If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, you need to carefully consider what this means going forward. The state of Tennessee takes DUI cases very seriously, and if found guilty, you face some of the harshest penalties in the country. A conviction can affect you significantly for the rest of your life.
Besides the obvious prison sentence and huge fines, a DUI conviction can affect many aspects of your life including your current and future job opportunities, military options, admissions to graduate schools, and insurance rates. For students in higher education programs, you risk suspension and even expulsion. We haven’t even mentioned that your driving license can be completely revoked.
With this in mind, it is obvious to say that, by no means should one take a DUI charge lightly. You need to fight this charge with all you’ve got. Hiring an experienced Gallatin DUI defense lawyer from Nash Law arms you with everything you need to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
DUIs are some of the most complicated cases to fight, but through their experience, connections, and access to vast resources, our Gallatin criminal defense attorneys can help ensure the best outcome for your case. We are prepared to aggressively fight for your rights.
Remember, there is a difference between being charged with DUI and being convicted of DUI, and a Gallatin DUI defense attorney can help ensure it remains exactly that way – a charge. Contact us today at 615-627-4529 for a free evaluation of your case.
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What Is the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limit in Tennessee?
In the state of Tennessee, it is illegal to operate a vehicle or be in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. The limit is .02% for drivers below the age of 21 and .04% for motorists with commercial driving licenses.
What Penalties Can I Face for a DUI in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, DUI offenders face different levels of punishment depending on previous convictions and the presence of aggravating issues such as accidents, injuries, and property damage.
First Time Offenders
Tennessee State Law requires that DUI offenders serve a mandatory minimum jail term, including first-time offenders. A first-time DUI offense carries a minimum sentence of 48 hours in county jail and a maximum sentence of 11 months and 29 days in addition to a $350-$1,500 fine. If you are found to have a BAC of .20 or higher, the minimum sentence is set at 7 days. The state will also revoke your license for a period of one year.
Second Time Offenders
DUI is a very serious offense in the state of Tennessee and the severity of the penalties awarded increases with subsequent convictions.
For a second-time offense, you face a minimum of 45 days in jail (11 months and 29 days maximum) with a mandatory $600-$3,500 fine. In addition, your license will be revoked for a period of two years.
Third Time Offenders
For a third-time offense, you face a minimum of 120 days in jail (11 months and 29 days maximum) with a mandatory $1,100-$10,000 fine. The state will revoke your license for 6 years.
Fourth and Repeat Offenses
A fourth and subsequent offense is considered a felony offense. It is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 365 days with a mandatory $3,000-$15,000 fine.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Tennessee?
Tennessee, just like many other states, has what is referred to as the Implied Consent Law. You should note, driving in Tennessee is a privilege that comes with certain obligations. Under the Implied Consent Law, the moment you obtain your driver’s license, you automatically consent to a breathalyzer or chemical test, upon the request of a police officer.
While you can refuse the tests, there will be penalties:
- For the first offense, you face a one-year license revocation.
- For a second offense, the penalty is a two-year license revocation
- In case the event involved a fatal accident, the penalty is a five-year license revocation
Keep in mind that these penalties are separate from the penalties awarded upon a DUI conviction.
What Is a Felony DUI in Tennessee?
A DUI is considered a Class A Misdemeanor in Tennessee. However, it can progress to a felony depending on the number of previous DUI convictions or the presence of aggravating factors.
DUI is considered a Felony in the following cases:
- If the DUI offender caused a serious injury in an accident (Vehicular assault).
- If the DUI offender caused the death of another person (Vehicular homicide).
- If the DUI offender committed the offense with a passenger below 18 years (Child endangerment).
- If the DUI offender has three or more previous DUI convictions.
What Are Some Examples of Common Defenses in DUI Cases?
As stated earlier, a DUI charge is different from a DUI conviction. With the right defense, you can effectively walk free even if you were indeed drunk at the time of your arrest. There are many rules and procedures involving DUI cases, and even with sufficient evidence to put you behind bars, a skilled Gallatin DUI defense lawyer can poke holes in the prosecution case and exploit loopholes to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Here are some common defenses to a DUI charge:
Lack of Probable Cause
You are protected against unreasonable and unlawful searches under your Fourth Amendment rights. In this regard, the police need to have probable and justifiable cause to stop your vehicle, conduct a DUI investigation, and put you under arrest. The lack of probable cause results in a constitutional violation which is enough to have your case dismissed.
Challenge Accuracy of Tests
While the results from the various BAC tests (breathalyzer, etc.) conducted are used in court as evidence, the courts understand that this evidence isn’t completely reliable. From human errors to defective devices, there are many factors that affect the accuracy of the results. Your attorney can help prove that the tests were compromised and have the test results thrown out.
How Can a Gallatin DUI Defense Lawyer Help Me?
An experienced attorney is your best weapon when fighting a DUI charge. Here are some of the things a DUI defense attorney does to help guarantee the best outcome for your case:
- Investigating your accident and collecting evidence to put up a strong defense for you
- Weakening and poking holes in the prosecution’s case
- Negotiating a favorable plea deal
- Representing you in court
Contact Nash Law for Help With Your DUI Charge
If you’ve been charged with DUI, you are understandably stressed and worried about what this might mean for you. Fortunately, there is a way out. Your best option now is to hire an experienced Gallatin DUI defense lawyer. At Nash Law, we have a team of highly skilled and experienced DUI defense attorneys who can’t wait to get started on your case. We will fight aggressively for your rights and use everything within our power to ensure the best outcome for your case.
Contact us today at 615-627-4529 for the best legal defense. We offer a free consultation to those facing DUI charges.