Are Breathalyzers Foolproof?

breathalyzer drinks neon green sign bar bars

Are Breathalyzers Foolproof?

breathalyzer drinks neon green sign bar bars

Breathalyzer and DUI are terms that go hand in hand. Many people hear “DUI” and immediately think of a Breathalyzer. This is understandable as every state has adopted some form of this roadside test for drivers pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. Many drivers though are in fact charged with a DUI, because they failed a Breathalyzer test.

For this reason, many clients ask: “Are Breathalyzers always accurate?” The straight answer is: no. A Breathalyzer can return unreliable readings and thus there is a possibility for acquittal even if a Breathalyzer test was administered.


Breathalyzers are not 100% accurate.

First things first: if you, or a loved one, are currently facing a DUI charge, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer well versed in this area of the law can help defend your case and guide you through this potentially difficult process.

An experienced DUI lawyer can help determine if the Breathalyzer test performed on-site was accurate and reliable. They can also help represent you in court and potentially save you from the worst of consequences.


What can trigger a Breathalyzer?

Many people don’t know this but several types of food, household items, accessories, and even diet can potentially render a false-positive on certain Breathalyzer tests.

Over-the-counter medicine like cough syrup can cause a reading of over .08% BAC. So can mouthwash, nuts, energy drinks, perfumes, breath strips, and other combinations. The reason some breathalyzer tests can be unreliable is because of how they measure alcohol on the breath. Certain tests measure molecules called ketones, which are similar chemically to alcohol. Meaning a keto diet can cause some breathalyzer devices to register positive.

Alabama has laws in place which prohibit a driver from having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of above .08% for personal vehicles. If the driver is holding a commercial vehicle license, then that limit drops to .04%, and if the driver is under 21 then it drops further to .02%.

Check out this page on our site for more information on DUI charges, possible consequences, and other information.


Pulled over? Here’s what to do:

Don’t be rude. Being polite can help you.

Don’t say anything you don’t need to say. You have a right to remain silent. Apart from the required documents, you do not need to show the police anything else. 

Talk to an attorney, not the cops. The quicker you contact an experienced attorney, the better your chances are. Here are some of the questions an attorney can use:

  • What device was used to conduct the test?
  • Was the officer trained properly?
  • Was the device maintained correctly? 

With these questions in mind and other factors, an attorney improves your chances of beating a DUI case greatly.


Facing DUI charges in Alabama? Contact us today.

Warren Freeman has over a decade of experience defending those charged with a DUI. Our firm will work tirelessly to defend your rights and help you evade the worst consequences. Click here to contact us today.

DUI in Alabama. FAQ

DUI Driving hands on steering wheel black white hands

Have you been charged with a DUI?

DUI charges in Alabama can have significant legal consequences as well as other consequences for a person’s quality of life. Jail time, fines, probation, counseling, and community service might be some of the repercussions of a DUI conviction. DUI’s can also affect a person’s job, employment prospects, and business prospects. 

If you are dealing with a DUI, contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense as well as one with trial experience in DUI cases. We fight for our clients constitutionally guaranteed rights and will defend you throughout the legal process. Contact us today by clicking here or calling at (256) 253-3169. 


What should I do if I’m pulled over?

If you are pulled over and are under suspicion by the officer of a DUI offense, you can follow a few steps that can help you at the moment, and in the long run. If you are pulled over, be polite! Being agitated, angry, rude, or any other negative action towards law enforcement could harm your case. 

Don’t say more than is necessary. The police can ask for your identification, vehicle registration, and insurance. Beyond these things, you are within your legal rights to remain silent. If arrested, the one thing we suggest you say is “I would like to speak with my attorney.”

Don’t take a field sobriety test or breathalyzer. Although per Alabama law, your license can be suspended for a short amount of time if you refuse a test, that suspension can be modified with the help of an attorney. 


Is a DUI in Alabama a Felony?

A DUI in Alabama is a felony only if it is the fourth DUI offense within a 10 year period. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time DUI’s are most likely going to be misdemeanors, barring a few circumstances. DUI Misdemeanors, that is, 1st time, 2nd, and 3rd-time offices, come with incremental consequences. First-time offenses can face up to a year in jail, fines of up to $2,100, and the use of an IID. For all misdemeanor DUI offenses, if there are aggravating circumstances, like a child under 14 years of age being in the vehicle, or an accident occurring, then the steeper side of punishments can be incurred. 


