Arrested in Knoxville?

If you or a loved one has experienced a DUI in Knoxville or the surrounding areas, be sure to get proper legal representation.

Don’t try to navigate the legal system alone. 

DUI Knox County Disclaimer

Knoxville TN DUI Attorney

When it comes to getting arrested for driving under the influence, the penalties are always serious. A DUI conviction can change your life in a variety of ways, including costly fines and having to deal with the stigma associated with being convicted of a crime. While most people assume that they have no choice but to accept their punishment after they are arrested, this isn’t true. There are options when it comes to fighting drunk driving charges, one of which is hiring a competent lawyer . A law firm has many tools at their disposal when they are fighting drunk driving charges on behalf of their client. Professional legal advice will help you understand all of your options in court before offering clarification when it comes to some common misconceptions about what may happen if you go through the court process without professional assistance. That said, let’s look at some of the various penalties for a DUI in Knox County, TN.

First Offense

If your first DUI offense resulted in the least amount of damage and injuries as possible, then you will likely face some very mild penalties. For a BAC between .08%-.14%, the driver is looking at fines up to $350 but no jail time. If there was property damage involved or personal injury, the fine will increase by up to $2,000 and 48 hours of incarceration may be given as punishment. If your first offense is more involved than the first example suggests, you may see the penalties increase even more. If there was property damage or personal injury involved, an additional fine of $2,000 is possible and the driver may be sentenced to 10 days in jail. BAC .15%+ will result in an automatic court appearance for this type of offense without any leniency. The second offense also results in milder consequences than what could potentially occur with a third or fourth conviction. For a BAC between .08%-.14%, the individual will lose his/her license for 30 days (or 45 if refusal to take a blood/breath test was involved), has to pay a fine up to $750 and serve 48 hours in jail.

Second Offense

For those with a second offense within 5 years of the first, more severe consequences are pursued if found guilty. A person charged with their second DUI could find themselves paying a minimum fine of $350 and facing up to 11 months and 29 days in prison (with an additional fine between some large amount of money). The fines for a second offense are also doubled and the individual will have their license revoked for a minimum period of 1 year.

Third Offense

If you are charged for driving under the influence three times, the offense is very severe. People with 3 DUI’s face up to 15 years in prison, $5,350 in fines and vehicle confiscation. If a child younger than eighteen was in the car at the time of the third offense, more jail time can be expected as well as mandatory community service hours. Solutions: The best way a person facing these kinds of charges can defend themselves is by hiring an experienced lawyer who can fight for them whether it’s negotiating a plea deal or getting charges reduced based on their case which only has one logical outcome – NOT GUILTY . For legal help finding representation from an Knoxville attorney, just do a search on the web and get some reviews.

Fourth Offense

A fourth offense is considered a class E felony with possible jail time of six months to two years and loss of license for up to four years. Solutions: If the chances are high that you will get convicted, then you better speak with a law firm because not only can they reduce charges or get them dismissed, but they can also help fight for reduced penalties if it’s certain that there is no other option than pleading guilty. With the stakes being so high, having the support of an experienced lawyer is very important. Getting a felony DUI is no light matter. It’s essentially a violent crime except you didn’t physically harm anyone, but you put others in danger of getting physically harmed. Just like with any other misdemeanor offense, if the charge is reduced to a class A or B misdemeanor then you won’t be facing jail time and your license will not be revoked. However, this leads back to the same problem as before: if it seems likely that you will get convicted then what do you do?

17 Year Old DUI Consequences

Underage drinking and driving is not permitted in any state. If you’re 17 years old and get arrested for driving under the influence, you will be charged like any other adult, but your license may be suspended for longer (until you turn 18). Penalties: Depending on the state there are usually three different levels of penalties. For the lowest level offense, punishment is typically limited to fines and drivers license suspension/revocation. The next level charge carries mandatory jail time with a possibility of probation or home detention in lieu of incarceration. Lastly, an aggravated DUI comes along with more serious charges such as drunk driving manslaughter or death resulting from injury while intoxicated. All states have adopted implied consent laws which imply that when you get your drivers license you give permission for chemical testing if pulled over under suspicion or having consumed alcohol in excess. This means that if you refuse to submit to a test then your license will be suspended or revoked for a minimum period of time. For a first offense, that usually amounts to between three and twelve months. A second refusal within five years is treated as a conviction. Some states such as Tennessee (See: TCA 55-10-406) have adopted the “no refusal” policy which means if you refuse testing under suspicion of drunk driving, police officers can seek a warrant from any judge in their jurisdiction and force you to submit to blood alcohol tests via IV without your consent. Evidence collected against you would then be used against you in court and may result in stiffer penalties if convicted. If arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, there are certain rights you should know about when getting pulled over. The following outlines what to expect if you are pulled over and arrested.

