>> You need to treat with medical professionals just like you would in any other circumstance and make sure that you have under insured motorist coverage and uninsured because that’s the claim you’re going to need to make.
>> Okay. For more information go to deliveringjustice.com or wbrc.com and click on the Lawcall link. Well, tonight explains what personally injury is all about.
>> You’ve been injured. But how do you know if you have a personal injury claim? This is a tough question to sum up in a few sentences because personally injury is such a broad area of the law. In the most basic terms, you must have suffered an injury to your person or to your property. Secondly, you should consider whether your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence. If you believe you may have a personal injury claim, here’s your sidebar advice. Talk to a trial attorney about your situation. Most firms like ours we’ll talk to you about your claim for free. A trial attorney will ensure you receive what’s necessary to take care of your medical bills, your lost wages, permanent disfigurement and future cost. If you have a question, send it to Lawcalltv.com. I’m personal attorney Riley.
>> We hope you’re having a great weekend and getting ready for a wonderful week ahead with Christmas coming up and with that, you know, a lot of folks are celebrating work, parties where friends and family having festivities and that sort of thing and sometimes that can lead to a possible DUI on the road. So if you have been charged with a DUI or maybe you’re on the other side of the fence where you’ve been hit by a drunk driver and you’re wondering how do I move forward with getting some expenses covered and that sort of thing? Give us a call tonight. We have an attorney in the house that’s going to help answer your questions and so get those phones up now. The number is (855) 529‑1955. We’ve, again, had Brett, he’s with the law firm of Farris, Riley & Pitt, and they practice personally injury so it’s great to have you here.
>> Thanks for having me, tiffany.
>> You brought on a guest, so go ahead and introduce him to us.
>> Fantastic lawyer, one of my friends, David Simpson is here to talk to us tonight about DUI frankly David practices in a much wider realm in criminal law so he’s here to talk about tonight, he represents clients across Birmingham and across Carolina where they’ve been charged criminally and that goes through misdemeanors to major felonies. Very fine lawyer. Great to have you here tonight.
>> Appreciate it.
>> Anything else you can tell folks about your firm?
>> We do anything from parking tickets to capital murder, so any assistance, please feel free to contact us.
>> All right. We have got Lane on the phone tonight. We’re going to kick off the questions with Lane in Birmingham.
>> Caller: Good evening.
>> Caller: My question is, if you are drug‑related DUI, and you are stopped by the police, and they discover that you, you know, have that problem, you’re arrested, you go to jail, you do all that… what is the likelihood of a DUI defense without using blood? You know, testing?.
>> Did you hear him, Dave? .
>> Yeah. Well, of course every case has its own particular situation. Every bit of evidence that the officers could have against you of course would make the case more difficult. But there are a number of ways to resolve the case that may not involve even a trial or the necessity of putting the evidence in question. An experienced DUI attorney would allow you to explore all of those options, which may include prosecution or alternative prosecution or may include some alcohol education and community service. You could be best served by somebody who regularly practices in that area and would allow you to have the most options possible.
>> All right. On that note we need to take our first break here on the show. When we come back we’ll have more of your phone calls and questions. So pick up the phone if you have a question to ask, we’d love to talk to you. We’ll be right back.
>> Tiffany Bittner: lawyers get bad press a lot of times but in tonight’s legal brief, bob prince explains why that shouldn’t be the case.
>> Hey, I like a good lawyer joke as much as the next guy. But let me take a minute is to say why having a lawyer can be a very good thing. Lawyers are the people that help you have your safe. We are effective communicators. And when you’ve been wronged, a lot of times we are your spokesperson in the courthouse. Only in our court system can an individual without great wealth or perhaps any wealth at all come before a judge and jury and have their concerns considered and be addressed equally with all of the other citizens, even the wealthiest or biggest but, you know, you can’t do that without a good lawyer. So without lawyers, it’s highly unlikely that your workplace will be as safe as it is. Discrimination would be rampant without lawyers and lawsuits. And if you got hurt by someone, you would just, hey, be on your own. Do the best you could. Because of lawyers in the legal system, the courthouse is the only house where you’re on equal footing with the president or some giant oil company or some giant corporation. There are a lot of noble professions out there and maybe not surprisingly to you, I think lawyer is one of them. That’s your legal brief for you tonight. I’m attorney bob prince, back to you.