What is an IID?

An IID, or Ignition-Interlock Device, is essentially an in-car breathalyzer test, which must be used in order to start and drive a car. These devices are used to go around the license suspension/revocation that can occur after a DUI misdemeanor. Usually, these devices are paid for by the defendant. Meaning, they are an out-of-pocket expense but more than usually necessary. 


Is jail time a possibility with a DUI in Alabama?

Jail time is always a possibility with a DUI charge. Several factors come into play when the court considers these charges and their possible consequences. For example, it is considered driving under the influence if the BAC is .08% or higher. It is an aggravated misdemeanor if the BAC is .15% or higher. Other aggravating factors can include passengers in the car, if there was an accident, or if there are any previous offenses. Usually, courts give out suspended sentences in order for the accused to complete court-ordered programs like probation, counseling, and community service.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge in Alabama

domestic violence handcuffs

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge in Alabama

One of the most difficult aspects of handling criminal cases is dealing with preconceptions and public bias. A person hears the word “burglar” and immediately associates it with emotions of disgust and disdain. It’s only natural of course to have an idea in your head after you hear a word. Someone hears the word “beach” and they think of sand and the ocean, they hear robbery or assault and they think much worse. The same thing happens with Domestic Violence (DV).

Our justice system is designed to be ideal, we pick jurors who are unbiased to the best of their abilities. We dissect situations to root out the truth of an event, even an event with strong emotions. For this reason, amongst others, being charged with domestic violence can be so difficult not just on the person accused, the victim, and the community-at-large. Two of the most important concepts enshrined in the judicial system are the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial with impartial jurors. This is why with charges as emotional as those like domestic violence, the accused must still be defended because each case is unique. 

Domestic Violence Charges in Alabama

There are 3 Degrees to DV in the State of Alabama. In Alabama, as in other states, the legal term for domestic violence has to do with essentially committing a crime against someone who has a “qualified relationship” to the accused. So, many criminal acts can fall under the umbrella term of domestic violence. The most commonly seen are Assault, Burglary, Stalking, Reckless Endangerment, and Trespassing, to name a few. A qualified relationship is defined as spouses, former spouses, children, step-children, household members, and other qualifications related to this.

Distinguishing between degrees and their connections to the degree of domestic violence is relatively straightforward. A crime like assault or burglary in the first degree is also treated as domestic violence in the first degree. Criminal trespassing or arson in the third degree are also treated as domestic violence in the third degree. For a comprehensive breakdown, check out this link.

Consequences and Penalties of Domestic Violence in Alabama

First Degree criminal acts are categorized as Class A Felonies in Alabama. This carries a maximum life sentence. It also carries a minimum of 10 years in prison. 

Second Degree criminal acts are categorized as Class B Felonies, this carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a minimum of 2 years. Third Degree DV can be a Class A misdemeanor. This entails up to $6,000 in fines and up to a year in prison. 

These are not lenient penalties. It is also widely assumed that DV charges are prosecuted more severely than other cases, so sentencing can be towards interpreting the sentencing guidelines more strictly. 

What to do if you have been charged?

If you have been charged with Domestic Violence to any degree, the best advice would be to seek legal representation. An attorney being present can help defend the accused by building a strong investigation and defense. Attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s legal experience. He’s litigated some of the most challenging lawsuits across several counties in Alabama.Warren is one of the premier attorneys in Central Alabama. Call the office of Warren Freeman Attorney at Law today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

The Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm for your Car Accident Injury Claim


The Benefits of Hiring a Law Firm for your Car Accident Injury Claim

Hiring a law firm for your car accident injury claim can be beneficial because an experienced attorney knows the ins and outs of these cases and will look out for your rights. After getting into a car accident, big or small, insurance agencies will look at your case and try to lower the amount of compensation you will receive. The goal of an insurance agency is to settle the case as quickly as possible. The quicker they settle, the lower the amount paid out. Insurance companies also try and settle quickly because the unsuspecting victim might not know of their full rights and benefits. This is why contacting an accident attorney is the prudent thing to do. 

