With a crime rate that places the city fifth on the FBI’s annual Crime in the United States report, Birmingham’s police and prosecutors are eager to make a change. When crime rates are high, law enforcement agencies often increase arrests, and prosecutors ‘throw the book’ at every defendant they can in an attempt to scare off potential future criminals. This can have serious consequences if you or a family member has been charged with a crime.
An arrest carries significant consequences, and can affect families, too. The prospect of jail or an extended prison sentence can cause anxiety, uncertainty, and financial difficulty thereby making it important to enlist the assistance of a reliable Birmingham criminal lawyer who can help protect your rights and fight for the best legal outcome after any criminal allegations. An experienced defense attorney is available to discuss your case and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process.
Crime in Birmingham
According to FBI statistics, there were over 162,000 crimes in Birmingham in 2015, and police made over 27,000 arrests for violent crimes in the city last year. The continued war on drugs resulted in another 10,000 arrests for crimes like possession and distribution, and alcohol-related violations such as DUI were almost double that at over 18,000. Even the most unsuspecting and law-abiding citizens can suddenly find themselves as defendants facing city prosecutors with a tough-on-crime attitude.
Additionally, the Alabama Criminal Code, or Title 13A of the state statutes, outlines the state’s harsh penalties. State felonies carry potential sentences of up to life in prison and impose the death penalty for the most serious crimes such as sex offenses and homicides. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can result in jail time. Those arrested for a first DUI offense can lose their licenses, spend up to a year in jail, and receive a fine. Consequently, defendants facing tough-on-crime prosecutors need the experience and reliability of a local Birmingham criminal attorney to fight back and mitigate these severe penalties.
When a defendant is charged with a crime, the charge does more than just carry the risk of prison. Depending on the seriousness of the allegations, that individual may face immediate detention and many other difficulties even before a trial takes place, including:
- A public arrest and media coverage, which can ruin a person’s reputation and attach them to the stigma of being labeled a criminal
- Excessive bail that limits an individual’s mobility or monitors them as a condition
- Loss of employment
Therefore, before things get any worse after an allegation is made, the accused needs a criminal attorney in Birmingham to protect the things and rights that are important to them. By protecting their rights, individuals can best prepare to defend themselves and take the first step toward ensuring their futures.
Contacting An Attorney
When the police and prosecutors make an arrest, it often means they have already been gathering evidence and building their case. By the time charges are filed, a defendant is in a losing position. For this reason, if you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime in Birmingham, it is important to increase the chances of a better outcome by contacting a Birmingham criminal lawyer. The professional experience, knowledge of the law, and understanding of Birmingham and Jefferson County area courts that only an experienced local criminal lawyer can provide.
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