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Alabama Criminal and DUI Attorneys - Kreps Law Firm, LLC
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Alabama Criminal and DUI Attorneys - Kreps Law Firm, LLC
Joseph Kreps

502 Montgomery Hwy, Suite 202
Birmingham AL 35216
(866) 348-2889

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Alabama Criminal and DUI Attorneys 
Kreps Law Firm, LLC

Call: 866-348-2889

If you have a DUI, criminal traffic violations, or drug crime charges pending in Alabama, you need to call the experienced attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC.  We handle hundreds of cases throughout Alabama each year.  Our methodical and an systematic approach to destroying the prosecution's case has worked numerous times for clients that are not guilty as well as those that may actually be guilty.  Your future is on the line - NOTHING IS WORSE THAN DOING NOTHING - call today (866) 348-2889.

DUI, Traffic, Criminal Lawyers - Birmingham, Hoover, Shelby, Jefferson, Baldwin, Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Huntsville, Cullman.

Our attorneys handle DUI, DWI, drunk driving, speeding tickets, traffic violations, drug charges, etc. for out-of-state clients and residents of Alabama, including clients in Chilton County, Marion County, Cherokee County, Russell County, Mobile County, Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Madison County, Baldwin County, Lee County, Jefferson County, Shelby County, Winston County, Cullman County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County,  Etowah County, and Talladega County, and the communities of Vestavia Hills, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Clanton, Union Town, Anniston, Oxford, Talladega, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, Phenix City, Cullman, Montgomery, Columbus, Dothan, Auburn, Mobile,  and Northport.

No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

NOTE:  Kreps Law Firm, LLC has a centrally located office in Birmingham at 502 Montgomery Hwy. Ste. 202 and will handle cases in any court throughout the state of Alabama. Any city or county designation in this site is to indicate that we have or will handle cases in the cities and counties named. Call us today at (866) 348-2889.

Call: 866-348-2889

Joseph C. Kreps
Birmingham, Alabama
Kreps Law Firm, L.L.C. is located in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Kreps, a DUI defense attorney, traffic violations and drug defense lawyer is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He was honored as a Judge Abraham Caruthers Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Fellow, and of the Cumberland Law Review.

Furthermore, Mr. Kreps practices criminal defense and further augments his impressive credentials as a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, the prestigious America Association for Justice, the Alabama Trial Lawyers' Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association.

Learn about Kreps Law Firm, LLC DUI Defense practice:

Learn about Kreps Law Firm, LLC Criminal and Drug Defense practice:

Learn about Kreps Law Firm, LLC Traffic Violations practice:

Areas of Practice:
Traffic Violations
DUI / DWI
Drug Crimes
Criminal Law
Bar Admissions:
Alabama
U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama
U.S. District Court Middle District of Alabama
Education:
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
Juris Doctor
Honors: Cumberland Trial Advocacy Board
Honors: Judge Abraham Caruthers Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Fellow
Honors: Legal Research and Writing Top 4 Memo Award
Law Review: Cumberland Law Review


University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Bachelor of Science
Major: Finance
Minor: Economics & Computer Science


Classes/Seminars Taught:
Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law, Faulkner University, 2004 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships:
Alabama State Bar
Member, Public Relations Committee

Alabama State Bar
Active Participant, Volunteer Lawyers Program

American Bar Association
Member

Birmingham Bar Association
Member

Cullman County Bar Association
Member

American Association for Justice
N.L.D. Governor, State of Alabama

Alabama Trial Lawyers' Association
Member

National Association of Consumer Advocates
Member

Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association
Member

Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Homewood, Alabama
Member

Birmingham Bar Association
Member, 2005 Fee Arbitration Committee

Vestavia Hills Rotary Club
Member

DUI Defenders (www.dui1.com)


National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member

Kreps Law Firm, LLC, Statewide Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, represents clients across Alabama, including the communities of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Jasper, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Vestavia, Decatur, Florence, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Ashville, Butler, Centreville, Clanton, Columbiana, Eutaw, Hamilton, Lincoln, Oneonta, Pell City, Tuscaloosa, Atmore, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, Castleberry, Coffeeville, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson, Mobile, Monroeville, Alexander City, Arab, Athens, Dadeville, Ft. Payne, Gadsden, Montevallo, Riverside, Piedmont, Rockford, Russellville, Sylacauga, Talladega, Wedowee, Andalusia, Auburn, Camden, Daleville, Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Enterprise, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Georgiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Lafayette, Linden, Marion, Opelika, Opp, Phenix City, Prattville, Red Level, Roanoke, Selma, Tallassee, Troy, Tuskegee, West Point, Wetumpka, Dothan, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. In addition, the firm advises clients who have been issued a traffic ticket while driving along I-20, I-59, I-65, or I-459 in Alabama. 

Call: 866-348-2889

Joseph C. Kreps

Call: 866-348-2889

Kreps Law Firm, L.L.C. is located in Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Kreps, a DUI defense attorney, traffic violations and drug defense lawyer is a graduate of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He was honored as a Judge Abraham Caruthers Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Fellow, and of the Cumberland Law Review.

Furthermore, Mr. Kreps practices criminal defense and further augments his impressive credentials as a member of the Alabama State Bar Association, the prestigious America Association for Justice, the Alabama Trial Lawyers' Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association.

Learn about my DUI Defense practice:

Learn about my Criminal and Drug Defense practice:

Learn about my Traffic Violations practice:

Areas of Practice:
Traffic Violations
DUI / DWI
Drug Crimes
Criminal Law
Bar Admissions:
Alabama
U.S. District Court Northern District of Alabama
U.S. District Court Middle District of Alabama
Education:
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
Juris Doctor
Honors: Cumberland Trial Advocacy Board
Honors: Judge Abraham Caruthers Lawyering and Legal Reasoning Fellow
Honors: Legal Research and Writing Top 4 Memo Award
Law Review: Cumberland Law Review


University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Bachelor of Science
Major: Finance
Minor: Economics & Computer Science


Classes/Seminars Taught:
Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law, Faulkner University, 2004 - Present

Professional Associations and Memberships:
Alabama State Bar
Member, Public Relations Committee

