Written by attorney Patrick Mahaney

Felony Level Traffic Offenses Under the Alabama Motor Vehicle Code

Although nearly the entire Alabama traffic code imposes only misdemeanor punishments for violations of the traffic laws, there are a few traffic and automobile offenses that are specifically defined as felony offenses. These include: o Section 32-5-11: "Throwing or Shooting into an Occupied Motor Vehicle" is designated a felony offense, punished by imprisonment of not less than a year and a day and fine of not less than $500. o Section 32-5A-154: "School buses; stopping traffic; markings" in section (f)(4), on fourth or subsequent violation of this section for illegally passing a stopped school bus or church bus loading or discharging passenger, the offense is specified as a felony. o Section 32-5A-191: On fourth or subsequent conviction, a person convicted of violating the state's DUI law shall be punished as a Class C felony offense. [Not applicable to persons under 18 years of age by express terms of the Juvenile Code.] o Section 32-7A-15: Forged or altered insurance card: "A person is guilty of a Class C felony who, with fraudulent intent: (1) Alters, forges or counterfeits an insurance card to make it appear valid. (2) Makes, sells or otherwise makes available an invalid or counterfeit insurance card, or other evidence of insurance." o Section 32-8-12: Alter, forge, or counterfeit a certificate of title; or alter, forge, or counterfeit an assignment or release of security interest; or has in possession or uses a certificate of title knowing it to be altered; or uses a false or fictitious name or address or conceals any material fact in making an application for title are all felony offenses. o Section 32-8-81: Taking a vehicle without consent of the owner is a felony offense is a felony offense. (See also, Unauthorized use of a vehicle, section 13A-8-11) o Section 32-8-82: Possession, receipt, concealment, or disposal of a stolen motor vehicle is a felony offense. o Section 32-8-86: Removal or falsification of identification numbers of engine, transmission, or other identifiable part is a felony. o Section 32-10-1: Leaving the scene of a traffic accident - if the violation of the leaving the scene of a traffic accident involved death or personal injury, the punishment shall be a felony; otherwise, the punishment shall be a misdemeanor. o Section 32-15-4: Unlawful custody of a motor vehicle; obtaining a vehicle by false misrepresentation is a felony offense o Section 32-15-6: Failure to return a rented motor vehicle is a felony offense.

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