>> Tiffany Bittner: well, tonight’s topic is DUI, so if you have a question and you’re watching with it’s a perfect opportunity to call in. We’ve got Pete on the line and Pete is calling in from center point. So welcome in, Pete.
>> Caller: yes, hi, thank you.
>> Tiffany Bittner: go ahead.
>> Caller: yes, my question is I was involved in a car accident to where I hit another vehicle, me and another person had been drinking.
>> Tiffany Bittner: Okay.
>> Caller: He was driving my personal vehicle. We hit into the back of a car. Both of us got injured. I was ‑‑ although it was my vehicle, could I be held liable for his vital injuries and the other people that were slammed into? So, you know, I’m just asking what am I liable for? .
>> Tiffany Bittner: Sure.
>> Well, I guess the question becomes one of like really the specific facts of the situation. Were you charged with a crime in that matter?
>> Caller: No. I haven’t been charged with anything yet.
>> Okay. Well, first thing you need to do is make sure that you get competent representation. First thing you need to do is ‑‑ if you have any insurance, you put it on notice and that you allow them to interact with you and provide you the best possible defense that they could. Also you need to take a look at ‑‑ and keep an open line of communication with the other individual so that you can be as best prepared as you can to handle the situation.
>> I would add to that one from a civil perspective in terms of liability and dealing with whether there’s a possibility that you could be sued for the actions of the person that was driving your vehicle. The answer is, yes, it is certainly possible. It’s called negligent entrustment and there are some specific facts that have to be hashed out before that can definitively be determined. But if you knew the person that was driving your car was drunk and you voluntarily gave them the keys to a car, it’s no different than someone had under the law you handed over a gun over to someone who might injure someone. Is the way that the law looks at it? So, yes, it is possible, it’s also possible depending on the circumstances that you may have the claim on the person driving the vehicle depending on what you knew and didn’t know when you got into the car. So I would definitely contact a lawyer and civilly that’s one of the things we do.
>> Tiffany Bittner: Okay. Let’s hear from frank tonight. Hey, frank, how’s it going?
>> Caller: Hi, there.
>> Tiffany Bittner: Hey.
>> Hi, frank.
>> Caller: Hey, everybody. My question is ‑‑ I was convicted ‑‑ I had three convictions. 2001 and 2003.
>> Tiffany Bittner: uh‑huh.
>> Caller: and actually 2003 I was convicted in 2004. From the date of the last conviction it says you can get your license back five years from the date of your last conviction for felony DUI. In 2009 that was supposed to happen and I called and they said the administrative rule had been added, and it would be three more years. And I called back in three more years, and they said that they had added another administrative years and it would be 2016, which is ten months from now. But do you know ‑‑ is there anything changed about that. About the administrative rules or anything like that? I know I could appeal to a circuit judge but that’s, like, $2,000 and, you know, it’s just ‑‑ I’m not able to do that.
>> I understand. One of the worst repercussions of getting the DUI is the affect it has on your driving privilege and the driving privilege can be different from the conviction and the other situation. Driver’s licenses in the state of Alabama is handedly by the driver’s license law enforcement agency. It’s a privilege and subject to the rules as such. Of course you have to be preside with due process, preside with the proper notice but my suggestion would be to open a line of communication with Aaliyah, and it’s my hope that you can get your license back as soon as possible.
>> Tiffany Bittner: we’re going to take another break. When we come back, we’ll take more of your phone calls on DUI. So stay tuned.
>> Tiffany Bittner: all right. So here’s what our calendar is looking like. December 27th next weekend we’re going to be discussing trucking accidents. January the third will be all about injuries and then January the 10th will be ask us anything. Of course we hope that you’ll join us for all of those shows, and if you have questions, call in and be a part of the show. If you have been watching tonight, and you’d like to get a touch with our guest tonight David Simpson, his number is 322‑1300 or his website at simpsonlawfirmllc.com. And you can call his office at 180‑0536 or look him up on the web and Brett is here in the house tonight, and he’s representing the law firm of Farris, Riley &, and you can call his office at 205‑324‑1212 or delivering justice.com is his website. So make sure nugget touch with the attorneys you’ve seen on the show. They’re here to help you and guide you and point you possibly in the right direction, whatever your situation is. And, Brett, just take a minute and talk a little bit about your firm and what you guys do and your specialty.
