Being slapped with a first-time DUI charge in Tennessee can be a daunting experience. Despite the threat of severe penalties and fines, there’s still a chance to have your charges reduced or even dropped. In Tennessee, a first-time DUI offense is a grave matter. Though some penalties are unavoidable, the degree of additional penalties varies case by case. Notably, if it’s your first offense and you refused a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, you’re facing an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license, regardless of whether you were actually driving under the influence or not. In such circumstances, it’s crucial to immediately connect with a reputable Tennessee DUI attorney. Our mission is to work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Read on to learn more about the potential repercussions of a first-time DUI offense in Tennessee.
Understanding Penalties for First-Time DUI Convictions
A DUI offense in Tennessee, even for a first-time offender, can be quite costly. The average cost of a first-offense DUI nears $6,000, which includes bail money, towing, SR-22 insurance, court costs, mandatory education courses, ignition interlock device installation, and reinstatement fees. If your first DUI offense resulted in an accident, injury, or death, you could face much harsher penalties. Here are some potential penalties for a first-time DUI offense in Tennessee:
Jail time: A minimum of 48 hours, up to 11 months depending on the judge’s discretion. A BAC over .20 leads to a mandatory seven-day sentence. If you had a passenger under 18 years in the car, a mandatory 29-day sentence is required.
Fines: You can expect fines ranging from $350 to $1,500.
License suspension: Your license will be revoked for a year. However, you might be eligible for a restricted license.
Ignition Interlock Device: You’re required to install this device at your own expense.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program: Participation in such a program is likely, with further treatment possible at the judge’s discretion.
Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended?
Yes, your license will be suspended if you’re convicted of a first-time DUI offense in Tennessee. However, under certain conditions, you might be eligible for a restricted license. This license allows you to commute from work to home, attend school, medical appointments, and carry out necessary life functions. It’s important to note that getting a restricted license isn’t guaranteed; you must apply for it, and your application can be denied for several reasons. Also, commercial use of a restricted license isn’t permitted. If you’ve been convicted of a first-time DUI in Tennessee and wish to apply for a restricted license, it’s recommended to seek assistance from an experienced DUI attorney to increase your chances of approval.
Why You Should Contact a Tennessee DUI Attorney
A first-time DUI charge in Tennessee can disrupt your livelihood, relationships, and recreational activities. These disruptions can be further complicated if you choose to defend yourself against DUI charges. Collaborating with a seasoned Tennessee DUI attorney can help reduce your charges and identify potential weak spots in the prosecution’s case against you. Weak spots could include insufficient probable cause for the traffic stop, improper administration of the field sobriety test, or unlawful searches and seizures conducted by the police. If you’re facing a first-time DUI charge, don’t risk defending yourself against a well-trained and capable prosecution team. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation today.