Types of Car Accidents

Timeline of Car Accident Injury Claim

  • Accident Occurs
    • The unfortunate truth is that accidents occur. Most of them are not fatal, but even minor accidents can cause long-term consequences. Medical, Financial, and Mental consequences. These are the reasons we have insurance, or at least this is what we believe we have insurance for. But as we’ve stated above, sometimes the insurance companies only care about their bottom line, not yours.
  • Medical Treatment Occurs
    • Seeking medical attention after an accident or injury is sometimes necessary. Treating your wounds and any consequences of an accident are a top priority and it’s the reason most people file a claim, they need help paying their medical bills. Seeking a doctor’s treatment is also important in having proof that injuries were incurred during the accident. This will help build your case and help in the long run.
  • Negotiations with Insurance Occurs
    • Throughout the entire process, your insurance will be in constant negotiations. Whether or not a suit is filed. 
  • The lawsuit is Prepared and Filed
    • Preparing and filing a lawsuit requires a keen eye by a trained expert. Documents, legal notices, and timelines need to be kept if this step is taken.
  • Mediation before Trial
    • Normally a judge will order some form of mediation between parties before a trial is set
  • Trial
  • Verdict
    • If a trial is the only option left then after the verdict a settlement will have to be paid out.


Benefits of a small law firm for car accident injury claims

Personalized Care

There is a myth that only the big law firms, with hundreds if not thousands of associates, have the best lawyers. This is not true. Attorneys of top caliber are found throughout the big, medium, and small-sized firms. Finding a trustworthy attorney in a small firm can be a big advantage when filing a Car Accident Injury Claim. Personalized care is what small firms can offer that big firms cannot. A large firm has thousands of claims to handle and explaining their reasonings and procedures is not in their interest to the small claim individual. At small firms, that is not the case. 

Expedited Timeline

Sometimes cases can take months or years to settle. The unfortunate truth is that there is no magic wand that one can wave to settle a case immediately. But the bread and butter of small firms is handling only a few cases at a time. This can help expedite the process of settling cases. It is to both the clients’ advantage and the small firms’ advantage to help speed up the process. 

Avoiding Settlement Mills

One big thing that an experienced small firm will tell you to look out for is what’s known as settlement mills. These are large firms that benefit from a large number of cases. That is, they have a large volume of cases but their goal is to settle quickly. These firms are loved by insurance agencies. These firms will not try and explain or walk you through their process and are only looking for a large number of clients. They will not help you maximize your claim and are one of the reasons that small firms can be better for you than large firms . 

Contact Us Today

Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s experience working with personal injury and car accident cases in Alabama. 

Call the office of Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Wondering who is at fault in a car accident in the state of Alabama? Unlike some states, Alabama is an “at-fault” state when it comes to determining who was at fault in the event of a car accident.

In short, this means the person responsible for the accident is liable for all the damages as a result of the accident.

As with most injury claims, however, things are not always straightforward. Here’s a closer look at how auto liability laws work in Alabama, and what you should do if you’re involved in a car accident.

What You Should Do if You’re Involved in a Car Accident

First of all, it’s important you know what to do if you’re involved in a car accident. Not only from a safety aspect but also to protect your rights.

Each accident will pose its own unique challenges. Generally speaking, however, you should take the following steps:

Call 911 and check everyone is safe – The first step after an accident is to always check everyone is safe. Call 911 and report the accident to the police (you’ll need a police accident report number later), and an ambulance if needed.

Don’t talk about it with the other party – Resist apologizing or talking about who you think was at fault. Emotions are going to be running high, and you may say something you later regret.

Under Alabama law, you must provide your contact details, driver’s license number, vehicle registration details, and the names of your passengers. You can give this information to the other party and the police. Don’t say anything else about the accident.

Gather evidence – Regardless of who you think was at fault, the more evidence you can gather the better. Take photos and film footage on your phone, make sure you capture any tire marks, the damage to both cars, and other evidence you think is relevant.

Get a copy of the traffic accident report – The police officer will fill out a traffic accident report. They may also ask you to fill out an SR-13 form. Get copies of these records as soon as they’re available as you’ll need them when filing a claim.

Contact an attorney – Dealing with insurance companies, understanding local laws, seeing medical professionals, and communicating with the police department in the aftermath of an accident can be challenging.

The only way to be sure you will receive the maximum possible compensation is to work with an experienced attorney.

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

In the event of an accident, the general rule of thumb is that the person responsible for the accident is the one at fault. Or, another way of putting this is the person who was more “careless” is at fault.