What to Expect When Getting Pulled Over

If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi or have a designated driver take you home. If your car is in your control, police may consider this a form of driving under the influence even though it was not. In the United States, at least two states have passed laws that allow someone who has been drinking to get behind the wheel and drive if he is able to produce a certain amount of alcohol by weight in breath per unit volume (bac). In these cases, one would be considered less impaired than someone who has had no alcohol but produces more bac when tested. But that’s not all there is to expect. Not only could you face the legal ramifications related to drunk driving, but there are also the medical risks that come with drinking. Even if you are under 21 years old, it is illegal to drink alcohol in Knoxville. The law states alcohol consumption by anyone under 21 is a crime punishable as a misdemeanor for first offense. For second offenses within 12 months of first conviction, the penalty progresses to include potential confinement for 30 days and fines up to $500. You may also be sentenced to community service or attend an alcohol safety school.

Jail Time

If you’re going to jail for a DUI, there’s more you should know. Accidents resulting from a conviction could result in an aggravated sentence. Aggravating circumstances include driving on a suspended license, driving with a child under the age of 18, having a passenger under the age of 18 or committing an assault against another person while intoxicated. In these cases, you could be sentenced to more jail time, house arrest or community service. Legal Penalties for High Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) In Tennessee, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of BAC above 0.08%. If you do so and drive recklessly as a result – such as speeding or running red lights – you can be found guilty of vehicular assault. This is punishable by six months to one year imprisonment and fines, along with other possible penalties. High BAC can also lead to charges being pressed against you for driving under the influence. You may be charged with a DUI if your BAC is above 0.08% or if you fail the field sobriety tests an officer administers after pulling you over. The legal limit of .08% was determined by state legislators based on research concluding that, below this level, most people are not significantly impaired. However, even one drink can affect some individuals’ ability to safely operate a vehicle. If you’re found guilty of, penalties depend on whether it’s your first, second or third offense within 10 years. A charge is considered a second offense if at least 30 days elapsed since an earlier alcohol-related incident happened. Tennessee also has a special charge for drivers with a BAC of .20% or above. If your BAC is above 0.08% or if you fail the field sobriety tests an officer administers after pulling you over, then you may be charged in Tennessee. The legal limit of .08% was determined by state legislators based on research concluding that, below this level, most people are not significantly impaired. However, even one drink can affect some individuals’ ability to safely operate a vehicle.

DUI With Injury

A different set of penalties may apply for a DUI that causes injury. If you’re arrested after getting into a car accident while drinking and driving, you may be charged with “aggravated” DUI. Generally, if you injure another person while driving under the influence, the law considers your actions to have been intentional. Possible consequences of aggravated DUI include: Jail time for up to 11 months and 29 days A fine of $4500 to $15,500 (maximum possible in Tennessee) Possible seizure of your car or other property and assets if it was involved in the vehicular accident Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license; this is done by the Department of Safety and is separate from any court-ordered loss of license These penalties are separate from those given for a simple conviction. These may also be devastating to your future. The consequences of these penalties can create a lot of hardship for you and people around you. For example, you may lose your job and not be able to work with children or the elderly. You could also lose custody of your child in a divorce case if the court believes that you are an irresponsible parent. Laws regarding DUI’s vary depending on where you live; Knoxville, TN is no exception. This article will discuss some major points of Tennessee laws and then summarize how they apply to Knoxville specifically.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Tennessee?

These convictions stay on your Tennessee criminal record for life. However, if you are able to get your charges reduced to reckless driving, the case will be removed from your record after 11 months. But it is very difficult to convince a judge to reduce the charges in most cases. For more information, contact an experienced Knoxville lawyer . This means that it can’t be expunged in Tennessee. If you are convicted of a DUI, it won’t leave your record. There are, however, sometimes other methods to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If you want to know more about how long they’ll stay on your record in other states, do a quick search to find the answers.