>> Sure so Farris, Riley & Pitt here in Birmingham, basically with he file lawsuits on behalf of people who have been injured or wrong. And defendants in those cases could be companies, individuals, it could be any assortment of things, but it’s anything from trucking cases, car wreck cases, medical malpractice.
>> Stephanie: especially interesting for folks if you’ve been injured and you can’t go to work and your biles have been piling up whether it’s trying to repair your automobile or you’ve been injured and you’ve got medical bills coming in. Explain how you guys work with contingency fees.
>> Well, every area of law has lawyers that practice efficiently for the client. And in the world of litigation, we find contingency fees are the best way to efficiently and best represent our client. And that means we get a percentage of what we’re able to recover for our clients and it awesome means that our client doesn’t owe us anything in the state that we lose. Most importantly you have a consultation with our firm or in the plaintiff’s world such that you don’t have to come in and sit down and write a check for that particular service because you don’t know if you’re going to be able to recover in that situation. But every area of the law is different.
>> Tiffany Bittner: all right. Good to know. Let’s go on with some phone calls. We’ve got mike up next. Hey, mike.
>> Caller: hello.
>> Tiffany Bittner: hey, there.
>> Caller: how are you doing?
>> Tiffany Bittner: good. Thank you for calling us.
>> Caller: yeah, I’ve got a good question for you. I was driving down the street and a drunk driver actually pulled in front of me. I hit the gentleman, he spun out a couple of times and then took off. Well, I chased the guy down, caught him. The cops took about an hour to get there, the guy was drinking while he was waiting for the cops. The cops get there, they more or less write it as a hit‑and‑run. Didn’t give the guy a DUI, actually acted ‑‑ asked the kid, hey, do you know anybody who could pick you up because I went ballistic on the cop because, hey, this guy hit me, he was drunk and you’re not going to give this guy a DUI.
>> Tiffany Bittner: okay. What is your question? How do you go forward?
>> Caller: yeah. How do I go forward with anything besides this hit‑and‑run? Is there anything that can be done at the police station or?
>> Tiffany Bittner: okay. Well, I guess the question would become is this. The officer on the scene made the determination that was the proper charge and obviously you don’t agree with it. And that is understandable. I would follow up with the officer. I’d get the police report. I would make sure that I understood the circumstances of what was going on. You’re a part of that process. And if necessary, contact the relevant jurisdiction and even the relevant attorney’s office or the legal department that represents that jurisdiction. You’re a citizen, and you have the rights. I’d make sure that I felt like my rights were fully protected.
>> Tiffany Bittner: all right, Carolina is our next caller; she’s in Birmingham tonight. Hey, Caroline.
>> Caller: hello.
>> Tiffany Bittner: hey, there.
>> Hey, Caroline.
>> Caller: hi, how are you doing?
>> I’m doing great.
>> What’s your question?
>> Caller: my question is I was at a restaurant one night, and I was changing my shoes, I placed my order already, and I noticed that the police was behind me while I was parked. And when the police officer approached the car he asked me if I was okay. I told him “yes.” he told me to move my car and do the sobriety test, and I got out. He arrested me and took me to jail. And he gave me a sobriety test, and I blew a 0.1, and I want to know at that point should I have been charged for a DUI.
>> Tiffany Bittner: if she was arrested and taken into custody ‑‑
>> Once you’re arrested at the scene, you’re charged with a crime, charged with DUI. Even if the breathalyzer later shows you were under the legal limit or they would not be able to proceed with the case, unfortunately, you are going to have to deal with the point that at that point the officer made the determination that you were under arrest and in violation of the law. What you need to do at that point is to get good competent legal representation who can make the most of the evidence and to show that the officer and the city or the county can’t prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt and get the result that you deserve.
