What is the Average Cost of a DUI Conviction in Nashville?

Driving under the influence is the last thing you want to do in the streets of Nashville, Tennessee. Even if you are arrested before you cause an accident, having a DUI charge has the potential to ruin your life. The cost of a DUI conviction can be staggering, not to mention you’ll be subject to jail time and license suspension depending on the severity of your case.

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is imperative to hire a seasoned Nashville DUI defense lawyer. At Nash Law, we have a team of experienced attorneys who have helped protect the rights of our clients over the decades, as well as give them the desired outcome. You can learn more about your options by calling our Nashville offices at 615-NASH-LAW.

What is a DUI?

Despite the well-known risks of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, many still do it, with millions being arrested every year. In Tennessee, you are considered to be a drunk driver if your blood alcohol concentration or BAC reads 0.08%.

For commercial drivers, this level is capped at 0.04%, and for minors (under the age of 21), the BAC is 0.02%. Keep in mind that you can also be arrested even if your BAC is under 0.08%, but you were weaving, drifting across lanes or showing signs of impairment.

What is the Average Cost of a DUI Conviction in Nashville?

For a first DUI offense in Nashville, TN, you can expect a fine between $350 and $1500. If it’s a second DUI charge, you can expect a fine of anywhere between $600 and $3500. For a third offense, you can be fined between $1,100 and $10,000, plus a revocation of your license for up to 6 years. The fourth DUI offense is marked as a Class E felony with a fine of between $3,000 to $15,000.

A fifth DUI offense is classified as a Class D felony, which may result in a sentence of up to 4 years for Range I offenders. In the case of a sixth DUI offense, it is designated as a Class C felony, with a potential sentence of up to 6 years.

However, the costs involving DUI charges do not just involve the fines. There are other expenses to keep in mind, which include:

Legal Expenses

Hiring a competent DUI attorney is essential to navigate the complex legal system. Legal fees can vary, but quality representation often comes at a significant cost. However, having a skilled attorney can make a substantial difference in the outcome of the case.

As a defendant, you may also be required to pay:

  • Court Costs – Which cover administrative expenses related to the legal proceedings.
  • Probation Fees – If you are placed on probation, you may incur additional fees for monitoring and supervision.

Administrative Costs

Administrative fees linked to a DUI conviction can encompass various costs. These fees are part of the financial repercussions individuals may face, adding to the overall economic impact of a DUI conviction. It’s essential to understand and prepare for these administrative expenses as they contribute significantly to the total financial consequences of a DUI conviction.

  • License Reinstatement Fees – Following conviction, you may face a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Reinstating the license typically involves fees, administrative hassles, and potential completion of required programs.
  • Ignition Interlock Device – In some cases, especially for repeated offenses, the court may mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. The costs associated with leasing, installing, and maintaining this device can be significant.

Insurance Costs

Insurance costs following a DUI conviction can significantly surge. Insurers often categorize individuals with DUIs as high-risk, leading to increased premiums. In addition to fines and legal expenses, elevated insurance costs pose a substantial financial burden for those convicted of driving under the influence.

It’s crucial for individuals to anticipate and comprehend these heightened insurance expenses as they navigate the aftermath of a DUI conviction.

  • SR-22 Insurance – If you are convicted of DUI, you’ll be required to obtain SR-22 insurance, a high-risk auto insurance policy. This specialized coverage comes at a premium, adding substantially to the overall cost of insurance.
  • Increased Premiums – A DUI conviction also results in a significant increase in standard insurance premiums. This increase can persist for several years, making insurance a substantial long-term financial concern.

Rehabilitation & Education Programs

Following a DUI conviction, individuals may incur expenses for mandatory rehabilitation and education programs. These costs cover alcohol education classes, counseling, or treatment programs aimed at addressing the underlying issues contributing to the offense.

  • DUI School – The court may mandate attendance at DUI education programs or counseling sessions. The costs associated with these programs add another layer to the financial impact of a DUI conviction.
  • Substance Abuse Treatment – In cases where the judge deems it necessary, you may be required to undergo substance abuse treatment. The costs of such programs can be substantial, both in terms of time and money.

Employment & Income

A DUI conviction can result in employment challenges, potentially leading to job loss or limited career opportunities. Income may suffer due to the time taken off work for court appearances or incarceration.

  • Job Loss – A DUI conviction can lead to job loss, especially in professions where a clean driving record is a requirement. The loss of income will only compound the financial strain caused by the legal consequences.
  • Career Opportunities – Beyond immediate job loss, a DUI conviction may limit future career opportunities, potentially impacting earning potential over the long term.

Personal & Emotional Costs

The emotional and mental toll of a DUI conviction is profound. Dealing with shame, anxiety, and self-reflection becomes an integral part of the journey. Seeking emotional support, whether through counseling or support networks, is crucial for navigating the personal challenges and maintaining overall mental well-being.

  • Stress and Anxiety – Dealing with the legal implications of a DUI can be emotionally taxing. Stress and anxiety, coupled with the uncertainty of the outcome, can affect your mental well-being.
  • Strained Relationships – The impact of a DUI extends beyond the individual facing charges. Strained relationships with family, friends, and colleagues can result from the stigma associated with a DUI conviction.

Protect Yourself By Speaking With a Dedicated and Experienced Nashville DUI Defense Attorney Today

The costs that come with a DUI Conviction in Nashville are certainly steep and can affect various aspects of your life. It’s imperative to comprehend these potential expenses so that you can be ready for what’s to come. With the knowledge above, you’ll be able to take proactive steps that mitigate these expenses, primarily by hiring the right criminal defense lawyer.

Why allow a DUI charge to derail your life financially? The team at Nash Law has the experience, resources and dedication required to handle this intricate process. We will work to reduce the costs as well as the penalties that come with a DUI conviction. Call us today at 615-NASH-LAW to schedule a free initial consultation!

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