What is an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing?

Tennessee has an implied consent law that requires all drivers to submit to a blood alcohol test if they’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence. Refusal to take this test will result in automatic suspension of your license. The length of time that your license is suspended depends on whether this was your first offense or subsequent offense. For more information contact an experienced lawyer . Every driver whose license is in the state of Tennessee is required to have no less than $250,000 of Personal Injury Protection. This is commonly known as PIP insurance among the Knox County area. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, this coverage will pay for expenses related to your injuries, up to the limits of the policy. The other driver’s liability insurer will be responsible for any additional damages above this amount should they fail to accept full liability for injuring you.

Fighting Your Case in Knoxville Court

The court in Knox County where you are being charged with a DUI will have certain requirements regarding your initial appearance. The judge in this court will set an amount of money that you must post either in cash or property before the hearing date. This is only 10 percent of what the total bail is for your offense, but it must be paid before the hearing date. If you fail to make this initial appearance, they will issue a warrant for your arrest and suspend your license until you appear before the judge. Knoxville lawyers also encourage individuals to remember that failing to respond to any outstanding warrants issued by the court could lead to further charges, additional fines or jail time. Your legal representative will try building a case in your defense to demonstrate that your legal limit was not breached. If the state’s blood alcohol expert testifies, then you will need an expert attorney to counter their argument that your blood alcohol level measured over the legal limit. If you are found guilty of driving under the influence in Tennessee, additional penalties will be handed down at sentencing if it is deemed necessary by the presiding judge. When deciding what sentence or penalty to impose on these charges, judges rely on several factors included in Tennessee Code Annotated . Impaired drivers may face jail time depending on whether anyone else was injured in the accident and how much damage was done due to impaired driving. The court may also require completion of an alcohol education course and potentially other things.

Finding a Good Defense Attorney

It’s not easy, but there are ways to help make sure your law firm is good. The first thing you should always do is ask for referrals from friends, family members or other lawyers. You can also check for any open public complaints against the lawyer online. The State of Tennessee uses a number of tools to help detect drivers who are operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. One tool is the use of sobriety checkpoints, which are often set up in high-risk areas such as near schools and shopping centers. These checkpoints serve their purpose in that they help cut down on drunk driving; however, they also act as a trap for innocent motorists when not handled by competent law firms. Doing a quick online search for a criminal defense attorney will help reveal reviews of various lawyers in Knox County. This is a great way to see if a lawyer has helped others in similar situations. A good lawyer will have the experience it takes to deal with these checkpoints. They can put them in their place with a simple phone call or letter, quickly putting an end to the detainment of the motorist. Typically, checkpoints consist of roadblocks by police officers who ask for drivers’ licenses and registrations while examining vehicles for signs of impairment such as weaving and swerving. If a driver fails field sobriety tests or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level higher than 0.08 percent at the scene, they could be arrested for driving under the influence. If you find yourself in this situation, which should be avoided if possible, it is imperative that you contact an attorney right away to avoid any punishment due The various locations for sobriety checkpoints are numerous, but some specifically have been noted. For example, the East Tennessee State University Police Department reports that they have conducted sobriety checkpoints at Anderson Ave., on N. Duncan Street next to the campus entrance near the recreational center, at University Commons Way off of Sutherland Avenue and more. It is not an easy experience to be pulled over by police officers while driving under suspicion of being intoxicated. However, it must be stated that this situation does not warrant any incriminating admissions or confessions regarding drinking or drug use prior to pulling you over. To ensure your rights are protected through the process, a defense lawyer may be able to help. Hiring a Knoxville intoxication attorney is not necessary to have charges dismissed. If you are innocent, hiring an attorney can help take your case through difficult twists and turns. However, if you are guilty, hiring a lawyer may be the only way to ensure that your punishments are lessened or lightened. Talking to police officers without any representation by legal counsel is considered the worst mistake one could make in this situation. It already presents an impression of guilt before anything has been proven in court. The officer’s job is to gather information during investigations that can be used against suspects later on at trial. An experienced law firm knows how to deal with law enforcement officers who do not respect citizens’ rights as well as prosecutors who misrepresent facts surrounding your case.