Proving that one person was at fault is often easier said than done. With a lot on the line, it’s common for people to dispute being responsible for causing an accident.

A further complication is that in some cases, the driver of the other vehicle might not be the person at fault. For example, if the accident was due to a manufacturing fault with their vehicle, the manufacturer could be held liable.

It’s important to establish whether or not you were at fault. As well as ways to prove who was at fault if both parties dispute who they think is at fault.

Proving Who Was at Fault

Proving Who Was at Fault

If both parties in a car accident cannot agree who was at fault, the insurance companies will attempt to make this determination.

Depending on the complexity of the crash, law enforcement and insurance companies can assess the incident.

An insurance company will usually start by asking the police officer that attended the scene for a report. They may then send out accident investigators to visit the scene and provide their professional input.

The insurance companies for both parties will work together to figure out who was at fault, and to what extent.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Help Prove Who Was at Fault?

You do not have to retain an attorney if you’ve been involved in a car accident. However, depending on how complex and serious your accident was, hiring an attorney is going to be able to help in a number of ways.

The main benefits of hiring an attorney include:

Handing paperwork and legal documents – There will be various documents to fill out following a car accident. Small things like making a mistake or missing a deadline can harm your case. An attorney will help ensure all paperwork is filled out correctly and filed on time.

Proving fault – If you think the other party was at fault but are disputing it, an attorney can help conduct an investigation to find evidence that they were at fault.

Compensation – You may be eligible for personal injury compensation along with damages for the damage to your vehicle. Personal injury law is complex, an experienced attorney will be able to advise if you’re eligible.

Negotiating with insurance companies – Dealing with insurance companies is often time-consuming and difficult. Attorneys have experience working with insurance companies and are better placed to pursue the best outcome in your favor.

Protecting your rights – You’re not expected to understand the law in detail and know how to act after a car accident. Being in an accident is traumatic enough, you should leave the legal matters to a qualified attorney.

About Warren Freeman Attorney At Law

If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, call the office of Warren Freeman attorney at law today.

Whether you were at fault, or not. To protect your rights you should always retain the expertise of an experienced auto liability and personal injury lawyer.

Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s experience representing clients on both sides of auto accident cases. He will fight for you to ensure you’re awarded the maximum compensation you’re entitled to.

Call the office of Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

What Is a Power of Attorney & Why Would I Need It?

What is a Power of Attorney

What Is a Power of Attorney & Why Would I Need It?

Almost everyone will need a power of attorney at some point in their lives. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows you to name a person or an organization to manage your assets in the event that you’re unable to do so.

It’s a decision you need to make carefully, and you have several options when naming a power of attorney in Alabama. In this article, we’re looking at what a power of attorney does, and why you would need to name one.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

In Alabama, a power of attorney is someone named to act on behalf of and make decisions for the person who appointed them.

In short, this means; if for some reason you are not able to make a decision regarding your personal financial or legal issues, the person you gave power of attorney to will be able to do so on your behalf.

In legal terms, you create a relationship backed by law. You are named the ‘principal’, and the person you give POA to is the ‘agent’.

You can use POA for temporary things, such as giving someone the power to manage your financial affairs when you’re out of the country. Or, you can give someone a POA to manage your estate in the event that you become unable to do so yourself due to being incapacitated in some way.

What Can Power of Attorneys Do?

You can hand over just about any responsibility to a POA. As long as you make it clear in a legal document what you’re giving them the power to do.

Some of the common ‘powers’ or responsibilities handed over to a power of attorney are:

Financial Matters

Handling financial matters when you’re not able to is one of the most common reasons for awarding POA to someone you trust.

A lot of people name a power of attorney to step in and make financial decisions if they fall sick and are not able to make the decisions themselves.

This can be something as simple as managing house bills in the short term until you’re back from vacation. Or, it could involve handing over a whole estate in the event that you will never be well enough to make decisions yourself.

Real Estate Decisions

Managing real estate is often a time-consuming task. Your properties and tenants will suffer if you’re suddenly not able to make decisions for yourself.

You can assign someone power of attorney to pick up managing your properties in your absence. This can save you a lot of money, as well as ensuring any tenants you have are taken care of.

Business Affairs

If you run your own business, operations have to carry on in your absence. Otherwise, you risk losing a lot of money and potentially running into legal issues.