Alabama State Bar
Active Participant, Volunteer Lawyers Program

American Bar Association
Member

Birmingham Bar Association
Member

Cullman County Bar Association
Member

American Association for Justice
N.L.D. Governor, State of Alabama

Alabama Trial Lawyers' Association
Member

National Association of Consumer Advocates
Member

Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers' Association
Member

Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Homewood, Alabama
Member

Birmingham Bar Association
Member, 2005 Fee Arbitration Committee

Vestavia Hills Rotary Club
Former Member

DUI Defenders (www.dui1.com)


National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member

Kreps Law Firm, LLC, Statewide Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, represents clients across Alabama, including the communities of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Jasper, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Vestavia, Decatur, Florence, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Ashville, Butler, Centreville, Clanton, Columbiana, Eutaw, Hamilton, Lincoln, Oneonta, Pell City, Tuscaloosa, Atmore, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, Castleberry, Coffeeville, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson, Mobile, Monroeville, Alexander City, Arab, Athens, Dadeville, Ft. Payne, Gadsden, Montevallo, Riverside, Piedmont, Rockford, Russellville, Sylacauga, Talladega, Wedowee, Andalusia, Auburn, Camden, Daleville, Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Enterprise, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Georgiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Lafayette, Linden, Marion, Opelika, Opp, Phenix City, Prattville, Red Level, Roanoke, Selma, Tallassee, Troy, Tuskegee, West Point, Wetumpka, Dothan, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. In addition, the firm advises clients who have been issued a traffic ticket while driving along I-20, I-59, I-65, or I-459 in Alabama.

Call: 866-348-2889

FIRM OVERVIEW

Call: 866-348-2889

Statewide Alabama Attorney :
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
• Traffic Violation Defense
• Drug Crime Defense
• Criminal Defense

The advantages of working with Kreps Law Firm, LLC: Proactive Solutions
• Years of Experience
• Hundreds and Hundreds of Cases Handled
• Personal Attention
• Efficiency
• Accountability

When I decided to establish my law firm in Alabama, I did it with the intention of offering personalized, high-quality legal services. I make a point of getting to know my clients well.  At the Kreps Law Firm, LLC, an attorney is always available to assist you, and our staff is highly trained and very knowledgeable to help you with any questions. Call and ask for a free consultation - I will take the time to help you work out a plan of action that best suits your unique situation.

Since my practice areas include many of the common issues that come up in my clients' lives, I am able to quickly evaluate the overall impact of a particular issue in light of their goals and resources. I am a skilled Birmingham criminal defense lawyer.

If you need an Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, you have come to the right law firm. Contact Kreps Law Firm, LLC, today.

I will give your case my personal attention.
Free Consultations · Flexible Appointments

Kreps Law Firm, LLC, Statewide Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, represents clients across Alabama, including the communities of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Jasper, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Vestavia, Decatur, Florence, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Ashville, Butler, Centreville, Clanton, Columbiana, Eutaw, Hamilton, Lincoln, Oneonta, Pell City, Tuscaloosa, Atmore, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, Castleberry, Coffeeville, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson, Mobile, Monroeville, Alexander City, Arab, Athens, Dadeville, Ft. Payne, Gadsden, Montevallo, Riverside, Piedmont, Rockford, Russellville, Sylacauga, Talladega, Wedowee, Andalusia, Auburn, Camden, Daleville, Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Enterprise, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Georgiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Lafayette, Linden, Marion, Opelika, Opp, Phenix City, Prattville, Red Level, Roanoke, Selma, Tallassee, Troy, Tuskegee, West Point, Wetumpka, Dothan, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. In addition, the firm advises clients who have been issued a traffic ticket while driving along I-20, I-59, I-65, or I-459 in Alabama.

Jefferson County • Shelby County • St. Clair County • Bibb County • Walker County • Cullman County • Blount County • Tuscaloosa County • Etowah County • Chilton County • Morgan County • Madison County • Calhoun County • Dallas County • Montgomery County • Talladega County • Cleburne County • Baldwin County • Lee County • Mobile County

Call: 866-348-2889

PRACTICE AREAS

 Call: 866-348-2889

Birmingham Defense Attorney

Traffic Tickets • DUI • Reckless Driving

At the Kreps Law Firm, LLC, we provide clients with personalized representation, strong attorney-client communication, and responsive legal service. When you call our office, we will take your call and handle it immediately or return your call the same day. Together, we discuss your case, discuss your rights, and discuss a viable option for your defense. We concentrate our practice on Alabama DUI defense, traffic ticket defense, and drug crime criminal defense.

Drunk Driving (DUI): Whether you have been arrested for your first offense drunk driving or felony DUI, it is critical to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer right away. DUI charges can have a long-term impact on your life, Contact me to learn more about DUI charges:

Traffic Tickets: Traffic violations impact your driving record and ultimately can cause your insurance rates to increase or the suspension of your driver's license. That is why it is so important to challenge traffic tickets you have received. I work to reduce the charge, reduce the points assessed, or dismiss the ticket altogether. Learn more about my traffic ticket defense practice:

Can you help me even if I am guilty?

Without getting into specific details, Kreps Law Firm, LLC forces the prosecution to conform to proper procedures, and to meet its burden of proof. By doing so, opportunities and pressures are created for the case to get dismissed or settled in a way that protects your driving record. For example, we will examine your traffic ticket for the kinds of defects and errors which require that the case be dismissed. However, before you incur the expense of trial preparation and an actual trial, you will be hiring us to speak with the prosecutor and other parties involved to resolve your case by agreement. Our number 1 goal in all traffic violation cases is to prevent a conviction from appearing on your driving record.

To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and your rights, contact an experienced defense attorney at the Alabama law firm of Joseph C. Kreps.

Kreps Law Firm, LLC, Statewide Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, represents clients across Alabama, including the communities of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Jasper, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Vestavia, Decatur, Florence, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Ashville, Butler, Centreville, Clanton, Columbiana, Eutaw, Hamilton, Lincoln, Oneonta, Pell City, Tuscaloosa, Atmore, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, Castleberry, Coffeeville, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson, Mobile, Monroeville, Alexander City, Arab, Athens, Dadeville, Ft. Payne, Gadsden, Montevallo, Riverside, Piedmont, Rockford, Russellville, Sylacauga, Talladega, Wedowee, Andalusia, Auburn, Camden, Daleville, Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Enterprise, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Georgiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Lafayette, Linden, Marion, Opelika, Opp, Phenix City, Prattville, Red Level, Roanoke, Selma, Tallassee, Troy, Tuskegee, West Point, Wetumpka, Dothan, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. In addition, the firm advises clients who have been issued a traffic ticket while driving along I-20, I-59, I-65, or I-459 in Alabama.

