An arrest and conviction for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol charge can be life-altering, even if no injuries take place. A DUI conviction is permanently on the driver’s record and never comes off. A serious conviction such as this can alter their ability to get jobs, pay their more expensive insurance premiums, and travel.
In Tennessee, the amount of jail time one receives is the main difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. A misdemeanor DUI carries less than a year’s sentence, usually spent in the county jail. This may only be one day less than a year because 11 months and 29 days is the maximum sentence.
A felony DUI carries a year or longer sentence and is usually spent in the state prison. By the time a person is sentenced to a felony DUI, they have typically already had three misdemeanor DUI convictions.
Penalties for a first-offense DUI can be expensive and make life much more difficult. Not being able to drive, the negative blot on a criminal record, and possible jail time accompanied by hefty fines can complicate the driver’s life in many ways.
A first-time offender can expect the following:
Second-offense DUI convictions are more severe and carry the following penalties:
Neither the judge nor the prosecutor can show leniency at this point. And the convictions will carry a mandatory sentence as follows:
After the third misdemeanor, DUI convictions become felonies. These carry stiffer penalties and alter the life of the driver even more. And with each following conviction, the driver forfeits more and more of their quality of life.
Though the state of Tennessee is tough on drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a driver may still be able to avoid conviction. A conviction takes many factors into account, such as the following:
Even if the above results do not look too good, there are other ways to beat a DUI conviction. A Tennessee DUI lawyer will examine the traffic stop and how the officer performed it. Mistakes that the officer made can lessen their credibility, and this can result in the charges being dropped.
If the officer pulled the driver over without probable cause, then any of the other evidence collected would be inadmissible.
The Law Offices of Christopher Eads are ready to defend you against your DUI charge in Tennessee. We understand how destructive a conviction could be to your life, and we want to aid you in avoiding one. Our expertise and experience ensure that you are in good hands. Call for a free consultation, and we will examine your case and devise a solid strategy to fight for you. Call today so that we can minimize the damage to your finances, career, family life, and freedom.