Call Huntsville DUI Lawyer Frank Ward at 256-384-5699
A Message from Frank Ward
You have just bailed out of jail after being arrested for DUI by the Huntsville, Alabama Police Department. You have been told you have to appear in Huntsville Municipal Court. You are NOT a criminal. You work, pay your taxes, and obey the law. This is a nightmare you want to wake up from.
A Huntsville DUI charge is a serious matter, and you need a good DUI defense attorney. The good news is that your worst fears will almost certainly not be realized. You are not the first good person to be in this situation, and you will not be the last. I have been practice law right here in Huntsville for over 12 years, and I have helped many people avoid DUI convictions. I want to help you. You do not have to go through this alone. Call me, and I listen to your concerns and discuss your case with you. I live right here in Huntsville, and for many years I have been Huntsville Municipal Court almost weekly helping people charge with DUI. Please do not wait, call me today.
Call Right Now to Speak with Mr. Ward at 256-384-5699
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Frequently Asked Questions about Huntsville, Alabama Municipal Court DUI Charges.
Is a DUI charge in Huntsville Municipal Court a felony or a misdemeanor?
DUI charges in Huntsville Municipal Court are misdemeanors, not felonies. In Alabama felonies can result in imprisonment for more than one year. However, misdemeanors can only result in imprisonment up to one year. In theory, Huntsville Municipal Court judges have authority to sentence a person up to one year in jail for a first offense DUI. In practice such a result would be very much out of the ordinary. In most DUI cases, persons convicted of DUI received either a suspended jail sentence or a much shorter jail sentence time the maximum allowable under the law. Every case is different, though, and you should talk to a DUI defense attorney to get a better understanding of what the likely sentence would be if you were convicted of DUI in Huntsville Municipal Court for your particular case.
Where is the Huntsville Municipal Court located?
The Huntsville Municipal Court is located at 815 Wheeler Avenue NW, Huntsville, Alabama. This is the same location as the Huntsville-Madison County Jail. To access the Court or Court Clerk’s office, go in the main entrance. Ahead to your right, you will see a help counter and a metal detector leading to long open hallway. You will need to go through the metal detectors to reach your courtroom or the Court Clerk’s office. Just before court times, the line through the metal detectors can get quite backed up. It’s a good idea to arrive at the Municipal Court building about 15 to 20 minutes before your court appearance, so you do not have to stress about being late to your courtroom. The personnel at the front counter or working the metal detector can help point you to your courtroom if you are uncertain where it is located. Be sure you do not to confuse the Madison County Courthouse located on the courthouse square in downtown Huntsville with the Huntsville Municipal Court located at 815 Wheeler Avenue.
I am not certain when my Huntsville Municipal Court DUI court appearance date or time is. Where can I find that out?
You can get this information from the Huntsville Municipal Court Clerk’s Office, which is located at 815 Wheeler Avenue NW, Huntsville, AL 35801 or call the Clerk’s office at 256-427-7810. If you hire a DUI defense lawyer, he or she can also find this out for you.
The Huntsville police officer who arrested me took my driver license. Can the police legally do that, and how do I get it back?
Most, but not all DUI arrests, result in the police taking a person’s license even before the person has a court date. Alabama law allows the police to seek to have your license suspended after a DUI arrest, if the police have reasonable grounds to believe you were operating your vehicle on a public roadway while under the influence of alcohol and you either blew over the legal limit or refused to take a breath test. This is a bit of an oversimplification of the law. Mr. Ward would be happy to discuss it in more detail if you call him. Generally, if your driver license was valid at the time of the stop, the police officer will give you a sheet of paper (often yellow, but sometimes white) that acts as a temporary driving permit for a period of 45 days in place of the plastic license that the police took from you. At the end of the 45 days, your driver license will be suspended for a minimum period of 90 days and possibly much longer, depending on your driver license and criminal history. The good news is that there is a process to challenge the driver license suspension, but you must act fast. Your driver license suspension “case” is separate from your Huntsville Municipal Court DUI criminal charge. It must be addressed separately from your DUI charge if you want to avoid having your license suspended. You only have a 10-day period under Alabama law in which to request an administrative hearing challenging the suspension.
Mr. Ward has helped hundreds of people get their driving privileges back after a DUI arrest by the Huntsville Police Department. He has been able to keep many of them from having any driver license suspension at all, and he has been able to get the suspension time of many others reduced dramatically. He would love to talk with you about how he can help you with your driver license.
Does the City of Huntsville Municipal Court have a pre-trial DUI diversion program?
Yes. Unfortunately, admission in to the program is not automatic and the criteria for being allowed to participate are stringent. Huntsville DUI Attorney Frank Ward would be happy to talk with you about the requirements of Huntsville’s diversion program. Whether you meet the admission criteria, whether pursuing entry into the program would be right for you. Give him a call. He is happy to talk with you at no charge.
Is a DUI charge in Huntsville Municipal Court different from a DUI charge by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department or an Alabama State Trooper in Madison County District Court?
Technically, yes, but for the most part the difference does not matter. A DUI charge in City of Huntsville Municipal Court is charged under Section 17-1 of the City of Huntsville’s Code of Municipal Ordinances (which makes it an ordinance violation to engage in any conduct in Huntsville that would be a misdemeanor under Alabama State law). On the other hand, DUI charges in Madison County District Court are almost always charged directly under Alabama state law’s DUI statute, Section 32-5A-191 of the Code of Alabama.
Can I get a jury trial on my DUI charge in City of Huntsville Municipal Court?
No. Huntsville Municipal Court, like all other municipal courts in Alabama only has “bench” trials. A bench trial means the judge is the “finder of fact” in your case, the role of the jury in a jury trial. The “finder of fact” listens to the evidence at trial and decides whether or not the evidence is sufficient to prove the alleged offence beyond a reasonable doubt. While a jury trial is not available in Huntsville Municipal Court, by law if you are found guilty in a trial in the City of Huntsville, you have a right to appeal your case to the Circuit Court for a new trial before a jury. However, the appeal does not take place automatically, and the deadline to appeal is very short and the notice of appeal must specifically request a jury trial. Rule 30.1 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure states: “A defendant convicted of an offense in a municipal court or a district court shall have the right to appeal the judgment, within fourteen (14) days of the date of the judgment or the denial of a timely filed postjudgment motion, to the circuit court for a trial de novo.”
Does DUI attorney Frank Ward frequently handle DUI cases in Huntsville Municipal Court?
Yes. Mr. Ward has represented hundreds of individuals who have faced DUI charges in City of Huntsville Municipal Court. He has practice in Huntsville, Alabama for over 12 years and tried many DUI cases. He has helped many clients accused of DUI in Huntsville Municipal Court avoid DUI convictions and protect their driver licenses. He would love to talk with you at no charge and answer your Huntsville DUI questions. Call him 24/7 at 256-384-5699.