Call: 866-348-2889

Criminal Defense

Call: 866-348-2889

Alabama Criminal Defense Attorney

DUI • Traffic Tickets • Reckless Driving • Speeding

Call attorney Joseph C. Kreps (866) 347-2889.

If you have been arrested, don't make any statements to the police or prosecution. Contact an experienced lawyer at Kreps Law Firm, LLC, to ensure your rights are protected. I provide legal services to clients who are in need of representation in any of the following criminal matters:

Traffic Tickets

Whether facing a ticket for reckless driving, speeding, or other traffic ticket, it is critical that you understand the impact a single ticket may cause. In Alabama, points are assessed to your license for each traffic violation. Accumulation of too many points will result in a driver's license suspension, increase car insurance premiums, fines, and other penalties. If you have been issued a speeding ticket or other traffic ticket, I can help you challenge the ticket and preserve your driving privileges.

Drunk Driving DUI Charges

Many people arrested for drunk driving don't realize that if they miss the 10 day deadline for the administrative hearing on their DUI charge, their Alabama driver's license will most likely be suspended, or in some cases, revoked. THIS IS IMPORTANT: DON'T MISS YOUR 10 DAY DEADLINE!

If you have failed a field sobriety test or had blood alcohol content (BAC) which exceeded the legal limit, I can help. I dedicate a significant portion of my practice to defending clients facing DUI charges. Through my years of experience, I recognize the effective methods to aggressively defend your DUI charge. I strive to preserve your driver's license and protect your future by reducing or eliminating the charges against you and ultimately minimizing potential DUI penalties. Even if you refused to submit to a breathalyzer, it is critical to speak to an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Why should I hire Kreps Law Firm, LLC instead of representing myself for a ticket?

You get excellent legal representation and reduce the time spent at the courthouse, eliminate unnecessary trips to the courthouse, eliminate anxiety and hassle, and you increase your chances of a favorable outcome. This is why most lawyers who do not regularly practice in this area, including criminal lawyers, hire their own Alabama traffic ticket attorneys. Because of our specialized knowledge of the law and procedures, and familiarity with judges, police, prosecutors and court personnel, lawyers know that traffic ticket attorneys such as Kreps Law Firm, LLC, dramatically increase the chances of a favorable outcomes.

Effects of Criminal Convictions

A criminal conviction will leave a lasting imprint in your future. In addition the criminal penalties, you may face employment challenges, restrictions from carrying a firearm, inability to vote, or other challenges. Regardless of the charges before you, it is critical to have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing your rights.

If you have been charged with any traffic violation, contact Kreps Law Firm, LLC 24 hours a day-7 days a week to speak with an experienced lawyer. You may have made a mistake, but you still have options. Call toll-free (866) 347-2889.

Kreps Law Firm, LLC, Statewide Alabama DUI, traffic violation or drug crime defense lawyer, represents clients across Alabama, including the communities of Birmingham, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Jasper, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Vestavia, Decatur, Florence, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Ashville, Butler, Centreville, Clanton, Columbiana, Eutaw, Hamilton, Lincoln, Oneonta, Pell City, Tuscaloosa, Atmore, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, Castleberry, Coffeeville, Evergreen, Grove Hill, Jackson, Mobile, Monroeville, Alexander City, Arab, Athens, Dadeville, Ft. Payne, Gadsden, Montevallo, Riverside, Piedmont, Rockford, Russellville, Sylacauga, Talladega, Wedowee, Andalusia, Auburn, Camden, Daleville, Demopolis, Dixons Mills, Enterprise, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Eufaula, Fort Deposit, Georgiana, Greensboro, Greenville, Lafayette, Linden, Marion, Opelika, Opp, Phenix City, Prattville, Red Level, Roanoke, Selma, Tallassee, Troy, Tuskegee, West Point, Wetumpka, Dothan, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport. In addition, the firm advises clients who have been issued a traffic ticket while driving along I-20, I-59, I-65, or I-459 in Alabama.

Jefferson County • Shelby County • St. Clair County • Bibb County • Walker County • Cullman County • Blount County • Tuscaloosa County • Etowah County • Chilton County • Morgan County • Madison County • Calhoun County • Dallas County • Montgomery County • Talladega County • Cleburne County • Baldwin County • Lee County • Mobile County

Call: 866-348-2889

Five Strategies for Fighting a Traffic Ticket in AL

Kreps Law Firm, LLC is an experienced Alabama including clients in Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Winston County, Cullman County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, Chilton County, Marion County, Cherokee County, Russell County, Mobile County, Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Madison County, Baldwin County, Lee County, Baldwin County and Talladega County, and the communities of Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Clanton, Union Town, Phenix City, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Cullman, Montgomery, Columbus, Dothan, Auburn, Mobile, Anniston, Oxford, Talladega, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport reckless driving and traffic defense firm that handles traffic violations cases (including reckless driving, speeding and DUI) statewide and in Alabama. Kreps Law Firm LLC can advise the best course of action, both for Alabama residents and out of state drivers who receive a citation on Auburn, Alabama roadways.

Have you been charged with a Alabama Traffic Ticket? So you want to fight your speeding or traffic ticket? Here are five strategies that may help you win your case.

1. Take exception the Officer's Subjective Conclusion

In many states, with many tickets, it's possible -- and sometimes even fairly easy -- to challenge the police officer's view of what happened. This is particularly likely in situations where a cop must make a subjective judgment as to whether you violated the law. For example, when an officer gives you a ticket for making an unsafe left, you may argue that your actions were "safe and responsible" considering the prevailing traffic conditions. It will always help your case if you can point to facts that tend to show that the cop was not in a good location to accurately view what happened or was busy doing other tasks -- for example, driving 50 mph in heavy traffic.

In about 20 states, deciding whether it is safe to exceed the speed limit is a circumstance where a subjective judgment must be made. That's because in these states the posted speed limit is not an absolute limit but only creates a legal presumption as to the safe speed for that road. This raises the possibility of challenging the officer's judgment by proving it was safe to slightly exceed the posted limit.

