Got your First DUI in Tennessee? Here’s what to do next:
You can be the most upstanding and respected person there is, but even one conviction for DUI can seriously tarnish your reputation. The police will not take an individual’s clean criminal history, social status in the community or a person’s net worth into consideration when they are making an arrest for DUI. People in all walks of life ranging from high-ranking politicians to average citizens and everyone in between get charged with DUI in Tennessee.
Between 2003 and 2012, more than 3,400 people died because of alcohol-related car accidents. The public has placed consistently strong pressure on judges and prosecutors to not appear “soft” on drunken drivers. It can be difficult to negotiate with a prosecutor who knows that you made a choice that could have killed someone and their the decision to “let you off easy” could carry a lot of political ramifications for them. You will need a skilled DUI attorney to help you through the process from start to finish including plea negotiations all the way through to the end of the case.
No Small Issue
Whenever someone gets behind the wheel intoxicated, they risk causing deaths, serious injuries, and large amounts of property damage. As well, they risk their freedom since an individual’s first DUI offense can result in between 48 hours and 11 months and 29 days in jail.
Further, any conviction can impose what is called an SR22 insurance requirement. This increases your insurance premiums and can even get you dropped from some insurance companies. Also, you will have your license suspended and will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car and have to go through DUI school on responsible drinking before you can get your license back again.
It is also important to keep in mind that there are aggravating circumstances. One of those circumstances is whether there were injuries or fatalities involved. The consequences will be serious even on your first offense if these are the case. As well, if you refused at the time to take a chemical test to determine your level of intoxication, license revocation is mandated by Tennessee law.
Your First Offense…Again
If you have not had a DUI within the 10 year “lookback period,” it is considered your first offense. There are increased penalties for any additional offenses within 10 years. If you had a DUI right after your 21st birthday and are now in your mid 30s, chances are your current DUI will still be charged as your first, even though it really isn’t. This same rule applies to any DUI charge you may have received within the 10-year “lookback period” but were convicted or pled guilty to a lesser offense, such as Reckless Endangerment, or Reckless Driving.
The DUI laws in Tennessee are severe and challenging. Getting a DUI is a stressful situation for anyone. Hiring a professional to help you is a wise choice, and Herbert & Lux is your go-to source for legal representation. Hiring Eddie Herbert and Ron Lux as your attorneys will help ensure your case is handled in an efficient, professional manner, setting you up for the best possible outcome for your case.