DUI Attorney Lebanon & Mt Juliet TN
Experienced Lebanon and Mt. Juliet TN DUI Lawyers
A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can have debilitating consequences for the citizen accused. With this crime, a citizen can be convicted based on the opinion of a police officer and face significantly harsh penalties. In Tennessee, the blood alcohol content limit is .08, which for some people can mean as few as two drinks depending on factors such as weight, individual rate of metabolism, the time period in which the drinks have been drunk, and multiple other varying factors.
The penalties and sanctions for DUI are by far the most complex in the Tennessee Legal system. Here is a comprehensive overview of Tennessee DUI penalties:
DUI 1st offense: A minimum sentence of 48 hours in the county jail or workhouse up to 11 months and 29 days. If the person’s blood alcohol level is .20% or higher, a minimum sentence of 7 consecutive days must be served. A fine can be levied of not less than $350.00 nor more than $1,500.00. The offender shall be prohibited from driving for a period of 1 year.
DUI 2nd offense: A minimum sentence of 45 days in the county jail or workhouse up to 11 months and 29 days. After sentencing the person, the judge may order the them to participate in a substance abuse treatment program, including aftercare treatment recommended by a licensed professional certified by the department of mental health and a certified drug court. The court can do this after the service of 25 consecutive days in jail. A fine can be levied of not less than $600.00 nor more than $3,500.00. The offender shall be prohibited from driving for a period of 2 years.
DUI 3rd Offense: A minimum sentence of 120 consecutive days in the county jail or workhouse. After sentencing the person, the judge may order them to participate in a substance abuse treatment program, including aftercare treatment recommended by a licensed professional certified by the department of mental health and a certified drug court. The court can do this after the service of 65 consecutive days in jail. A fine can be levied of not less than $1,100 nor more than $10,000.00. The person shall be prohibited from driving for a period of 6 years.
DUI 4th or 5th Offense: A minimum sentence as a felon to serve 150 consecutive days nor more the maximum sentence for a Class E felon (up to 6 years). A fine can be levied of not less than $3,000.00 nor more than $15,000.00. The person shall be prohibited from driving for a period of 8 years.
DUI 6th Offense or higher: A minimum sentence as a felon to serve 150 consecutive days nor more than the maximum sentence for a Class C felon (up to 15 years). A fine can be levied of not less than $3,000.00 nor more than $15,000.00. The person shall be prohibited from driving for a period of 8 years.
The time between the actual sentence served and the maximum sentence shall be served on probation.
Sentences ordered to be served shall be commenced within 30 days of conviction if space is available or as soon as possible if space is not available.
Under Age Driving While Impaired: This charge is limited to people 16-18 years of age with a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater or otherwise under the influence and is punishable by a driver’s license suspension of 1 year, a $250.00 fine and public service work. A restricted license is now available upon petition to the judge.
Additional Penalties Associated with a DUI Charge: A person convicted of DUI who at the time of the offense had a child under the age of 18 years in the car faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in addition to the otherwise stated minimum sentence and a fine of $1,000.00 in addition to the fine for the appropriate DUI conviction. If the child suffers serious bodily injury, it shall be punished as a Class D felony (up to 10 years). This is not actually an enhancement, but a statement of existing law for vehicular assault. If the child is killed as a proximate result of the violation it is a Class B felony (up to 30 years). This is not actually an enhancement but a statement of the exiting law for vehicular assault.
Monitoring: A person convicted may be ordered to be subjected to several types of monitoring to include:
- Transdermal monitoring for alcohol or drug testing;
- Electronic monitoring with random drug and alcohol testing;
- GPS monitoring;
- or any other device or monitoring.
If the court orders any monitoring, then the group in charge of this monitoring shall require periodic reporting for verification; require the device monitored for proper use and accuracy at least every 30 days, and immediately report any violation to the court.
Penalties for violation of the State’s Implied Consent Law TCA 55-10-407:
The court shall revoke the license of the driver for a period of:
1 year if the person does not have a prior conviction violation of the implied consent law;
2 years if the person does have a prior conviction violation of the implied consent law;
2 years if the person is involved in an accident in which one or more persons suffered serious bodily injury;
5 years if the person is involved in an accident in which one or more persons are killed.
If it is found that the driver’s license was revoked due to a prior conviction of DUI, it is a criminal offense which carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 5 days up to 11 months and 29 days and a fine of not more than $1,000.00. These license suspensions shall be CONSECUTIVE to any suspension for a DUI conviction if the court finds the driver had, as an adult or juvenile, a violation within 5 years of the violation of Implied consent, underage driving while impaired, the open container law, or reckless driving that stemmed from a DUI offense.
Vehicle Forfeiture: A person’s vehicle can be taken by the State if the vehicle is used in a person’s second or subsequent conviction of DUI or if one of the previous convictions occurred within five years of the current conviction.
As you read above, the amount of mandatory jail time, fines, and length of time for a loss of license increase exponentially with each conviction of DUI as do the repercussions as to your record and finances. For these reasons it is imperative that you retain sound legal advice and representation to ensure the protection of your rights and to prevent some of these drastic consequences from occurring. Consequences that can easily negatively and permanently impact education, career, and professional opportunities as well as causing conflict in your personal life.
I and my staff of fellow attorneys, investigators and paralegals have years of experience handling a wide array of DUI cases for individuals from every level of society, and will fight to make sure your rights, privacy, and freedom are protected. Contact us for a confidential and free evaluation of your case.