Chattanooga DUI Attorneys
Aggressive, Trial-Tested DUI Lawyers
Like every other state, Tennessee considers people to be legally drunk if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .08 percent or more. This is called driving under the influence of alcohol and can lead to a DUI arrest. You can also be arrested for being under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, or another substance that affects your nervous system to the point where you are unable to safely operate your vehicle. “Operating your vehicle” includes being in physical control of it, even if you are not actually driving, such as sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition.
Being pulled over and arrested for DUI in TN is often a humiliating and frightening experience. You are no doubt anxious about the repercussions. In Tennessee, they are many. However, all is not lost; an arrest is not a conviction.
Your first priority should be to contact Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC for legal help. Our criminal defense team can quickly begin building a defense on your behalf by immediately investigating all of the circumstances of your arrest. We look at many factors, including why you were pulled over in the first place, how chemical tests were conducted, and more. With our 70+ years of combined experience, we understand how to meet and overcome your legal challenges.
Arrested for DUI in TN? Call us at (423) 799-3030 to speak with a Chattanooga DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is FREE.
DUI Laws & Penalties in Tennessee
In any DUI case, the penalties—including jail time and fines—will be determined by the judge within the boundaries of the law.
A first-time DUI in TN conviction can result in the following:
- Jail time of 48 hours up to a year
- Fines of $350 up to $1,500
- Loss of your driver’s license for one year (restricted license may be available)
- Drug or alcohol treatment program
- Installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device
- Increased car insurance premiums
If your BAC measured .20 or more, you will be subject to a minimum of seven consecutive days in jail. If you caused personal injury, you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. The total financial repercussions—including towing, court costs, drug or alcohol program, license reinstatement, and more—may cost you upwards of $4,000. Enhanced penalties will apply if you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee while driving with a minor under the age of 18, which typically results in a minimum of 30 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000.
Second DUI offenses within 10 years are punishable by 45 days up to a year in jail with fines ranging from $600 to $3,500 and a license suspension of two years. Third offenses carry penalties of 120 days up to a year in jail, fines of $1,100 up to $10,000 and a license suspension of six years. Fourth and subsequent offenses within 10 years carry penalties of up to 365 days in jail, fines of $3,000 up to $15,000, and an eight-year license suspension without the possibility of a restricted license.
Is a DUI a Felony in TN?
In Tennessee, a DUI (driving under the influence) can be charged as a felony under certain circumstances. The following are some of the factors that can determine whether a DUI is charged as a felony:
- The blood alcohol level (BAC) of the driver at the time of the arrest: A BAC of 0.08 or higher is considered drunk driving, but if the BAC is above 0.20, the charges can be more severe.
- The presence of aggravating factors: A DUI can be charged as a felony if it results in serious injury or death to another person or if the driver was transporting a child under 18 at the time of the arrest.
- Prior DUI convictions: A DUI can be charged as a felony if the individual has three or more prior DUI convictions within ten years.
- Property damage: If a DUI results in significant property damage, it could be charged as a felony.
It is essential to remember that these are the general rules, and some cases may be different, especially concerning prior convictions. So, it is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. A felony conviction for DUI carries much more severe penalties, including the possibility of prison time and significant fines. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee, it is essential to understand the specific charges against you and the potential consequences of a conviction. An experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate the court system and fight for your rights and best interest.
Know Your Rights
In the event that you are arrested, it is important to know your rights. The primary right you have, under the Fifth Amendment, is to remain silent. If you are being charged, it is true that anything you say can and will be used against you by the prosecution. Remain calm and polite, and do not answer any questions until your lawyer is present. Professional law enforcement should respect this right. If you feel pressured to speak without representation, make sure to take note of the name of the officer and any actions they took that made you uncomfortable.
You Are Not Alone—We Are on Your Side!
No matter the circumstances regarding your DUI offense, your chances of reducing the related penalties or obtaining a case dismissal will rest on the quality of your defense. At Speek, Turner & Newkirk PLLC, you work with a team that will investigate and analyze every factor of your arrest and its surrounding circumstances. Many aspects of DUI charges in TN can be challenged, from the technical and scientific evidence to how the law was applied. Let our Chattanooga DUI defense attorneys fight for you and your future.
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