Experienced Collierville DUI Attorney Provides Strong Counsel
Tennessee DUI lawyer defends motorists accused of drunk driving
If you have been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in Tennessee, you face serious penalties if convicted. Attorney William L. Hagan III of The Collierville Law Firm has decades of experience defending people accused of getting behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs. He can assess all of the details of your case and determine if grounds exist to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
What to do after getting pulled over for a DUI in Tennessee?
You should be polite and responsive with the police after getting pulled over on a DUI stop, but there is no need to volunteer information you are not asked for. Even if you think an explanation might help you, something you say could cause problems for your legal case down the road. Though you are not required by law to submit to a field sobriety test, you could lose your driving privileges following a refusal, even if it turns out that you were sober. If you are arrested after being pulled over for a DUI, contact an attorney immediately.
Possible Tennessee DUI defenses
There are several possible defenses to DUI charges. It is the possible that the device used to measure your blood-alcohol content did not work properly or that the officer who performed the test administered it incorrectly. To stop your vehicle, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you were engaging in illegal activity. A hunch that you had been drinking is not enough, regardless of whether the officer’s guess was correct. Evidence, including test results, can be thrown out if proper grounds for the stop did not exist. Likewise, probable cause of a crime must exist for the officer to make an arrest. Sometimes, non-intoxicating substances, such as mouthwash, can raise a person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Our tenacious Collierville criminal lawyer will question every detail of your DUI charge in order to determine what really happened.
TN DUI Penalties
Penalties for DUI range from a minimum 48 hours in jail for a first offense to a year in jail for a fourth or subsequent offense. Fines start at $350 for first offenders and can go as high as $15,000 for someone with four or more convictions. In addition to time behind bars and fines, possible penalties include:
- License suspension
- Required participation in an alcohol or drug treatment program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device at your own expense
- Restitution to anyone who was injured or suffered a loss
- Vehicle seizure or forfeiture
You can see how severe the consequences are for a DUI conviction. When we handle your case we will examine all the facts of your arrest and work to build the best defense possible.
What happens if you get charged with DUI and you’re under 21 in Tennessee?
Tennessee has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving so effective legal counsel is especially important in matters involving young motorists. If you are under 21 years old, you can be charged with DUI with a .02 BAC, which can be the equivalent of one drink. Upon conviction, you would lose your license for a year, have to pay a fine of up to $250 and perform community service. In cases where a young driver’s BAC exceeds the .08 intoxication level that applies to 21-and-over motorists, a defendant would face the standard penalties, including mandatory incarceration.
Is a DUI a felony or misdemeanor in Tennessee?
It depends upon how many DUI’s a person has had. A first, second and third DUI is a Class A misdemeanor, unless an aggravating factor, such as an accident causing serious injury, is present. A fourth or subsequent DUI is a Class E felony. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you may still face jail time, fines, license suspension, installation of an ignition interlock devices and other penalties. However, with each subsequent conviction the penalties become harsher. We will work diligently to have your charges dismissed or reduced based upon the circumstances of your case.
Contact a well-qualified criminal defense lawyer for your DUI case
DUI defense attorney Bill Hagan at The Collierville Law Firm aggressively represents individuals in Tennessee who have been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. To get help, call 901-614-0318 or contact us online to arrange a time to speak with us.