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Criminal Defense

As a criminal defense attorney, Martin Miller Poynter knows that good people sometimes get caught up in situations they wouldn't have wished for. Whether you've been falsely accused, or are just trying to plea bargain and minimize the punishment, we can all relate to that. "I guess you could say that growing up, I got into a good bit of trouble. It's probably a miracle that I'm still alive today with all the things I got into when I was younger. But God's grace and mercy brought me to where I am today. I believe in second chances for everyone, regardless of what you're accused of. Jesus didn't say to the criminal being crucified next to him that he wasn't worthy of His kingdom. As long as you're still living and breathing, there's an opportunity to turn your life around for good, through the choices and decisions you make. We are all only human, and I firmly believe that after every fall, there is an opportunity to get back up again."




You may have wondered if your case has a viable defense. First and foremost, the prosecution has the burden of proof.  That simply means that they are the ones who have to prove their case.  As a criminally accused, you do not have to prove anything.  If the prosecution cannot prove their case, you win.  In most cases, there are ways to attack the prosecution's case against you.  There are a number of defenses, also, that are effective, even in the most serious felony criminal cases.  The best way to find out how to defend your case is to talk with a criminal defense attorney.  



Every conviction in city court or district court is appealable to circuit court for a new trial.  You have 14 days to appeal from municipal or district court.  You have the right to request a jury trial in every case you appeal to the circuit court.  In some cases, you are just better off trying the case to a jury rather than a judge.  

Asset Seizures/Forfeitures

When the government believes that your property, whether real estate, your personal home, your cars, equipment or other items were purchased with money that was gained through criminal activities, you could face seizures of all that property, and you could forfeit all of what you have worked so hard to gain.


There are three degrees of assault in Alabama.  While assault 3rd degree is a misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in jail), both assault 2nd and 1st degrees are felonies (punishable by up to 20 years for assault 1st and 10 years for assault 2nd).  Assault is generally comprised of an intent to cause physical injury to a person, followed by actually causing physical injury to that person.  Assaults can be defended in a variety of ways, including self-defense, mutual combat, and defense of others.  But even if none of these defenses apply, the prosecution still has to prove your intent beyond a reasonable doubt.  

Attempt Crimes

Technically classified as "inchoate" crimes, these charges can include attempt, solicitation, and conspiracy.  A person can be found guilty of an attempt if there has been any "overt" act toward the commission of the crime.  These cases are defended in a variety of ways, including what constitutes an "overt" act, whether that act was intended, and whether you "manifested a complete and voluntary renunciation."



The subject of bail is a critical issue - especially if you or your loved one is currently in custody. How the matter of bail is addressed by your criminal defense lawyer will have a great deal to do with what final amount of bail is set, or if you will be released on your own recognizance.

Bail Reductions

In some cases, the bail set by the judge was far higher than the criminal accusations warrant. In some cases, they have set bail that is outside the state guidelines. If you need to pursue a reduction in bail, you need an attorney with a great deal of experience in addressing this issue.


Battery differs from assault in that involves an actual act of physical violence. It is defined as the "unwanted touching or striking of another person, or anything connected to that person." There are several types of battery, and those with aggravating factors (such as the use of a weapon, or an attack against a police officer) will usually carry steeper penalties.

Bench Arrest Warrants

When you fail to appear at a court hearing, whether for trial, a hearing, or sentencing, a bench warrant will be issued. This warrant allows for you to be taken immediately into custody, any time, any place, including at your place of work, at your home, or while driving.

Disturbing the Peace

Disturbing the peace is considered a criminal offense. However, it is usually used as a plea bargaining tool in cases involving other crimes, meaning that a defense attorney will request a client be charged with it instead of a more serious crime.

Domestic Violence

When law enforcement is called in on a domestic call, they have little choice other than to make an arrest. When one party claims that a threat has been made, or that they were attacked, an arrest will take place at once, and restraining orders often are issued. Even if the individual later recants and admits that they exaggerated the situation, only the prosecutor can dismiss the charges.

Drug Crimes

Are you accused of a drug crime? It may be considered that our state is easy on drug crime, but this is far from accurate. We have extremely heavy penalties in many types of drug offenses, including trafficking, possession with intent, transportation, cultivation and others.

Drug Court

There are opportunities to seek a drug diversion program in certain drug crimes. How your case is managed by your attorney will have much to do with the advantages you could gain in court. You may be better served by pleading not guilty.

Drunk in Public

You are considered "drunk in public" in our state if your intoxication level while in public renders you incapable of exercising care for your safety or the safety of others, or if your intoxication level obstructs or interferes with others from using public ways, such as sidewalks or streets.


