Do I need an attorney?
Yes. A DUI is a serious offense in Tennessee, especially as the state continues to apply more stringent consequences. You need a professional to protect your rights and minimize the penalties as much as possible. The State of Tennessee is attempting to put you in jail, take away your ability to drive, and fine you heavily.
How soon after my arrest should I hire a DUI attorney?
As soon as possible. Appearing in court by yourself is not only frightening but unwise. The arresting officer, the state prosecutor, and the court may assume you are not serious about defending yourself. You have one opportunity to make a strong impression. DUI Defense is incredibly complex, the more time your DUI Attorney has, the better your defense will be.
Do I have to perform a field sobriety test if a police officer stops me while driving?
Law enforcement can ask you to undergo a field sobriety test. However, you do not have to consent to a field sobriety test. There is no legal penalty for refusing a field sobriety test. For instance, your mere refusal will not cause you to lose your driver's license.
What are the penalties for a DUI conviction?
Penalties for a DUI conviction depend on a number of factors. Generally, Tennessee imposes one or more of the following penalties: jail time, monetary fines, community service, license suspension or revocation. The absolute minimum for a conviction of DUI 1st is 48 hours in jail, one year probation, $350 fine and court cost, probation cost, and loss of driving privileges for one year.
Can I still drive after a DUI arrest?
Depends. With a valid Tennessee driver's license, you may continue to drive while your DUI case is pending unless ordered otherwise by a Tennessee judge. Typically, your license is only revoked if you are convicted of a DUI or if you violate Tennessee's Implied Consent law.
What is an ignition interlock device?
Those convicted of a DUI in Tennessee may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles in order to have their driving privileges partially or fully restored. An ignition interlock device is a unit that is installed in your car, requiring the driver to blow into it in order to start the ignition. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. You will be responsible for the cost of installing the device and having it serviced and inspected regularly. The cost is approximately $200 for the initial installation, and $100 per month for 12 months.
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