Tennessee DUI - Will I be Charged with DUI?
Tennessee DUI What next?If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee the first step is to talk to a Tennessee DUI lawyer who understands Tennessee DUI laws. DUI lawyers can review your case and determine if they believe the state has enough evidence to convict you of DUI.
For instance, in the state of Tennessee the state must prove that you were operating the car or you were in physical control of the car, you were operating a motorized vehicle, you were on a public road, parking lot, highway or any other location that is frequented by the public and you were either under the influence or alcohol or drugs or your blood alcohol content was 0.08% or higher. If you did not take a field sobriety test or a chemical test and the officer has very little evidence of impairment, it may be possible that the state will not move forward with the charges. If the state does not agree to dismiss the charges than the next step may be to either see if the state will offer a deferral or if they are willing to reduce the DUI to a reckless driving charge. If the state offers a deferral program you would have to pay fines, perform community service and potentially attend a drug and alcohol treatment program.
Can I lose my Tennessee license after a drunk driving stop?Drivers who were asked to perform a breath test and either refused or failed the test will have their license immediately confiscated. The police officer will issue the driver a temporary driving permit which is effective for 10 business days. Within this time period the driver can request an administrative hearing to challenge the drivers license suspension. If a hearing is requested a judge will hear the evidence of the Tennessee DUI stop and determine whether the Department of Motor Vehicles has the right to suspend the drivers license. If the suspension is upheld the drivers license will be suspended for one year. It is important to remember that the administrative hearing is not determining the guilt or innocence of the driver. If the judge upholds the administrative license suspension the suspension is still valid even if the driver is ultimately found not guilty of drunk driving. Keep in mind, you have the right to have a Tennessee drunk driving lawyer represent you at the DMV hearing and the costs are generally around $500.
What happens if I am convicted of a Tennessee DUI?A first offense DUI (which means the driver has not had another DUI in the previous 10 year period) is classified as a misdemeanor offense and drivers will have the following penalties imposed:
- Minimum 48 hours in jail up to 11 months.
- Fines of $350 to $1,500 plus additional court costs. Drivers who have a child under the age of 18 in the car will pay at least $1,000.
- Potential attendance in a drug and alcohol education program.
- Potential reinstatement license requirement of an installation of an ignition interlock device.
- License suspension of one year with a potential for a restricted license with an authorization from the court, purchase of SR22 Insurance, payments of license fee and completion of the drivers license examination.
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