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A Message from DUI Attorney Frank Ward
I want to help you avoid the devastating impact of a DUI conviction in Jacksonville Municipal Court. I want to fight to save your driver license, your job and the future of your career. A Jacksonville DUI charge is a serious matter, and you need a good DUI defense attorney. You are not the first good person to be in this situation, and you will not be the last. I have been been helping good people like you in court for over 12 years, and I want to help you avoid convictions in Jacksonville. I look forward to helping you too. Let me fight for you!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Jacksonville, Alabama Municipal Court DUI Charges.
Is a DUI charge in Jacksonville Municipal Court a felony or a misdemeanor?
DUI charges in Jacksonville 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, 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 Jacksonville Municipal Court for your particular case.
Where is the Jacksonville Municipal Court located?
The Jacksonville Municipal Court is located at 911 Public Safety Drive SW, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265, which is located about a 6-minute drive from the campus of Jacksonville State University. It’s a good idea to arrive at the Municipal Court building about 10 or 15 minutes before your court appearance, so you do not have to stress about being late to the courtroom. The personnel working at the municipal court can help point you to the courtroom if you are uncertain where it is located.
I am not certain when my Jacksonville Municipal Court DUI court appearance date or time is. How can I find that out?
You can get this information from the Jacksonville Municipal Court Clerk’s Office, which is located at 911 Public Safety Drive SW, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265 or call the Clerk’s office at 256-435-6960. If you hire a DUI defense attorney, he or she can also find this out for you.
The Jacksonville Municipal police officer or Jacksonville State University 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 Jacksonville 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 many people get their driving privileges back after a DUI arrest. 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.
Is a DUI charge in Jacksonville Municipal Court different from a DUI charge by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department or an Alabama State Trooper in Calhoun County District Court?
Technically, yes, but for the most part the difference does not matter. A DUI charge in City of Jacksonville Municipal Court is charged under Jacksonville Municipal Ordinance 16-1, which makes it an ordinance violation to engage in any conduct in Jacksonville that would be a misdemeanor under Alabama State law. On the other hand, DUI charges in Calhoun 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 Jacksonville Municipal Court?
No. Jacksonville 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 offense beyond a reasonable doubt. While a jury trial is not available in Jacksonville Municipal Court, by law if you are found guilty in a trial in the City of Jacksonville, 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 handle DUI cases in the Jacksonville Municipal Court?
Yes. Mr. Ward handles DUI cases in Jacksonville, Alabama. Mr. Ward has represented many individuals who have faced DUI charges in Alabama. He has practice law for over 12 years and tried many DUI cases. He has helped many clients accused of DUI in Alabama avoid DUI convictions and protect their driver licenses. He would love to talk with you at no charge and answer your Jacksonville DUI questions. Call him 24/7 at 256-384-5699.