You can name a power of attorney to handle certain urgent day-to-day tasks when you’re not available. Or, you can give someone the power to take over operating your business if something happens to you.

Legal Matters

It’s fairly common for people to hand over power of attorney for some of their legal matters. In this instance, you may want to choose an attorney or someone with legal experience as they’ll make informed decisions.

You can use a POA to help with everything from ensuring important and timely legal affairs are taken care of when you’re briefly not available. Or, you might want to assign someone the power to handle your affairs in the event that you’re no longer able to.

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney

Why Would You Need a Power of Attorney?

You should consider naming a person as a power of attorney to manage your affairs in the event that you’re not able to.

It can be a thing of convenience, such as enabling someone to appear in person for deals when you’re busy. Or, you can think ahead and make sure someone you trust will take over your affairs if you suddenly fall ill or are incapacitated in some way.

If you don’t appoint a power of attorney, your business and personal affairs could quickly spiral out of control. In some cases, a court will step in and appoint one or more people to act on your behalf.

Therefore, it’s better you give power of attorney to someone who knows you, and you trust. A lot of people use this principal/agent relationship to help manage their affairs throughout their lives.

It’s important to be aware that a power of attorney expires when the principal dies. The power or authority to manage the principles affairs and estate after death is handed over to the executor.

How to Choose a Power of Attorney

Trust is the biggest factor when choosing power of attorney. It’s a big decision, with potentially huge implications for your loved ones.

Whether you choose a friend, family member, an attorney, or an organization, you need to be sure you can trust them to carry out your wishes and act with your best interests at heart.

You also need to choose someone willing to take on the responsibility. They need to understand what is expected of them, and they should be good at keeping accurate records.

This is a decision an attorney can help you with. But ultimately it’s going to come down to you to select someone you feel is best for the role.

About Warren Freeman Attorney At Law

If you’re considering giving power of attorney to someone in Alabama, hiring an experienced attorney will make sure the POA is lawful and you’re handing over the right powers.

Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s experience working with power of attorney cases in Alabama. He can help you fill out the forms and submit your paperwork quickly, and easily.

Call the office of Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

Divorce for Adultery and Incompatibility in Alabama

Divorce for Adultery and Incompatibility in Alabama

Divorce for Adultery and Incompatibility in Alabama

Sometimes, spouses can no longer live together, remain as a couple, and stay married. Whatever the reason, if this is the case for you and your spouse, you need to file for a divorce. Continue reading to learn more about Divorce for Adultery and Incompatibility in the State of Alabama.

In Alabama, two of the most common reasons for divorce are adultery and incompatibility.

Both of which mean different things and require different approaches to pursue. However, it’s important that you are able to explain the reason why you’re getting a divorce for a judge to grant it.

It’s important to note that the grounds for divorce can greatly impact how your assets will divide, alimony payments, and some other financial implications.

In this article, we’re looking at how to file for divorce on the grounds of adultery and incompatibility. As well as what the implications are and what you should do next.

Filing for Divorce in Alabama – Where To Start

When you and/or your spouse have decided you want to file for divorce, the first thing you should do is seek representation from an experienced divorce attorney.

Divorce can become particularly complex and is often emotional. You need an experienced lawyer fighting for your rights if you’re going to receive everything you’re entitled to.

The person filing for divorce is called the ‘plaintiff.’ The plaintiff is responsible for citing a legal ground for the divorce.

In Alabama, couples have the option to file for a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce. Here is a closer look at what each of these types of divorce means:

Grounds for a No-Fault Divorce in Alabama

There has to be a legally acceptable reason for a judge to grant a divorce in the state of Alabama. After all, marriage is a legal contract.

However, sometimes it’s hard to define the exact reason or place blame on one spouse. Under these circumstances, you’re able to file for a ‘no-fault’ divorce. This essentially means you’re citing one of the following two reasons:

Incompatibility – this means that either one or both of you agree that you’re not able to get along any longer.

Irretrievable breakdown of your marriage – this means that either one or both of you say that your marriage is simply beyond repair.

No-fault divorces are typically easier and quicker to resolve than fault-based divorces and less expensive.

Grounds for a Fault-Based Divorce in Alabama

As the name suggests, a fault-based divorce is filing for divorce by placing fault on your spouse. This form of divorce is often more demanding, as it requires you to prove your allegations to a judge.

