A former prosecutor turned DUI attorney in Nashville, Russell Thomas has extensive experience on both sides of DUI cases in Tennessees largest city. According to Thomas, there are approximately 5,000 DUI arrests a year in Nashville alone.While Nashville is a reasonably large city, 5,000 DUI arrests each year is a huge number. In the past 10 years, that number has increased significantly, and the number of arrests continues to climb. A DUI conviction carries heavy consequences no matter where youre charged. But while one state may allow for leniency in certain situations, another may impose very harsh penalties regardless of the specifics of your case. So what can you expect if youre convicted of a DUI in Tennessee?Mandatory Minimum Sentence: In Tennessee, we have extremely tough DUI laws, largely due to the fact that Tennessee has mandatory minimum punishments for DUIs. This means that if youre convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, the judge is required to give you no less than the mandatory minimum sentence. This is different than most other types of criminal cases.In most other cases, the judge has the discretion to sentence the defendant as he sees fit even limiting his punishment to no more than a slap on the wrist if he believes its the right thing to do. In DUI cases, however, the judge doesnt have that kind of freedom. If youre convicted of a DUI, there are certain things you can count on when it comes to your sentencing among them, jail time.Jail Time: A DUI conviction in Tennessee always results in jail time, and the amount of time youll serve depends on how many times youve been convicted. The mandatory minimum sentence for a first DUI offense includes 48 hours in jail (or 7 days if your blood alcohol concentration is .20% or higher). For a second DUI offense, the minimum sentence is 45 days in jail. For a third offense, the minimum sentence is 120 days in jail. And for a fourth offense, youll be required to spend no less than 150 days in jail.Monetary Fines: The monetary fines imposed on individuals convicted of DUI in Tennessee also vary depending on the number of times a defendant has already been convicted of DUI. If this is your first DUI conviction, you can expect to face a fine ranging from $350 to $1,500. For a second offense, however, your fine may be as high as $3,500. For a third or fourth offense, you could face a fine in excess of $10,000.
Driving Privileges: In most states, you can expect that your drivers license will be revoked or suspended for a period of time after a DUI conviction, and Tennessee is no exception. In Tennessee, a first-time offender will have his drivers license revoked for one year. You may, however, be granted a restricted license that will allow you to drive to and from work, or to a court-ordered DUI education program. For a second offense, however, your driving privileges will be revoked for one year with no possibility of obtaining a restricted license. For a third DUI conviction, your license will be revoked for a minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years with no possibility of a restricted license. In the event that youre convicted of four or more DUIs, you will not be allowed to drive under any circumstances for a minimum of five years
If youve been charged with a DUI, then your freedom and your livelihood are at stake. That is why you should have an experienced DUI attorney in your case as soon as possible since the potential penalties are so serious. The sooner you have an attorney on your side, the better your chances for a positive outcome.
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