Frequently Asked Questions
A. Your license could be suspended for several reasons. You could have accumulated too many driving record points on your license; received too many traffic violations; failed to appear in court or failed to pay any court ordered monies. It sounds like this ticket was never properly handled and you either failed to pay the fine and/or simply did not show up in court. If you failed to appear in court, an alias warrant could be issued for your arrest and your license would be suspended. I would suggest call the county or municipality that has the ticket and take care of this ASAP. Once the ticket is cleared up you will need to apply to have your license reinstated and pay the reinstatement fee.
A. Unfortunately you are not eligible for an expungement. The expungement law in AL does not apply to convictions. An individual may only petition for expungement if their case was either dismissed or nol prossed. You can apply for a pardon with the Board of Pardons and Parole in Montgomery but that will not solve your problem with the background checks. A pardon is not an expungement. A pardon will not erase the record of an arrest or a conviction. If you are granted a pardon, the Parole Board may grant you a full pardon, which would restore all your rights (civil and political), or they may grant a pardon with restrictions. The Board could restrict your right to possess a firearm among other things. Receiving a full pardon is extremely difficult and only occurs in a few cases. However, if you received a pardon you could inform any would be employers that the State has formally forgiven your offense.
A. It depends upon the other facts in the case, namely the breathalyzer results, smell of alcohol, alcoholic beverage containers or other evidence of alcohol. Additionally, if there were field sobriety tests performed as a part of the arrest, can your doctor now say that any poor results were attributable to the tumor?
In Alabama, you can enter a plea of not guilty and a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. However, if you want to proceed with the mental disease or defect defense at trial, you will need expert testimony to state that the Haldol and or tumor were the reason that you appeared intoxicated. Additionally, even if the Haldol was responsible, the State could amend the subsection of the DUI code under which you are charged and proceed with a case for you being under the influence of that substance.
A. The Court Referral Officer will likely file a delinquency report with the court and the Judge can issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to abide by the terms of your probation. You likely have a suspended jail sentence of 30 – 90 days and the Judge could put that sentence into effect.
The fines and court costs probably have less to do with it than talking to the CRO. The CRO would probably have the ability to release you early if they felt you had completed the “treatment” goals that were ordered.
A. It sounds like she could still file charges, but I would suggest that you talk to her about your plight and see if she’ll work with you. Make sure you keep the written agreement in case she does attempt to file charges, and speak with an attorney ASAP if you feel that charges will or have been filed.
A. You should hire a lawyer as soon as possible, keep all evidence of the promissory note and other recordings and have your lawyer begin discussions with the district attorney before the court date approaches.
A. The Veteran’s Court will have a specific Judge or other court personnel that will run the program in that County. I would contact the Circuit Clerk for further information. Typically, Veteran’s Court would have rules and regulations for your husband to follow for a period of time, and if he did so, would result in the dismissal of the DUI case. In most jurisdictions it is treated like a deferred prosecution.
A. It sounds like you are involved in a dispute in family court. If you are involved with DHR and the family court system regarding an allegation over your children, the court and DHR can request that you drug screen prior to making a finding of dependency or recommendation of placement of your children. Additionally, if dependency is found and drug use was part of the initial allegations, you will likely be required to drug test throughout the entirety of your case.
A. Possibly. The officer should have verified that you did not have anything in your mouth prior to administering the breathalyzer. The smokeless tobacco in and of itself probably does not contain alcohol but the longer it remains in your mouth the greater the potential for alcohol to be absorbed into the tobacco. Nonetheless, the officer did not follow the proper protocol or procedure in administering this test and the results could now come into question.
A. Pretrial diversion programs are voluntary. Meaning they are voluntary for you, the Defendant, and voluntary for the State. Acceptance into said program is not a right. Depending upon the time of your plea, you could file a motion to withdrawal your guilty plea and have your new attorney attempt to convince the DA to allow you to participate in the pretrial diversion program. However, without knowing the specifics of your case or your background it is impossible to guess why you may have been denied access in the first place.
A. Yes you can file a Rule 32 in AL. The rule states that any claim for ineffective assistance of counsel must be raised as soon as practicable, either at trial, direct appeal, or in the first rule 32 petition, whichever is applicable. You should contact a competent Alabama criminal defense attorney to discuss this matter further.
A. No. The police have no legal obligation to show you a search warrant. However, all people are protected from unreasonable search and seizure by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The purpose of a warrant is to list the details as to what is to be searched and what evidence is to be seized. To be legal, the search warrant must be reviewed and signed off on by a Judge. Nonetheless, there are limits to a search warrant and if you have any doubts about the legality of a search warrant, you should contact an attorney.
A. All arrest records and court information are public records. Only after an individual is granted Youthful Offender status will that information be removed from the public domain and sealed under the Youthful Offender statue.
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