It also means airing your ‘dirty laundry’ in a public forum and confronting your spouse. This form of divorce is typically a more drawn out and expensive process than a no-fault divorce.

Some of the grounds for a fault-based divorce in Alabama include:

  • Adultery
  • Habitual drunkenness
  • Physically and incurably incapacitation of a spouse while getting married
  • Discovering the wife was pregnant at the time of marriage without disclosing it
  • Being in prison for at least 2 of a 7-year sentence
  • Mental illness that has resulted in at least 5 consecutive years in an institution
  • Performing a crime against nature, human or beast
  • Abandoning the marriage for at least 12 months

Filing for Divorce on the Grounds of Adultery

Filing for Divorce on the Grounds of Adultery

Adultery is the most common reason cited in a fault-based divorce. In Alabama, adultery is defined in section 13A-13-2 of the Alabama code as:

A person commits adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is not his spouse and lives in cohabitation with that other person when he or that other person is married.

If you can prove your spouse committed adultery, there is a good chance you will be granted a divorce on those grounds.

How Proving Adultery Affects Alimony and Division of Assets

When two people are granted a divorce and go their separate ways, their assets have to be divided fairly and reasonably.

This doesn’t mean everything will be split 50/50. Neither does it mean if one spouse has contributed a lot more during the marriage, they will receive more from the settlement.

A judge has to make a determination on how the assets should be split. This also includes whether or not the judge will award alimony and how much it should be.

The main factors a judge will take into account when deciding on how to divide assets and award alimony are:

  • The conduct of the spouses during the marriage and the grounds for divorce
  • The earning ability of both spouses
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The current living situation and standard of living of both spouses
  • Values of the property and assets each spouse has to their names
  • Any other facts and circumstances the judge thinks are relevant to the case.

As you can see, the grounds for divorce and the conduct of both spouses are factors judges take into account when deciding on how to award both spouses.

This doesn’t mean the court will award you more favorably if your partner commits adultery. But it does mean it can be taken into account.

There is also a limitation when granting a divorce on the grounds of adultery in Alabama; Judges cannot award the plaintiff any of the adulterous spouse’s non-marital property.

Is There a Homewrecker Law in Alabama?

The ‘Homewrecker’ law, which is also called the alienation of affection lawsuit, is a law that enables someone to sue a third party for damages incurred due to the break up of their marriage.

At the time of writing this, however, legislation has been passed to abolish alienation of affection laws in Alabama.

There are currently only six states that currently have some form of Homewrecker law.

About Warren Freeman Attorney at Law

If you’re considering divorcing your partner on either grounds of adultery or incompatibility, hiring an experienced attorney is the only way to seek your most favorable settlement.

Going through a divorce is an emotionally draining experience. It would be best if you didn’t try to also navigate the legal process yourself, especially with so much on the line.

Attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s experience representing clients in Alabama. He’s represented many clients on both sides of divorce proceedings and has a comprehensive understanding of the legal system in Alabama.

If you want the very best outcome in your case, call the office of Warren Freeman, Attorney at Law, today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.

The Most Common Criminal Law Charges and How To Avoid Them

The Most Common Criminal Law Charges and How To Avoid Them

The Most Common Criminal Law Charges and How To Avoid Them

According to the latest statistics made available by the FBI, across the U.S., a property crime is committed every 4.1 seconds and a violent crime every 24.6 seconds.

These are shocking statistics. Although, there are a number of things you can do to minimize your own risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Here are the top five most common criminal law charges in the U.S. and tips on how to avoid them:

1. Larceny/Theft

According to CriminalJusticeDegreeHub, by far the most common crime across the U.S. is larceny-theft. There are more than 7 million incidents of larceny reported each year, and this crime makes up around 60% of all reported crimes.

Larceny is theft, although the word “theft” is used for broader crimes. Depending on which state you live in, the word larceny might apply to different types of theft.

To commit an act of larceny, someone has to take property that doesn’t belong to them without the owner’s consent. If you’ve ever had some personal belongings stolen, you were likely a victim of larceny.

It’s important to note that a crime of larceny is different from robbery and burglary. These crimes are also covered separately on this list along with explanations.