2. Challenge the Officer's Observations

In cases where your state law requires an objective observation by the officer (not a judgment call about whether your action was safe), it often boils down to an argument about whose version of the facts is correct.. For instance, if you were cited for failing to come to a stop at a red light or for making a prohibited turn, who wins the case will depend on who the judge believes. Unfortunately, the guy wearing the badge usually wins, unless you can cast real doubt on his ability to accurately perceive what happened. However, there are a number of techniques that may work to raise at least a reasonable doubt as to your guilt.

Here are the types of evidence most likely to help you convince the judge that you -- not the officer -- are in the right:

  • Statements of witnesses, such as passengers or bystanders, who testify to your version of events.
  • A clear, easy-to-understand diagram showing where your vehicle and the officer's vehicle were in relation to key locations and objects, such as an intersection, traffic signal, or other vehicle. Diagrams are especially important for tickets given at intersections, such as right-of-way, traffic light, or stop sign violations.
  • Photographs of intersections, stop signs, and road conditions. These can be used to show conditions like obscured stop signs or other physical evidence that backs up your case.
  • Any other evidence that would cast doubt on the officer's ability to accurately observe your alleged violation. A classic way to do this is to prove his view was obscured -- or that his angle of observation made it impossible to accurately see what happened.

3. Prove Your Conduct Was a "Mistake of Fact"

Judges are allowed some leeway in considering circumstances beyond your control. If you can show that you made an honest and reasonable error, a judge might find you made a "mistake of fact," meaning your ticket should be dismissed.

Here are several examples:

  • You failed to stop before coming to the pedestrian crosswalk markers because they were old and faded and could not be clearly seen.
  • You failed to stop at a stop sign after a major storm because the sign was hidden by a broken branch. If possible, you should take pictures of the obscured sign and show them to the judge to support your argument.

Often this argument comes down to your claim that you weren't given fair notice as to the conduct that was expected of you. For example, a judge might dismiss a ticket for running a stop sign if it was brand new. However, the judge would probably not buy this defense if:

  • the sign had been up for more than a few weeks
  • you had never stopped at that intersection before (and therefore shouldn't have been fooled by its sudden presence), or
  • you were speeding.

4. Prove Your Conduct Was "Legally Justified"

You may also successfully argue that your actions were "legally justified" considering the circumstances of your alleged violation. For example, if you were charged with driving too slowly in the left lane, it is a legal defense in all states that you had to slow down to make a lawful left turn. In this situation you do not have to deny that you were driving significantly below the speed limit and causing vehicles behind you to slow down, but you can offer the additional fact that legally justifies your otherwise unlawful action. Such defenses can be very successful because they raise an additional fact or legal point, rather than simply contradicting the officer's testimony.

Here are a couple of examples of situations in which this defense might work:

  • You are forced to stop on a freeway because your car has begun to make a loud and dangerous-sounding noise and you fear you would put other drivers in danger if you continued to drive without checking it out.
  • You swerved into the right lane without signaling a lane change to pull over because a hornet flew into your car through your open window.
  • You had sudden and severe chest pain and safely exceeded the posted speed limit to get to the doctor, whose office was only one half-mile away.

5. Prove Your Conduct Was Necessary to Avoid Harm

Emergencies not of your own making are often another legal "necessity" defense, recognized in all 50 states. To take an extreme example, you should be able to beat a charge of speeding if you can prove you sped up to avoid an out-of-control truck. The key here is to convincingly argue that you were forced to violate the exact wording of a traffic law in order to avoid a serious and immediate danger to yourself or others. Here are some examples:

  • Driving in the right, or slow, lane, you are boxed in from the back and the left side by speeding cars. To avoid colliding with a car entering the highway from the right, you accelerate well beyond the posted limit.
  • Because there is a car just to your right, you briefly speed up to avoid being rear-ended by a super-aggressive big rig that is tailgating you. Once you are in the clear, you move to the right and resume a legal speed.
  • You swerve across a double yellow line to avoid hitting another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, or other unexpected obstacle. If you had failed to take an evasive action, you would have been at high risk of being involved in an accident.

But it's important to realize that there is a big difference between presenting a necessity defense based on road conditions and coming up with an excuse for breaking the law based on your own inattention or personal need. Excuses that are born to lose include:

  • My mind wandered and I didn't realize I was speeding.
  • I was arguing on my cell phone and I didn't see the stop sign.
  • I couldn't fasten my seatbelt because my stomach was uncomfortably full from lunch.

Before you go to court, you might want to learn some common (and perhaps even not-so-common) legal terms. For your Alabama Traffic Ticket charge, you need Kreps. Visit our websites at www.AlabamaRecklessDrivingAttorney.com or www.AlabamaSpeedingTicket.com or www.AlabamaTrafficTicketAttorney.com and

CALL US TODAY AT (866) 348-2889.

Driver's License FAQ

Criminal Case in Alabama: Driver's License FAQ

Having a DUI charge pending in Alabama including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, and Talladega County, and the communities of Birmingham, Hoover, Jasper, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Albertville, Guntersville, Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, Sylacauga, Talladega and Trussville can be tough? That's why you need the experienced and aggressive DUI defense attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC. Visit our Alabama DUI defense website at www.Alabama-DUI-Defense.com. for more information. Call us now to discuss your options at 866-348-2889.

Answers to questions on driving outside of your state, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and driving when you're over 65.

Is my driver's license good in every state?

If you have a valid license from one state, you may use it in other states that you visit. But, if you make a permanent move to another state, you'll have to take a trip to the local department of motor vehicles to apply for a new license. Usually, you must do this within 30 days after moving to the new state. Most states will issue your new license without requiring tests, though some may ask you to take a vision test and a written exam covering basic driving rules.

In some situations, you may be unsure as to whether you need to apply for a new license. If you make frequent business trips to another state, or even if you attend school in a state away from home, there's no need to get another driver's license. But, when you set up housekeeping in the new state and pay taxes there as well, it's time to apply.

Young Drivers Who Cross State Lines

Adults who visit another state may rely on their driver's licenses, but the same may not be true for young drivers. The driving age varies significantly from state to state (from 15 to 18), and a state that makes people wait longer to drive may not honor a license from a state that issues licenses to younger folks. For example, New Jersey issues licenses to 17-year-olds and will recognize a license from any other state if the driver is at least 17. But a 16-year-old who is legally permitted to drive in New York may not be allowed to drive in New Jersey. A young driver who plans to drive in another state where the legal limit is above his or her age should call that state's department of motor vehicles to find out what the rules are.

