Alabama Punishment: Sentences and Fines
In Alabama, crimes are divided into three general categories; violations, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Violations are the least severe of the three classifications of crimes. Jail sentences are limited to a maximum of 30 days in the county jail. Typically, a person charged with a violation receives a money fine under $200.00. Examples of violations include such things as traffic tickets and criminal trespass 3rd degree.
Misdemeanor criminal charges are classified into three classes: A, B, and C.
Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, and are eligible for a jail sentence of up to one (1) year and a fine up to $6,000.00. Examples of Class A misdemeanors are assault 3rd degree, domestic violence, theft of property 3rd degree, possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal mischief 2nd degree.
Class B misdemeanors charges could result in jail sentences of up to six (6) months and fines of up to $3,000.00. Examples of Class B misdemeanors include, resisting arrest, tampering with a witness, open house party, and cruelty to animals.
Class C misdemeanors charges could result in jail sentences of up to three (3) months and fines of up to $500.00. Examples of Class C misdemeanors include, open container, public lewdness, harassment, and disorderly conduct.
felony criminal charges are also classified into three classes: A, B, and C.
Class A felonies are the most serious, and are eligible for a jail sentence of ten (10) years to ninety-nine (99) years or life. Fines can go up to $60,000.00. Class A felonies typically include violent crimes or crimes that involve danger to another person. Examples of Class A felony offenses include, murder, kidnapping 1st degree, rape 1st degree, robbery 1st degree, burglary 1st degree, and arson 1st degree.
Class B felonies could result in a jail sentence of two (2) years up to twenty (20) years. Fines can go up to $30,000.00. Examples of Class B felony offenses include, manslaughter, unlawful distribution of drugs, assault 2nd degree, rape 2nd degree, domestic violence 2nd degree, theft of property 1st degree, and burglary 2nd degree.
Class C felonies are the lowest classification of felonies. A Class C felony could result in a jail sentence of one (1) year and one (1) day up to two (10) years. Fines can go up to $15,000.00. Examples of Class C felony offenses include, interference with custody, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, sexual abuse, theft of services, extortion 3rd degree, bribery, unlawful possession of marijuana 1st degree, and firearms charges.
If you fall under the Habitual Offender Act, your punishments can increase greatly. If you have one or more prior convictions for a felony offense you more than likely fall under the Habitual Offender Act.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE – DUI
The crime of DUI carries its own particular punishments depending on whether you have one or more previous convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI also involves the additional punishment of having your drivers license suspended for a certain period of time and the requirement that you equip you vehicle with an ignition interlock for a period of time. Punishments are as follows:
- FIRST OFFENSE – Up to a year in jail (probation allowed) - a fine between $600.00 and $2,100.00 – drivers license suspension of 90 days
- SECOND OFFENSE – Up to a year in jail, with a minimum of 5 days in jail to serve (may be served as 30 days community service) – a fine between $1,000.00 and $5,100.00 – drivers license revocation of 1 year – ignition interlock for 2 years.
- THIRD OFFENSE – Up to a year in jail, with a minimum of 60 days in jail to serve (no probation) – a fine between $2,100.00 and $10,100.00 – drivers license revocation of 3 years – ignition interlock for 3 years
- FOURTH AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES (within 5 year period) – jail sentence of 1 year and 1 day – fines from $4,100.00 to $10,100.00 – drivers license revocation for 5 years – ignition interlock for 5 years.
Under certain aggravated circumstances the punishments listed above could double. Aggravating circumstances include having a breath alcohol level of .15% or greater and driving under the influence with minor children in the vehicle.
The sentences and fines listed above can vary depending on the particular circumstances of your criminal charge. In order to determine the exact potential punishment, you should consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at Bradford Ladner, LLP can meet with you and review your case to determine the potential sentences, fines and judicial requirements of your criminal charge.