wide range of punishments it could go harder on you. I'm sorry.

Under AL law, a second conviction within 5 years of the first is a misdemeanor with a jail term of no less than five days---but the judge can sentence you to up to 365 days in the county or municipal jail. The judge can also allow you to do community service in lieu of jail---which is a good reason not to anger the judge. to perform 30 days of community service in lieu of the required five days imprisonment. You should also expect a fine between $1,000 and about $5,000, and a license suspension for a year.

I wish you the best in 2013.

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