If I get a ticket in another state, will it affect my driver's license?Forty-eight states belong either to an agreement called the "Driver's License Compact" or the "Non-Resident Violator Compact." (The only states that don't belong to one or the other are Michigan and Wisconsin.) When you get a ticket in one of these states, the department of motor vehicles will relay the information to your state -- and the violation will affect your driving record as if the ticket had been given at home.

Can I use my driver's license in a foreign country?

Many countries, including the United States, have signed an international agreement allowing visitors to use their own licenses in other nations. Before traveling to another country, contact its consulate office or embassy to find out whether your license will be sufficient; you can find the phone number in your telephone book's white pages under the name of the country. Or, you can visit the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov.

In addition, you may want to obtain an "International Driver's Permit," issued by the American Automobile Association. This document translates the information on your driver's license into ten languages. Many countries require the permit, not because it meets their requirements for a license, but because it is a ready-made copy of the important information on your American license.

Finally, if you intend to stay in another country for an extended period of time, you should check with the consular office to find out whether you'll need to apply for a license in that country. Every country will have its own rules about when a "visit" turns into something more permanent.

When can my driver's license be suspended or revoked?

Driving a car is considered a privilege -- and a state won't hesitate to take it away if a driver behaves irresponsibly on the road. A state may temporarily suspend your driving privileges for a number of reasons, including:

  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • refusing to take a blood-alcohol test
  • driving without liability insurance
  • speeding
  • reckless driving
  • leaving the scene of an injury accident
  • failing to pay a driving-related fine
  • failing to answer a traffic summons, or
  • failing to file an accident report.

In addition, many states use a "point" system to keep track of a driver's moving violations: Each moving violation is assigned a certain number of points. If a driver accumulates too many points within a given period of time, the department of motor vehicles suspends her license.

If you have too many serious problems as a driver, your state may take away (revoke) your license altogether. If this happens, you'll have to wait a certain period of time before you can apply for another license. Your state may deny your application if you have a poor driving record or fail to pass any required tests.

Finally, a few states revoke or refuse to renew drivers' licenses of parents who owe back child support.

What will happen if I'm caught driving with a suspended or revoked license?

You'll probably be arrested. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is usually considered a crime that carries a heavy fine and possibly even jail time. At worst, it may be a felony; you could end up in state prison or with an obligation to perform many hours of community service. The penalties will probably be heaviest if the suspension or revocation was the result of a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).

My elderly friend is becoming unsafe at the wheel. Will her license be taken away?

Studies show that, as a group, older drivers drive less than younger drivers, but they have more accidents per mile. Elderly, unsafe drivers who continue to drive despite the advice of family and friends often do not come to the attention of the state until the inevitable -- the driver is stopped for erratic driving or, worse, he or she is involved in an accident. A few states try to screen out unsafe older drivers by requiring more frequent written tests. But the added tests don't always identify unsafe driving habits.

All licensing departments accept information from police officers, families, and physicians about a driver's abilities. If a licensing agency moves to cancel someone's license as the result of an officer's observations, an accident, or the report of family members or a doctor, the driver usually has an opportunity to protest.

The attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC, handle hundreds of Alabama driving under the influence (DUI) , Draeger breath test cases, failed Field Sobriety test charges, Speeding Tickets, and drug cases each and every year. Our trained, experienced, aggressive driving under the influence (DUI) traffic violation defense law attorneys will protect your driving privileges and help to keep your insurance rates low and your record clean.

Call us today at (888) KREPSLAW, or visit us at: www.Alabama-DUI-defense.com or www.AlabamaTrafficTicketAttorney.com.

Comments From Satisfied Kreps Law Firm,LLC Clients

Comments to the staff of Kreps Law Firm,

Thank you for your diligent is in the handling of my DUI case! You were all very supportive during a very sorry and vulnerable time in my life. I could not be any more pleased with the antennae of my case and I owe it all to your expertise and through work! I will be spreading your name to my friends in need and feel so lucky to have called your office for advice way in August! Your website was very helpful and the staff is incredibly knowledgeable of the system!

Thank you again for the fine service you provided! Very respectfully,

____________________________________________________________

Staff was professional and nice. I would recommend you to friends and family but letting everyone know that I’ve had multiple speeding violations could turn a good conversation in a bad direction. Although, I will tell all strangers.

Thanks!!

____________________________________________________________

I’m happy to hear your Christian and planting seeds as you go day by day. I’m born again and saved by the blood of the lamb. Yes, we did cross paths for a person, sure to resolve the case, but to also encourage one another to keep up the faith till the end. I thank you for your help the book and sharing your faith. May God continue to bless you and your business flourish like never before

Thank You,

____________________________________________________________

Thank you very much for all of your help. I believe everyone in your office did a great job. I would like to thank each of you.

____________________________________________________________

I chose Kreps Law Firm, LLC based on the information about previous cases and their positive outcomes. The most important aspect of my case was to have the DUI dismissed due to the negative impact it could have had on my career with the Army, and yes this was fully addressed. My attorney most definitely fought for my rights and my charges were dismissed. I would absolutely recommend Kreps Law Firm, LLC but I hope I won’t have to. I was completely satisfied; the outcome was absolutely what I needed to continue

Thank you, Cara. I am very, very pleased with you guys. Not only the results, but the speed and responsiveness from the very moment I contacted you. Could not have asked for better. Every single detail has been taken care of with immediate, very, very timely communication. Thanks so much.

____________________________________________________________

The most important aspect of my case was keeping my driving record clean. Kreps exceeded my expectations. Having Kreps Law Firm involved in my case was beneficial because they knew how to deal with the courts, DA, and the Judge in order to get my case dismissed.

Thanks Joe. All of you down there have been a Godsend. I appreciate your hard work.

____________________________________________________________

You all have done such a great job for me, not just in getting great results on the tickets, but on communicating so well and so responsively.

