Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense in Nashville and the state of Tennessee. That means that the person who is breaking the law can be arrested and might even have some serious penalties and fines and even jail time for their DUI charge. In some cases a person can even lose their driver’s license.
A person can actually lose their driver’s license automatically, unless they object against license suspension within a timely manner. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important for you to contact your DUI attorney immediately following a DUI in Nashville.
If you’ve been driving while intoxicated and got arrested for it, please be sure to call The DUI Attorney today and speak with a competent and experienced DUI lawyer in Nashville.
Did I Violate DUI/DWI Law?
Say you’re in downtown Nashville and you decided to have a few drinks with your friends. You’re feeling okay, however you’re not certain as to what constitutes DUI law in Nashville. A simple consultation with a Nashville DUI attorney will help you with that, but for now, let’s take a look at the four situations which a person can be arrested for driving while impaired:
- The first situation is when your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08. If the police have reasonable suspicion that you have violated the Tennessee DUI law, you are required to submit a blood alcohol content test. This can be done with a breath test and/or a blood test.
- The next situation is when you’re under the influence of alcohol. You don’t actually always have to have a BAC above .08 to get charged with a DUI. The main point is whether or not you’re impaired. It’s even more difficult for young people who have zero tolerance laws and for commercial drivers who have a lower permissible BAC.
- Another situation is when you are under the influence of drugs, which actually also includes prescription and legal drugs. However this is often times more difficult to detect. For one thing, drugs in your blood stream can stay there long after you’ve stopped taking them. It’s also harder for police to make a case because there isn’t a clear standard similar to a .08 DUI.
- The last situation we’ll mention here (which is probably going to be obvious to you) is when you’re under the combined influence of drugs or alcohol.
To be charged with DUI for any of the above mentioned situations, you would have been in physical control of a motor vehicle and you would have to be traveling on a public road at the time when you are driving while impaired. At the DUI Attorney we would have to recommend that you keep away from driving under the influence in Nashville as your safest option.
Can a Nashville DUI Attorney Help?
In the city of Nashville and throughout Tennessee, when you’re arrested for DUI or DWI, you have a limited time in which you can take action to prevent an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. A Nashville DWI lawyer who maintains a focus in DUI law can help you communicate with the DMV so you don’t lose your right to drive. This can be devastating! Imagine having to call a friend every time you need a ride to the Nashville airport!
You should also know that it’s important that you respond to the criminal charges that you face. This way you can do everything possible to avoid conviction and the serious penalties that come with it. A Nashville DUI attorney will evaluate your case and help you to determine the best way to proceed with your case.
The attorneys at The DUI Attorney care about your reputation and your future. A DUI is no light matter and can cause you a lot of hardship. Call us today and get back on the right path.
What Are The DUI Penalties?
The DUI penalties you can incur while drinking and driving in Nashville are extreme to say the least. Tennessee DUI law sets forth criminal consequences and penalties for a person who drives while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately drunk driving is considered to be a major public health problem and Tennessee. Nashville is especially guilty of having its fair share of drunk drivers. The police take a tough stance against people who are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Believe it or not, the DUI laws in Tennessee are among some of the roughest you’ll find anywhere in the country. People are often caught off guard when they hear that jail time is mandatory for anybody who is convicted of a DUI. In addition to things like court costs, big fines etc., the mandatory jail time applies to first time offenders as well. Having an experienced Nashville DUI attorney is crucial in a time where you are arrested for a DUI or DWI.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Nashville, you should take the charges very seriously. It’s unfortunate, but the DUI penalties could affect the rest of your life. It could result in hardship on future opportunities and finances as well as your reputation. A Nashville DUI lawyer can help you look over some of your options including defending yourself, going to trial, or plea bargaining to mitigate the penalties that you may face. However, because the penalties are so bad, it really isn’t advisable to represent yourself in court.
No matter what you read here, it’s important to consult an attorney about penalties and more importantly, see what the judge at the Davidson County Courthouse has to say about your penalties.
More on DUI Penalties
Tennessee establishes DUI laws in section 55-10-401 of the Tennessee Code Annotated. Under the relevant code section:
(a) It is unlawful for any person to drive or to be in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park or any apartment complex, or any other premises which is generally frequented by the public at large, while:
(1) Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system; or
(2) The alcohol concentration in such person’s blood or breath is eight-hundredths of one percent (.08%) or more.
Part (b) of this code section makes clear that many different drugs can be considered to produce stimulating effects on the central nervous system.
In looking at the above laws, your penalties will vary based on different factors. For starters, if you’ve had a previous record of driving under the influence, that could make a difference in the penalties you take on. If it’s your first time getting charged with a DUI, you could still have some severe penalties, but not as bad as your 3rd or 4th time.
Having the proper defense in court with an experienced Nashville DUI attorney is important. Please consider calling before doing anything else!
