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, what should i expect going to court on a driving under the influence of a controlled substance charge? do i need a lawyer?

Moody, AL |

do i need a lawyer? this is my first offense, i am a 22 year old female. i was under the influence of a nerve pill, which i did not have a perscriptiton for. im really worried, i need to know how much money i need to have for court, what are the reprecussions if i plead guilty without a lawyer. or do i just need to find a lawyer anyway?

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Attorney answers 5


First Alabama DUI

1st Drunk Driving Conviction
Imprisonment – Up to 1 Year or, Fine – From $600 to $2,100 or Both License Suspension – 90 Days

The first DUI conviction in a person's lifetime is a misdemeanor. Upon conviction the defendant may be given a sentence of up to 365 days in the county or municipal jail and a fine between $600 and $2,100. The DUI defendant will also be ordered to attend a court approved substance abuse program and he will have his driver's privilege suspended for 90 days.

Alabama’s "look-back" period or wash out period for DUI laws is 5 years. This means that if a person has only one prior DUI, and the day that he is convicted of his second DUI is more than 5 years after the date of conviction for his first DUI, he will be sentenced within the range of punishment as a first offender. However, if the second DUI conviction is within 5 years of the first conviction he will be punished as a second offense.

You should contact a local attorney.


You absolutely need to hire a lawyer and a good one! Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance is both a traffic offense and a drug crime in the state of Alabama. If convicted, you will serve a 90 day suspension of driver license for the DUI plus an additional 6 month period of suspension for conviction of a drug crime. See, Code of Alabama, 1975, section 13A-12-290.

In addition, if convicted of DUI, you will be fined a minimum fine of $600 up to $2100, required to complete the CRO program, sentenced to a jail term of up to one year (which may be suspended and placed on probation), and placed on probation for a period of up to two (2) years. During that time, you may be subject to supervision by the court which will include unannounced drug screens. If you were to 'fail' a drug screen, you will most likely have your probation revoked and sentenced to an active jail term of at least 30 to 90 days.

It is absolutely in your best interests to hire the best criminal defense lawyer you can afford. The members of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) are considered the experts in the area of DUI defense and that is where you should start to look for an attorney. In the metro Birmingham area, attorney Greg Yaghmai at the law firm of Rutledge & Yaghmai (205-985-2411) is one of the best. Also the law firm of Polson & Polson in Homewood is considered a very good DUI defense firm. I would call Mr. Yaghmai or the Polson firm as soon as possible to start your legal defense.


Yes. DUI cases are very complex and minute details can make a huge difference in the case. A DUI attorney understands those details. Not sure about Alabama but in Florida the urine results do not tell an amount. It is like a gift from the state because depending on the drug the use could be days or weeks prior to the stop. In Florida it has to be a scheduled substance. I had a case with Neurontin and the defense was that since it was not scheduled the client could not be convicted. Unfortunately the client was also drinking. Only a DUI attorney in Alabama can protect your rights and might be able to dramatically affect the outcome of your case. The examples I gave are from Florida but all states have defenses to these types of cases.


Get an attorney now. They will have a hard time proving you guilty unless had a blood test.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


You absolutely need to hire an attorney. Be careful about what you post here. Feel free to telephone me for assistance and I will discuss this more in detail in private. The other facts the other attorneys have listed here about the law are pretty accurate.

There are many factors that can affect how best to handle this matter and the best advise is usually to hire an attorney immediately. Unfortunately the advice above is a guess that is based on very scanty facts. Circumstances of all sorts can change the ultimate answer you need. If you want to know how best to handle the situation, make an appointment with an attorney and get good solid advise based on more exact facts. The money spent might give you the peace of mind you need. The information provided is not intended as legal advice that can be relied on in part because we do not have the entire the situation. No Attorney/Client relationship is intended, implied or created. We are a debt relief agency and we help people file for relief under the bankruptcy laws.

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