I'd like to especially thank you because my expectation re a contact on the web is to never hear a human voice. You, however, were in touch with me very quickly and totally responsive and reassuring about how you could help me. That would be the point at which your firm would lose the prospective client if you did not handle him well. Your responsiveness and knowledge was so good and so reassuring that I didn't even bother checking with another firm. Thanks for a great job, and for continued responsiveness from Stacie and Ms. Duckwall as well. I got a call from her very shortly after I requested it. Also, I think your fees are quite reasonable for such excellent service.

____________________________________________________________

Louise,

I just wanted to say thank you so much for helping me get out of everything. It was definitely a God sent gift to have had you as my lawyer! Once again, thank you so much! I get a year sober July 24th and I’m going back to school!

Understanding Search and Seizure Law

Drug Case in Alabama: Understanding Search and Seizure Law

If you’re charged with a Birmingham, Alabama including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Cullman County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, Calhoun County, and Talladega County, Sand Mountain, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Montgomery, Columbus, Dothan, Auburn, Mobile, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport marijuana, hash, paraphernalia or pot crime, you need skilled, experienced, aggressive legal representation. You need an Alabama Drug Defense Attorney from Kreps Law Firm, LLC.

The attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC, handle hundreds of Alabama Marijuana Drug Crimes, driving under the influence (DUI), and related traffic violation cases each and every year. Our trained, experienced, aggressive Marijuana Laws Violation attorneys will fight to protect your rights and to keep your record clean.

Call us today at (888) KREPS-LAW, or visit us at: www.AlabamaDrugDefenseAttorney.com  or www.AlabamaMarijuanaLawsAttorney.com  . Get the advice and counsel you need. Get the experienced and aggressive representation you deserve. Call TODAY!

Learn when the government can invade your privacy to hunt for evidence of a crime. 

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on the power of the police to make arrests, search people and their property, and seize objects and contraband (such as illegal drugs or weapons). These limits are the bedrock of search and seizure law. This article covers the basic issues that you should know, beginning with an overview of the Fourth Amendment itself.

The Fourth Amendment: Protecting Your Privacy

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment are all about privacy. To honor this freedom, the Fourth Amendment protects against "unreasonable" searches and seizures by state or federal law enforcement authorities.

The flip side is that the Fourth Amendment does permit searches and seizures that are considered reasonable. In practice, this means that the police may override your privacy concerns and conduct a search of your home, barn, car, boat, office, personal or business documents, bank account records, trash barrel, or whatever, if:

       1.  the police have probable cause to believe they can find evidence that you committed a crime, and a judge issues a search warrant, or
       2.  the particular circumstances justify the search without a warrant first being issued.

When the Fourth Amendment Doesn't Protect You

The Fourth Amendment applies to a search only if a person has a "legitimate expectation of privacy" in the place or thing searched. If not, the Fourth Amendment offers no protection because there are, by definition, no privacy issues.

Courts use a two-part test (fashioned by the U.S. Supreme Court) to determine whether, at the time of the search, a defendant had a legitimate expectation of privacy in the place or things searched:

       1. Did the person actually expect some degree of privacy?
       2. Is the person's expectation objectively reasonable -- that is, one that society is willing to recognize?

For example, a person who uses a public restroom expects not to be spied upon (the person has an expectation of privacy) and most people -- including judges and juries -- would consider that expectation to be reasonable (there is an objective expectation of privacy as well). Therefore, the installation of a hidden video camera by the police in a public restroom will be considered a "search" and would be subject to the Fourth Amendment's requirement of reasonableness.

On the other hand, when the police look for and find a weapon on the front seat of a car, it is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment because it is very unlikely that the person would think that the front seat of the car is a private place (an expectation of privacy is unlikely), and even if the person did, society is not willing to extend the protections of privacy to that particular location (no objective expectation of privacy).

A good example of how this works comes from a U.S. Supreme Court case in which the court held that a bus passenger had a legitimate expectation of privacy in an opaque carry-on bag positioned in a luggage rack above the passenger's head, and that the physical probing by the police of the bag's exterior for evidence of contraband constituted a search subject to Fourth Amendment limitations. (Bond v. U.S., No. 98-9349 (April 17, 2000).)

 

Restrictions on Private Security Personnel

Private security personnel currently outnumber police officers in the United States by three to one. As a result, whether you're shopping in a supermarket or a pharmacy, working in an office building, or visiting a friend in a housing project, you may be more likely to be confronted by a security guard than by a police officer. At the present time, the Fourth Amendment does not apply to searches carried out by non-governmental employees like private security guards.

For example, assume that a shopping mall security guard acting on a pure hunch searches a teenager's backpack. Inside the backpack the guard finds a baggie containing an illegal drug. The guard can detain the teenager, call the police, and turn the drug over to a police officer. The drug is admissible in evidence, because the search was conducted by a private security guard. As private security guards increasingly exercise traditional police functions, courts may one day apply Fourth Amendment guidelines to their conduct.

What Happens When A Search Violates the Fourth Amendment

The exclusionary rule. If, upon review, a court finds that an unreasonable search occurred, any evidence seized as a result of the search cannot be used as direct evidence against the defendant in a criminal prosecution, state or federal. This rule, established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1961, has come to be known as the "exclusionary rule."

To this day, many commentators criticize the exclusionary rule on the ground that it unfairly "lets the criminal go free because the constable has erred." But the rule's supporters argue that excluding illegally seized evidence is necessary to deter police from conducting illegal searches. According to this deterrence argument, the police won't conduct improper searches if the resulting evidence can't be used to convict the defendant.

Fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. In addition to being excluded as evidence against the defendant, evidence resulting from an illegal search may not be used to discover other evidence, under a legal rule colorfully known as the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine. The "tree" is the evidence that the police illegally seize in the first place; the "fruit" is the second-generation product of the illegally seized evidence. Both tree and fruit are inadmissible at trial.

Example

Officer Wiley arrests Hy Lowe for selling phony telephone cards. A judge rules that Officer Wiley illegally entered Lowe's home and improperly seized a map showing the location where Lowe hid the phone cards. Officer Wiley then found the phone cards in that location. Because Officer Wiley obtained the map through an illegal search, the phone cards are the fruit of that unlawful search and are therefore inadmissible into evidence.