How To Protect Yourself Against Larceny list the following points to help protect yourself against larceny:

  • Keep your possessions close to you when you’re out and never leave bags and other belongings unattended
  • Do not place your cell phone, car keys, and other valuables on tables when dining out
  • Keep your personal belongings in a secure drawer while at work
  • When shopping, keep your wallet, purse, etc secured on your body until you are paying for your goods
  • Do not keep your Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) in your wallet or purse
  • Make a list of all your credit card numbers, ID cards, etc along with customer service phone numbers in case you need to cancel your cards if they’re stolen

2. Burglary

The second most common criminal law charge in the U.S. is burglary. Although burglary often involves the theft of items, it’s a crime that can be committed without stealing anything.

To commit a burglary, someone has to enter a dwelling or structure with the intent to commit a crime. It’s possible for that person to be convicted of burglary, even without committing a crime inside the building.

If a person does commit theft while in the building, they can face multiple criminal charges.

How To Protect Yourself Against Burglary

Safewise lists the following as ways to prevent your home/business from being burglarized:

  • Install security systems and cameras
  • Improve the locks on the doors that give access to your building
  • Make your property looked lived in when you’re not there
  • Use motion-activated security lights
  • Always lock windows overnight
  • Join neighborhood watch groups

3. Motor Vehicle Theft

According to Wikipedia, in 2017 there were 237 motor vehicle thefts reported per 100,000 people across the U.S.

Motor vehicle theft also called car theft and grand theft auto is the criminal act of stealing or attempting to steal a motor vehicle.

Around 800,000 people are victims of motor vehicle theft each year, and this makes this type of crime the third most common.

How To Protect Yourself Against Motor Vehicle Theft

GEICO outlines the following as the best ways to reduce the risk of being a victim of motor vehicle theft:

  • Always keep your vehicle locked, even while driving
  • Never leave your car unattended and running, even if you’re popping out for just a couple of minutes
  • Install an anti-theft immobilizer and/or a tracking device
  • Never leave valuables inside your car where they can be seen
  • Try and park your car somewhere lit or with good visibility overnight if not in a garage

4. Aggravated Assault

The fourth most common criminal law charge is aggravated assault. The FBI defines aggravated assault as “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.”

This is a very different type of crime from the top three on the list. Being a victim of an assault often has a much more damaging impact on victims over theft and burglary.

Weapons are commonly used, and victims are subjected to bodily harm. There is a physical, mental, and psychological impact involved when being a victim of an aggravated assault.

How To Protect Yourself Against Aggravated Assault

It’s often difficult to predict when you’re at an increased risk of an aggravated assault. Some tips to help protect yourself include:

  • Don’t go out late at night alone
  • Know your surroundings well, be cautious when exploring new areas
  • Listen to your instincts, if you feel uncomfortable or if you’re in danger leave the area
  • Be observant of your surroundings and keep an eye out for risks
  • Don’t be confrontational with people

5. Robbery

Robbery is the fifth most common type of crime. Not to be confused with larceny or theft, robbery is defined by the FBI as “taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.”

It’s estimated there are around 300,000 robberies reported in the U.S. every year. This covers everything from “strong-arm” robberies involving dangerous weapons to more “minor” incidents such as attempted purse snatching.

How To Protect Yourself Against Robbery

To protect yourself from being a victim of robbery recommends the following tips:

  • Be observant of your surrounds and remain alert at all times
  • Don’t make valuables visible if you can help it when out in public
  • Stick to well-lit areas late at night
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash on you
  • Display confident body language
  • Trust your instincts, if you feel like you’re at risk do something to remove yourself from the situation

Have You Been the Victim of a Crime?

If you’ve been a victim of a crime it’s important you are aware of your rights. You may be eligible for compensation or restitution, or you may feel like your case is not being handled correctly.

Criminal defense attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s of legal experience. He’s litigated some of the most challenging lawsuits across several counties in Alabama.

If you want to find out what your rights are and what the best outcome for your case is, call the office of Warren Freeman Attorney at Law today at (256) 253-3169.

Fault Based Grounds of Divorce

Fault Based Grounds of Divorce

Fault Based Grounds of Divorce

In Alabama, couples that have decided to file for divorce have the option to file for either a fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce.

A no-fault divorce relates to on irreconcilable differences. While a fault-based divorce is more complicated as it’s based on a spouse’s misconduct in the marriage.

Typically, a spouse will file a fault-based divorce if they feel “wronged”. Wanting to prove they were not the reason for the failure of the marriage.