The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol vary depending on factors such as your intoxication level, and the number of times (if any) that you have been previously convicted of DUI. Penalties may include probation, community service, monetary fines, license suspension/revocation, mandatory alcohol and drug education programs, and time spent in jail or prison.

Evading Arrest

Evading arrest is typically charged as a misdemeanor, and can be punished with fines, and incarceration in jail for up to 1 year. If there are aggravating factors present in your case, such as injuries caused to others in the course of the offense being committed, or reckless driving, it can increase the severity of the penalties substantially.


Your criminal record follows you wherever you go. When you are looking for employment, even a DUI conviction can make it difficult to get hired, as there are so many applicants without a record. You have the opportunity to clean your criminal record and sealing your criminal records. You should find out more about expungements in felonies, house arrest and misdemeanors and medical marijuana cases.


Felony charges can have penalties up to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or even the death penalty. Less serious felonies also carry heavy penalties, usually a long sentence in state prison. If you are facing felony charges, it is a dangerous legal situation.

Federal Crimes

Were your charges filed in federal court? If so, you could be facing extensive prison time if you are convicted. The federal court system has its own sentencing guidelines, most of which are much more severe than charges filed in state court. If you are facing charges of kidnapping or terrorist threats, you need legal counsel that is familiar with defending cases in federal court.

Juvenile Crimes

The Alabama juvenile court system addresses criminal cases involving minors between the ages of 10 and 17 years old. Unlike the adult criminal justice system, juvenile courts have the intention of rehabilitating child offenders, rather than punishing them. If your child has been arrested and charged with a crime, it is important that you secure an attorney to defend them against a conviction and possibly steep penalties.


You may have the mistaken concept that a misdemeanor is a minor offense. In fact, a misdemeanor can lead to up to 12 months in jail in a conviction. Some dangerous charges include disorderly conduct, trespass and vandalism.


The most dangerous of all charges is capital murder. Our state is a death penalty state and a conviction should be fought aggressively. If you are under investigation or have been charged with murder, we urge you to take action and contact our firm without delay.

Obstruction of Justice

Obstruction of justice involves interfering with the administration and due process of the law, and can be charged in any instance of interference with an official investigation or criminal proceeding. An obstruction of justice conviction can result in fines, community service, probation, and up to 10 years in jail.


The penalties for committing perjury can be extensive, whether the case is filed in state or federal court. You must act quickly to defend against this serious criminal accusation. The defense should get engaged in your case without delay or you may face a term in state or federal prison, based upon the case.

Probation Violations

The Court expects that any person who gains the advantage of avoiding jail or prison time through probation to carefully and completely adhere to the terms of their probation. Even a minor mistake, such as failing to pay a fine on time, or not appearing at a meeting with your probation officer can land you in custody, facing the full term you had earlier avoided.

Resisting Arrest

Even a minor struggle with a law enforcement officer can lead to charges of resisting arrest. These charges can lead to more jail or prison time, even if the initial charges were eventually dropped. If you are facing accusations , you need to act quickly to avoid repercussions.

Theft Crimes

Charges involving theft can vary from misdemeanor shoplifting through to serious felony accusations involving burglary, carjacking, grand theft, grand theft auto, receiving stolen property, robbery and others. These are serious felony accusations, with heavy penalties in a conviction.

Traffic Offenses

Are you facing charges related to a criminal traffic offense? The situation is extremely dangerous if you are accused of driving on a suspended license, hit and run or vehicular manslaughter. Ensuring you have legal representation with a record of success in court is imperative.

Vehicular Manslaughter

You can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if you kill another person because you were driving in an unlawful manner, or driving in a lawful but dangerous manner. You can also be charged if you kill someone in a motor vehicle accident that you or another orchestrated for the purposes of financial gain.

Violent Crimes

There are certain criminal offenses that are termed violent crimes, including assault, battery, attempted murder and others. If you are facing charges related to a violent crime, you could be facing a long term in prison if you are convicted.

White Collar Crimes

Financial crimes are generally termed white collar crimes when there is no violence involved. These crimes also include conspiracy, extradition, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, identity theft, and insurance fraud as well as many other forms of fraud.

Recent Settlements & Verdicts

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  • $100,000.00
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  • $61,000.00
  • $800,000.00


Settlement, Life Insurance Dispute


Settlement, Fall from Roof Case


Settlement, Injury at Work


Settlement, Wrongful Death


Jury Verdict, Car Accident


Settlement, Wrongful Death


Settlement, Car Accident


Settlement, Home Defect