Some defendants believe that if they can show that a search was illegal, the case must be dismissed. Not true. If a prosecutor has enough other evidence to prove the defendant guilty, the case can continue. Also, the illegally-seized evidence can be:

             1. considered by a judge when deciding on an appropriate sentence following conviction
             2. admitted in civil cases and deportation cases, and
             3. in some circumstances, be used by a prosecutor to impeach (attack the credibility of) a witness who testifies in the trial.

If you have been charged with a cocaine law violation in Alabama Cocaine charge, please visit our web sites at www.AlabamaDrugDefenseAttorney.com  or www.AlabamaMarijuanaLawsAttorney.com  .  If you've been accused or charged in Alabama, you need an experienced, aggressive attorney to fight for your rights. 

Call us today at (866) 348-2889 to discuss your case.

Alabama Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ

 

Have you been charged with drunk driving, driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated, DUI, or DWI in Alabama, including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, and Talladega County, and the communities of Birmingham, Hoover, Jasper, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Albertville, Guntersville, Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, Sylacauga, Talladega and Trussville? If so please call Kreps Law Firm, LLC at (866) 348-2889 or email at DUI@WinWithKreps.com  or traffic@WinWithKreps.com  or visit our websites at www.Alabama-DUI-Defense.com  , www.AlabamaRecklessDrivingAttorney.com  or www.AlabamaSpeedingTicket.com  or www.AlabamaTrafficTicketAttorney.com  .

How drunk or high does someone have to be before he can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI)?

It's illegal to drive a car while "impaired" by the effects of alcohol or drugs (including prescription drugs). This means that there must be enough alcohol or drugs in the driver's body to prevent him from thinking clearly or driving safely. Many people reach this level well before they'd be considered "drunk" or "stoned." In all states, an adult who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or above is guilty of a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated).

However, almost all states consider drivers under the age of 21 to be driving under the influence of alcohol if their BAC is at or greater than .01% or .02%, depending on the state.

How can the police find out whether a driver is under the influence or intoxicated?

Police typically use three methods of determining whether a driver has had too much to drink to be driving (intoxicated), or is under the influence of drugs:

Ø      Observation. A police officer will pull you over if he notices that you are driving erratically -- swerving, speeding, failing to stop, or even driving too slowly. Of course, you may have a good explanation for your driving (tiredness, for example), but an officer is unlikely to buy your story if he smells alcohol on your breath, or notices slurred words or unsteady movements. 

Ø      Sobriety tests. If an officer suspects that you are under the influence, he will probably ask you to get out of the car and perform a series of balance and speech tests, such as standing on one leg, walking a straight line heel-to-toe, or reciting a line of letters or numbers. The officer will look closely at your eyes, checking for pupil enlargement or constriction, which can be evidence of intoxication, and will judge your ability to follow exact instructions. If you fail these tests, the officer may arrest you or ask you to take a chemical test. 

Ø      Blood-alcohol level. The amount of alcohol in your body is understood by measuring the amount of alcohol in your blood. This measurement can be taken directly by drawing a sample of your blood, or it can be calculated by applying a mathematical formula to the amount of alcohol in your breath or urine. Some states give you a choice of whether to take a breath, blood, or urine test -- others do not. If you test at or above .08 % blood-alcohol concentration, you are presumed to be driving under the influence, unless you can convince a judge or jury that your judgment was not impaired and you were not driving dangerously. Defense attorneys often question the validity of the conversion formula when driver's alcohol levels are based on breath or urine tests.

 Do I have to take a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test if I am stopped for DUI or DWI?

You may refuse to take a chemical test (breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test) during a DUI or DWI stop, but almost every state has a so-called "implied consent" law that says a refusal can result in suspension of your driver's license from anywhere between three to 12 months. (This is true even if you're eventually found not guilty of the drunk driving/driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated charge.) Further, if your drunk driving case goes to trial, the prosecutor can tell the jury that you wouldn't take the test, which may lead the jury members to conclude that you refused because you were, in fact, intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

If I'm stopping for driving under the influence, am I entitled to talk to an attorney before I decide whether to take a breath, blood, or urine test?

The answer depends on where you live. In California, for example, you don't have the right to speak with an attorney first before you decide whether to take a breath, blood, or urine test. But some states, including Arizona, allow you to talk to your lawyer before you take a chemical test.  

If I'm stopped for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), can a police officer ask me questions without reading me my rights?

Sometimes. Whether a police officer has to read you your rights on a DUI or DWI stop depends on whether or not you are in police custody -- that is, whether you are subject to the restraints common to a formal arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the police do not have to provide Miranda warnings during roadside questioning of a motorist detained pursuant to a traffic stop. Thus, roadside questioning about your drinking, drug-taking, or performance on field sobriety tests does not constitute "custodial interrogation." However, once you are arrested -- or restrained by the police in a manner consistent with arrest -- you must be read your Miranda rights.

I've been charged with drunk driving/driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated. Should I get a lawyer?

Defending against a charge of drunk driving is a tricky business. Defenders need to understand scientific and medical concepts, and must be able to question tough witnesses, including scientists and police officers. If you want to fight your drunk driving/driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated charge, you're well advised to hire an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.

These days it is hard to "win" a drunk driving case, assuming the police gathered some physical evidence against you (results of a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test). And the punishments for DUI are pretty standard. If you were truly guilty, there's no guarantee that a lawyer could get you a better deal or plea bargain than you can get for yourself.

However, if the police don't have physical evidence against you (for example, you refused the chemical test), a good lawyer may be able to plea your case down to a "wet reckless" (alcohol-related reckless driving). While a wet reckless may not sound as bad as a DUI or DWI, it often carries almost the same fines and penalties as a DUI or DWI.

I was pulled over at a DUI/DWI roadblock and asked to wait and answer a police officer's questions. Is this legal?

Yes, as long as the police use a neutral policy when stopping cars (such as stopping all cars or stopping every third car) and they minimize any inconvenience to you and the other drivers. The police can't single out your car at a roadblock unless they have good reason to believe that you've broken the law, such as by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

To talk about your pending Alabama, including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, and Talladega County, and the communities of Birmingham, Hoover, Jasper, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Albertville, Guntersville, Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, Sylacauga, Talladega and Trussville DUI charge, please call Kreps Law Firm, LLC at (866) 348-2889 or email us at dui@WinWithKreps.com . You can also visit our firm website at www.alabama-dui-defense.com .