Successfully proving the other spouse was at fault can also lead to a larger distribution of marital property.

So, it’s incredibly important you seek the advice and representation of an experienced lawyer. One with experience defending clients in fault-based divorce cases in Alabama – as Warren Freeman is.

Here’s a closer look at the fault-based grounds for divorce and what it means for both parties:

Fault-Based Grounds of Divorce in Alabama

Alabama law allows either spouse to file for a fault-based divorce if they see their spouse’s actions as a reason for the divorce.

There are some pros and cons to pursuing a fault-based divorce. In a lot of cases, it’s important to the spouse pursuing the count action to prove they were not at fault for the breakup of the marriage.

However, it is typically more expensive and requires more work to go through the fault-based count proceedings.

The spouse taking action also has to prove their allegations to the court. This often means bringing up some harmful or challenging evidence, which may include witnesses.

Here are acceptable grounds for fault-based divorce:

Physical and incurable incapacity – This can include being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As well as not being in the right state of mind or physical capacity to make the decision to get married.

Habitual drunkenness – Developing a dependency on drugs or alcohol and excessive intoxication while married.

Adultery – Being unfaithful and resulting in the breakdown of the marriage is one of the most common reasons for a fault-based divorce.

Imprisonment – This applies if a spouse has been imprisoned for the previous two years prior to filing for a fault-based divorce. They also need to be serving a sentence that is at least 7 years long.

Institutionalized – Institutionalized for at least 5 years consecutively at the time of applying for the divorce due to mental illness. This is also subject to a mental health evaluation by a mental health professional.

Abandonment or desertion – If a spouse abandoned the other for at least 12 months, in the eyes of this is fault grounds for divorce.

Domestic violence – Any form of domestic violence constitutes grounds for a fault-based divorce.

Pregnancy at the time of marriage – If the wife in the relationship was pregnant at the time of getting married without the other partner knowing, this comes under fault-based grounds.

Crimes against nature – Whether it’s with mankind or beast, crimes against nature while married are acceptable grounds.

When Both Spouses Are at Fault

Defending Against a Fault-Based Divorce

It’s not uncommon for one spouse to file for fault against the other. Only to have the other spouse counter-file with grounds for a fault divorce too.

When this happens, the court will decide which spouse is less at fault. That person will be the one who is granted the divorce.

This is called “Comparative Rectitude”. This doctrine was created to help courts avoid granting neither party a divorce.

Defending Against a Fault-Based Divorce

A spouse can object to a fault-based divorce and refute the claims made against them. This isn’t typically to avoid getting a divorce, as courts don’t push back against it. It’s usually to clear their name, prove they’ve done no wrong, and get a more “fair” division of assets.

Some of the most common defenses include:

Collusion – This usually applies to spouses who originally agreed to fabricate the grounds for divorce. One party will often change their minds during the legal process, and collusion is the defense to lessen the grounds.

Recrimination – This means the spouse filing for divorce is equally to blame or guilty of the same fault. For example, if both spouses are equally abusing drugs, neither one can use substance abuse as grounds for a divorce.

Connivance – This is the main defense against adultery. If the spouse filing for fault divorce enticed, participated, or had any involvement in their partner having an affair, it’s connivance.

Provocation – Provocation is a defense if the accused spouse can prove the other spouse provoked them. Such as encouragement to commit adultery or suffering harassment.

Condonation – This defense means that the spouse filing for divorce knew about the other spouse’s behavior, and forgave them. Only to then file for divorce after the marriage had resumed.

About Warren Freeman

Whether you’re facing a no-fault or a fault-based divorce, hiring an experienced attorney will help you seek a better settlement.

Divorce laws are complex, it’s not an area of law you’re expected to understand. Yet, there is so much on the line when dividing assets and parental rights.

Fault-based divorces are a lot less common and more complex than no-fault divorce cases. Hiring an attorney with experience in this area can make all the difference. Both to the judgment, and the settlement in your case.

Attorney Warren Freeman has more than two decade’s legal experience. He’s litigated some of the most challenging lawsuits across several counties in Alabama.

Waren is one of the premier family law attorneys in Central Alabama. Most importantly, he has considerable experience representing defendants in fault-based divorce cases.

If you want the very best outcome in your case, call the office of Warren Freeman Attorney at Law today on (256) 253-3169, or contact us by filling out a form here.