When you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a crime, it’s a frightening, stressful, and uncertain time. If this is the first time you’ve been arrested, you may not know where to turn. Remember that your arrest, or the arrest of a loved one, does not guarantee a conviction and that you have numerous rights under the criminal justice system.
A good criminal law attorney will walk you through each step of the criminal law process and advise you of all your rights and options. After you’ve been arrested, you should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer that you trust with your future. Martinson & Beason, P.C. criminal defense lawyers also can help you with expungement matters (clearing your record of certain criminal arrests).
A person in Alabama may be charged with a crime, even if they were ignorant of the law or under the assumption that what they did was legal. The Alabama Criminal Code states, “A person is not relieved of criminal liability for conduct because he engages in that conduct under a mistaken belief of fact,” though exceptions apply to certain crimes.1 An arrest and charges can happen to anyone, even the most well-intentioned person.
In Alabama, the consequences of a conviction can be extremely serious, depending on the charges. Offenses are classified in Alabama as violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Violations carry the least severe consequences, with possible jail time following a conviction for 30 days or less and a fine of up to $200. A misdemeanor is more serious than a violation, with imprisonment permitted for up to a year and a fine ranging from $500 to $6,000. A felony offense is the most grave; if convicted of a felony, a person could face at least one year up to life in prison, depending on the crime. They may also face fines up to $60,000. For those who have had a prior felony conviction, the sentences imposed are even harsher.
A conviction can seriously damage every aspect of a person’s life. Fines incurred from a conviction can harm the financial wellbeing of the person and their family. Jail time served can cause the loss of freedom and employment. Today, with background checks and interview questions about any criminal history common, it can be very difficult for someone who has been convicted of certain crimes to get a job.
At Martinson & Beason, P.C., our criminal defense lawyers have the experience and knowledge to guide you through the criminal law process, working with you to avoid or minimize the catastrophic damage to your livelihood, future, and family that a criminal conviction can cause. Our attorneys work tirelessly to protect your rights and get you the best result possible for your case, providing a detailed defense and identifying weaknesses in the case against you.
Criminal law resource pages:
- DUI/DWI Defense
- FAQ: What do I do after I have been arrested on suspicion of DUI?
- Active Warrants
- Challenging a Suspended Driver’s License in Alabama
- “Youthful Offender & Pre-Trial Diversion” Pleas
- Minor Drug Offenses and Their Sentences