Being arrested and charged with a crime is a distressing experience. In addition to the embarrassment and frustration that comes with it, there are a lot of unknowns—what is going to happen? What can be done to prevent this from getting any worse? And most importantly—what to do now?
Fortunately, help is closer than you think. An experienced Tuscaloosa criminal lawyer who is familiar with the elements of different charges, the most effective defenses and the procedures involved in a criminal case can navigate the way through the experience and provide guidance on the best way to proceed.
Anyone facing criminal charges needs an experienced attorney with a thorough understanding of criminal law who is familiar with the local justice system in order to ensure the best possible resolution.
Understanding Criminal Law in Tuscaloosa
Alabama criminal statutes classify crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies. For the most part, misdemeanors are less serious and entail less severe penalties than for those crimes classified as penalties.
Examples of crimes treated as misdemeanors include:
- DUI (first offense)
- Resisting arrest
- Possession of firearms without proper permit
- Disorderly conduct
- Indecent exposure
- Public intoxication
- Permitting a “House Party”
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Unlawful assembly
Within the misdemeanor classification, there are subcategories which affect the severity of penalties a court may inflict. Misdemeanors may be categorized as A, B, or C, with A being the most serious.
Crimes classified as felonies are generally the more serious crimes and they are accorded more severe penalties including the potential for life in prison. Alabama law also divides felonies into A, B, C and D categories, again with A as the most egregious.
Examples of felony crimes include:
- First-degree assault
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Receiving stolen merchandise
- DUI (4th offense or more in five years)
It is important to note that there are circumstances that can aggravate a crime and move it up to a different classification or mandate a minimum penalty. Talk to a Tuscaloosa criminal lawyer for more information.
What Are the Penalties Involved?
For every classification of criminal behavior, Alabama law specifies a range of applicable penalties including fines and incarceration or hard labor. For instance, those found guilty of a Class C misdemeanor such as Disorderly Conduct could face a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to three months.
At the other end of the spectrum, the penalty for a Class A felony such as First Degree Domestic Violence includes a fine of up to $60,000 and a jail term that can extend to life imprisonment.
Getting Help From a Tuscaloosa Criminal Lawyer
Each crime outlined in the Alabama criminal code has a number of possible defenses as well as certain elements that must be proven in order to convict.
Experienced criminal attorneys will be able to evaluate the circumstances of a particular case, analyze potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments and ascertain the best defenses to be applied in the matter at hand.
Just as important, a knowledgeable Tuscaloosa criminal lawyer is an advocate who provides guidance and advice every step of the way. There is no need to go it alone—call an attorney today to put their experience in criminal defense law to work for you.