 E-mail us or call us TODAY at 866-347-2889

 

Alabama Criminal Procedure FAQ

If you've been accused or charged in Alabama including Jefferson County, Shelby County, St. Clair County, Bibb County, Walker County, Cullman County, Blount County, Tuscaloosa County, Etowah County, Calhoun County, and Talladega County, Sand Mountain, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Bessemer, Pelham, Alabaster, Huntsville, Decatur, Florence, Gadsden, Tuscaloosa, Boaz, Albertville, Guntersville, Montgomery, Columbus, Dothan, Auburn, Mobile, Anniston, Oxford, Trussville, Gardendale, Harpersville, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove, and Northport, you need an experienced, aggressive attorney to fight for your rights.  Call us today at (866) 348-2889 to discuss your case or please visit our web sites at www.AlabamaDrugDefenseAttorney.com or www.AlabamaMarijuanaLawsAttorney.com

Call us today at (866) 348-2889 to discuss your case


The basics of criminal law: presumption of innocence, felonies, misdemeanors, and jury trials.

What's the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Most states break their crimes into two major groups: felonies and misdemeanors. Whether a crime falls into one category or the other depends on the potential punishment. If a law provides for imprisonment for longer than a year, it is usually considered a felony. If the potential punishment is for a year or less, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor.

In some states, certain crimes are known as "wobblers," which means that the prosecutor may charge the crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Behaviors punishable only by fine are usually not considered crimes at all, but infractions -- for example, traffic tickets. But legislatures sometimes label a behavior punishable only by fine as a misdemeanor -- such as possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use in California.

What is the "presumption of innocence"?


All people accused of a crime are legally presumed to be innocent until they are convicted, either in a trial or as a result of pleading guilty. This presumption means not only that the prosecutor must convince the jury of the defendant's guilt, but also that the defendant need not say or do anything in his own defense. If the prosecutor can't convince the jury that the defendant is guilty, the defendant goes free.

The presumption of innocence, coupled with the fact that the prosecutor must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, makes it difficult for the government to put innocent people behind bars.

How can I tell from reading a criminal statute whether I'm guilty of the crime it defines?


Criminal statutes define crimes in terms of required acts and a required state of mind, usually described as the actor's "intent." These requirements are known as the "elements" of the offense.

A prosecutor must convince a judge or jury that all of the elements of the crime have been satisfied -- meaning that the defendant did the acts and had the intent described in the statute.

For example, commercial burglary is commonly defined as entering a building belonging to another person, with the intent to commit petty or grand theft (that is, to steal), or any felony. To convict a person of this offense, the prosecutor would have to prove three elements:

  • The defendant entered the structure.

  • The structure belonged to another person.

  • At the time the defendant entered the structure, he intended to commit petty or grand theft, or any felony.

Break the crime down into its required elements to see if each applies in your situation.

What standard is used in criminal trials to prove a defendant is guilty?

The prosecutor must convince the judge or jury hearing the case that the defendant is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." This standard is very hard to meet. (By contrast, in noncriminal cases, such as an accident or breach of contract, a plaintiff has to prove her case only by a preponderance of the evidence -- just over 50%.)

As a practical matter, the high burden of proof in criminal cases means that judges and jurors are supposed to resolve all doubts about the meaning of the evidence in favor of the defendant. With such a high standard imposed on the prosecutor, a defendant's most common defense is to argue that there is reasonable doubt -- that is, that the prosecutor hasn't done a sufficient job of proving that the defendant is guilty.

If I'm accused of a crime, am I guaranteed a trial by a jury?


The U.S. Constitution gives a person accused of a crime the right to be tried by a jury. However, this right does not extend to petty offenses -- defined as offenses that do not carry a sentence of more than six months.

Usually, a right to a trial by jury means a 12-person jury must arrive at a unanimous decision to convict or acquit. However, a jury can consist of as few as six persons. (Williams v. Florida, U.S. Sup. Ct, 1970.)

The size of juries tends to vary depending on the seriousness of the charge. For example, California requires 12-person juries for both felony and misdemeanor trials, except that the state and defendant may agree to less than 12-person juries in misdemeanors. Florida law provides for six-person juries in noncapital cases and 12-person juries in capital cases.

In most states, a lack of unanimity is called a "hung jury" and the defendant will go free unless the prosecutor decides to retry the case. In Oregon and Louisiana, however, 12-member juries may convict or acquit on a vote of ten to two.

Why would an innocent defendant choose not to testify?

The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives every criminal defendant the right not to testify, and jurors are told that they cannot assume anything negative if the defendant decides to keep quiet. Of course, some jurors do make assumptions -- and they cast their votes accordingly.

But there are some excellent reasons why a defendant might remain silent in court:

  • If the defendant has previously been convicted of a crime, the prosecutor may be able to bring this fact out -- but only if the defendant testifies. Evidence of a previous crime may cause some jurors to think that the defendant is guilty of the current crime, too.

  •  If the defendant testifies, the prosecutor may be able to bring out other information that tarnishes the defendant's reputation and discredits his testimony. 

  • Some defendants have a poor demeanor when speaking in public. A judge or jury may not believe a defendant who, though telling the truth, is a nervous witness and makes a bad impression. 

  • The defendant may have a perfectly good story that would nevertheless sound fishy to the average jury in that particular locale.

What happens if a defendant is judged "incompetent to stand trial"?

The question may arise as to whether a defendant is mentally capable of facing a trial. Defendants cannot be prosecuted if they suffer from a mental disorder that prevents them from understanding the proceedings and assisting in the preparation of their defense.

Based on a defendant's unusual behavior, a judge, prosecutor, or defense attorney may ask that trial be delayed until the defendant has been examined and his or her ability to understand the proceedings has been determined in a court hearing. If a judge finds that a defendant doesn't understand what's going on, the defendant will probably be placed in a mental institution until competence is reestablished. At that time, the trial will be held.

To speak with the Alabama Criminal Defense Attorneys at Kreps Law Firm, LLC call us at (866) 348-2889 or email at traffic@WinWithKreps.com  or visit our websites at www.AlabamaRecklessDrivingAttorney.com  or www.AlabamaSpeedingTicket.com  or www.AlabamaTrafficTicketAttorney.com

If you would like a free consultation. Don’t hesitate to call. Call us at (866) 348-2889


Birmingham AL Criminal Defense Attorney

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