Enforcing The DUI Penalties in Nashville
If you live in Nashville and you’ve received a DUI penalty (or more than just one) you should know a little more about how these penalties work. The penalties for a DUI become worse and worse as you continue to get caught with a DUI. The reason for this is because it is meant to discourage you from continuing to drive under the influence. Take a look at some of these penalties:
If you’re getting a DUI in Nashville for the first time (regardless of whether or not you have a DUI lawyer), as the offender you may face:
- Fines between $350 and $1,500.
- A minimum of 48 hours in jail for any DUI offense. If your BAC exceeds .20, then you face a minimum of 7 consecutive days of jail time. It’s possible that you could face a longer sentence of up to 11 months and 29 days.
- Drivers licensed revoked for a year. It’s also possible that an ignition interlock device will get ordered as a condition for getting a Tennessee restricted driver’s license.
- You’ll be required to do 24 hours of community service (which consists of litter and trash removal).
Beyond your first offense, if you become a repeat DUI offender and you’re now facing your second offense, here’s a little bit of what you can expect:
- Fines between $600 and $3,500.
- Minimally 45 days in jail and a max of 11 months and 29 days. It’s also possible to substitute 28 days of inpatient treatment for drugs or alcohol for jail time, however it has to be served consecutively.
- Driver’s license revoked for 2 years.
- It’s possible that you’ll have to forfeit your car.
If you thought those fines and penalties were bad, a third conviction is worse:
- Paying a fine between $1,000 and $10,000
- Minimum jail time is 120 days and up to 11 months and 28 days. The 120 days of jail time has to be served consecutively.
- Your driver’s license gets revoked for 6 years.
- Again, you may have to forfeit your car.
The last one is when a person is convicted of a fourth DUI offense. These people will be convicted of a class E felony for what they’ve done. The penalties for this include:
- Fines between $3,000 and $15,000
- Your jail time is between 150 days and 6 years. The 150 days will have to be served consecutively.
- You lose your driver’s license for 8 years.
- Once again, you may lose your car.
If you’re a DUI offender and are looking for proper defense, call The DUI Attorney and schedule a consultation with an experienced Nashville DWI lawyer. It’s not a light matter, so be sure to call right away!
After serving a minimum jail sentence, drivers are usually put on probation. You might have to do community service work while on probation and you may have to do drug or alcohol counseling.
The two ways you can get charged with a DUI
There are several legal concepts that deal with DUI cases, but the primary statute can be found in T.C.A. Section 55-10-401. In Tennessee, most violations happen in the various subsections. Most experienced and knowledgeable DUI lawyers know that this statute talks about two separate forms of DUI violations. The first kind of DUI violation is called an “appearance and demeanor” DUI and the second kind of DUI is called a “per se” or “unlawful blood alcohol content level“ violation. These two are different charges. Believe it or not, you might be found not guilty under one and still be convicted on the other. Without The DUI Lawyer you may not have ever come across something like this.
What’s “Appearance and Demeanor”?
So when we talk about Appearance and Demeanor, we’re talking about a theory. Now, under Appearance and Demeanor the arresting officer is going to attempt to prove that you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The intoxication must impair your ability to drive and the state has to prove that you’re an unsafe driver because of it. The arresting officer will usally make his case by relying on what he believes is poor performance in a field sobriety test and driving behavior. Some examples might include things like blood shot eyes, slurred speech, poor balance on your feet etc.
When a DUI case is made under the Appearance and Demeanor theory, it’s important that you have a Nashville DUI attorney who understands all there is to know about this theory. It’s important that he understands how the court works and how the police work. Keep in mind that this case is based on the officer’s observation and thus can be won if your defense is strong and crafty (depending on the circumstances and whether or not there are flaws etc.).
What is “Per se”?
Per se pertains to having an unlawful blood alcohol level. At this time, the legal limit in adults is .08 BAC for most. In this particular case the prosecutor doesn’t need to prove that you’re an unsafe driver, but he does need to prove that your BAC exceeded the legal limit while you were under the control of a vehicle.
In Nashville and Tennessee there are two main ways that your BAC is measured. You have a blood test and then there’s a breath test and those are the main ways. It’s important that when evaluating a DUI attorney in Nashville that he knows the ins and outs of this theory and how it works. A person doesn’t have to accept to be accurate when doing these tests. So consult your lawyer today!
Why Choose The DUI Attorney
When you call us, you’ll first speak with the receptionist. From there you’ll be connected shortly with one of the experienced and professional Nashville DUI lawyers and you’ll be able to schedule a consultation. In some cases you’ll receive a consultation as soon as the next day (and every once in a while you can get a same-day consultation).
Your DUI lawyer will explain the process with you and discuss some of your options. You can ask whatever questions you’d like to ask. The information that you’ve read on our website is only a small preview of the vast knowledge that exists in DUI law. The attorney will be happy to help educate you a bit more on how it all works.
Whether you live in Green Hills around the 37215 zip code, Downtown in the 37203 and 37201 zip codes, or even as far as the Nippers Corner area (near Brentwood) in the 37211 zip code, you should connect up with our attorneys. Having a competent DUI lawyer can make a big difference. Please don’t pass up this opportunity to get proper defense!