>> Tiffany Bittner: surprised we haven’t had it already but a lot of folks typically call in and ask when you’re pulled over and asked to take that field sobriety test do you take? Or down the? And if you don’t, what are the consequences to not taking it?
>> Caller: well, in every circumstance the interaction between the, your honor. Who got pulled over and the officer is a very personal circumstance, and you have to make the decisions that are right for you. At that time, the officers conduct an investigation. And there is not necessarily a legal consequence for not taking the field sobriety test but the officer can use that in figuring in on whether or not to make the arrest. In the state of Alabama we have a complied consent law that says we understand we’ve given permission to take the breath test. Again, that’s a choice that you have to make. The right decision is not one that I can sit here and tell you. The right decision is one that you have to make and then let the lawyers handle it down the road later.
>> Tiffany Bittner: okay. What goes through if someone is being pulled and over charged with their first DUI? I guess you’ve been taken to jail, you’ve been formally charged, what happens? .
>> Well, the first thing you need to do is get bonded out of jail. Get out of jail, and you’re going to have a lousy day the next day. Then what you need to do is contact an attorney who can help you out. Two things are going to happen at the same time. One the state of Alabama is going to seek to suspend your driving privilege. Win, lose, or draw on the outcome of the DUI. Second you’re going to be charged criminally with the DUI, and you’re going to have to deal with that in court. A good confident DUI lawyer can help you with both sides of that equation. If you have the right person, and if you have the right situation, your DUI could be resolved with very little impact to your life, and you can help advance ‑‑ go forward from there. The best thing I can say is this. Don’t get a DUI. I do a lot of DUI work, and I make my money doing DUI work. But I would love to see everybody make the right decisions and this holiday season and not need my services.
>> Tiffany Bittner: yeah. Fair enough. We’ve got tony calling next. So, hey, Tony.
>> Caller: hey. I was wanting to ask. When you’ve been convicted of a DUI and it’s a felony DUI, and you lost your license for, like, seven years.
>> Tiffany Bittner: uh‑huh.
>> Caller: when you get your license back, you still have that felony, is that still on your record.
>> Absolutely. Once you’re convicted as a felony, that is going to be part of your record. You can regain your driving privilege and hopeful you make the right decisions to where you can get that driver’s license back. But there will always be the record of the process and the criminal case against you. Now, once the ‑‑ qualifications have been satisfied, you can get your driving privilege back and hopefully you won’t have that impact your life.
>> Tiffany Bittner: all right. Let’s hear from Virginia in Birmingham tonight. Hello.
>> Caller: hello.
>> Tiffany Bittner: hey, Virginia.
>> Caller: hey.
>> Tiffany Bittner: hey, tell us what your question is tonight.
>> Caller: okay. So my question is ‑‑ I had an incident where my car was parked in front of my home about 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, and I was awakened by a crash. And when I jumped up and ran out, I saw that the car hit my car, the young man ran off and the police charged him with hit‑and‑run and DUI, and we took it to civil court ‑‑ I’m trying to see if there’s anything more that I can do as far as, like, I guess getting my ‑‑ the money ‑‑ getting my car repaired or whatnot what have you. But nothing was really done. It was basically, like, well, he’s not working so there’s nothing you can do.
>> Tiffany Bittner: okay. Well, actually I’m going to kind of throw that over to my colleague Brett over here, that’s kind of more in his wheelhouse.
>> Sure. When it comes to a situation like that, there’s really only two options. One option is to pursue the person that hit your car and was intoxicated when they did so. And hopefully they have insurance. If that person does not have insurance all likelihood, it is going to be difficult to recover on a judgment against them. It does not mean it is impossible. You still have the right to make the claim, a righteous claim under the circumstances and under the law, and you have that right. The second thing you can do is put it on your own insurance that’s not right, it’s not fair, but that’s just the way life works in those circumstances.
>> Tiffany Bittner: thanks for coming on tonight. Have a great week, everybody. Stay safe, don’t put yourself in a situation where you would be up for getting a DUI. Make some common sense decisions and be safe and, hey, merry Christmas. We’ll see you next week; right? Next Sunday night.
>> Look forward to seeing you then.
>> Tiffany Bittner: all right. Merry Christmas next Sunday night 10:30 right here.