Being charged with a crime is one of the most frightening situations that anyone can go through. And this is especially true if you are facing a criminal charge for the first time. The consequences for a conviction can be very severe, and may include heavy fines and penalties, loss of driving privileges and even jail time. Having a criminal history can result in several indirect consequences as well, such as difficulty obtaining employment, housing, financing, college admission, firearms, and a professional license. With so much on the line, it is extremely important to have strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to protect your rights and interests.
At the Zach Peagler Law Firm, we have extensive experience defending clients who have been charged with all types of criminal offenses in Alabama. We have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law and a successful track record with even some of the most challenging cases. We understand what is at stake when you are facing a criminal charge, and we work closely with our clients, exploring every potential legal avenue toward obtaining the most favorable result possible.
Aggressive Defense for all Types of Criminal Charges
Attorney Zach Peagler has handled hundreds of violent felony cases, and he has tried numerous trials to verdict, including multiple not guilty verdicts in murder cases. We provide strong defense for clients with every type of criminal matter, this includes but is not limited to:
DUI: Whether this is your first drunk driving offense, or you have multiple DUIs and/or other aggravated circumstances, facing a DUI charge is a serious matter. We have helped numerous clients get their drunk driving charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge, and we tailor our defense strategies to each unique situation.
Drug Crimes: We have handled cases involving various types of drug charges, from simple marijuana possession to more serious drug crimes such as drug manufacturing and distribution.
Theft: We defend clients charged with burglary, robbery, retail theft, and other types of property crimes.
Violent Crimes: Including assault (domestic or otherwise), weapons charges, manslaughter, vehicular homicide, murder, and any other type of violent crime.
Sex Crimes: Charges such as sexual assault and rape can destroy a person’s reputation before they have even had their day in court. We forcefully defend these charges from the outset, and we handle these cases with the sensitivity and professionalism they deserve.
White Collar Crimes: Including fraud, embezzlement, counterfeiting, identity theft, and similar types of charges.
Traffic Offenses: Including speeding, reckless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and driving without a valid license.
Criminal Record Expungements: Various types of criminal records are eligible for expungement in Alabama if you meet certain criteria. These include non-convictions for misdemeanors, non-violent felonies, traffic violations, and some municipal ordinance violations.
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies
In Alabama, criminal charges are grouped into two different categories based on the seriousness of the charge. Less severe crimes are known as misdemeanors, and more severe crimes are known as felonies.
Misdemeanors are categorized into three different classes; Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A is the most serious category, and Class C is the least. The penalties for misdemeanors are less severe than for felonies, and they generally involve fines of several hundred to several thousand dollars and a maximum of one year in county jail.
Felonies are also categorized into the same three classes with Class A being the most serious and Class C being the least. If someone is convicted of a felony, they can face tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and they can go away to prison for several years or decades. In the most severe felony cases, those charged can face life in prison or even the death penalty.
Whether someone is charged with a felony or misdemeanor depends of course on the type of crime they are accused of committing, but also other circumstances in the case. Some crimes could fall into either category, such as with a DUI charge.
A first-time DUI arrest without any aggravated circumstances will almost certainly be charged as a misdemeanor. And in fact, depending on the situation, it may be possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. On the other hand, a second or subsequent DUI with aggravated circumstances (such as having a minor in the car or an accident resulting in serious injury or death) could very well be charged as a felony.
In many cases, the decision of whether to charge with a misdemeanor, felony, or drop the charges altogether depends heavily on the strength of your defense. Much of this also comes down to negotiations between your defense attorney and the prosecutor, and your attorney’s ability to secure the best deal possible on your behalf.
Alabama Violent Crimes
Under Alabama law, committing or trying to commit the following offenses is considered a crime of violence:
Manslaughter (except vehicular)
Assault with the intent to ravish
Assault with the intent to murder
Assault with the intent to rob
The law in Alabama establishes that the term “crimes of violence” includes other Class A or B felonies with the element of severe physical injury, an act of a sexual nature with a minor under 12 years of age, and the production or distribution of a controlled substance.
If you receive a criminal conviction in AL, you could face serious jail time.
Class A felony: Life or not more than 99 years, minimum of ten years
Class B felony: Two to 20 years
Class C felony: One year and One day up to ten years
What to Do if You are under Criminal Investigation
You might be in a situation where you are being investigated for a crime, but you have not been arrested yet. Law enforcement opens investigations frequently in order to determine if there is enough evidence to charge you with a crime. If you become aware that this is happening, you cannot afford to sit back and wait for the results. This is a time to take proactive steps to defend your legal rights.
As soon as you learn that you are under investigation, call our office right away. We can represent you during this phase of the proceeding and help ensure that you avoid making any mistakes that could make the situation worse. As soon as you retain our services, we will conduct an investigation of our own to secure any exculpatory evidence that will help your case, and to identify any and all weaknesses in the government’s case against you.
We will also accompany you during any interviews that you are requested to conduct with law enforcement. Even if you have done nothing wrong, it is never a good idea to be questioned without legal representation. Investigators have been known to ask questions that are confusing, unfair, and improper. Many times, these questions are designed to trap you into committing a “process crime” (such as lying to investigators) that would never have occurred had they not questioned you.
Finally, we will thoroughly assess your circumstances based on the facts, testimony of witnesses, and other evidence that we uncover, and we will negotiate with prosecutors and law enforcement on your behalf. It is always best to negotiate from a position of strength, and with us by your side, you will be in the best possible position to secure a positive outcome.
Contact an Experienced Birmingham, AL Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone close to you has been accused of a crime, you cannot afford to be without a strong defense. At the Zach Peagler Law Firm, we are ready to go to work for you. We will aggressively defend the charges against you and do everything possible to minimize the negative consequences. Call our office today at (205) 871-9990 or message us online to schedule a discreet and confidential consultation.
The following language is required pursuant to Rule 7.2, Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.