If you have been charged with a 1st Offense DUI in TN, it can be a frightening experience. Though you are facing the potential of stiff penalties and fees, there is a chance that you can have the charges reduced or dropped. In Tennessee, even a 1st DUI offense is a serious matter. While there are some penalties that cannot be avoided, the severity of additional penalties is determined on a case by case basis. It should be noted that even if it is your first offense, if you refused to submit to blood alcohol concentration(BAC) testing, you will face an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year (regardless of whether or not you were actually driving while under the influence). If you have been charged with a DUI, it is recommended that you immediately connect with a reputable Tennessee DUI attorney. It is our job to work for the best possible outcome in your case. Learn more about the potential repercussions of a 1st offense DUI in TN below. 

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What Penalties Do I Face If Convicted of 1st Offense DUI?

A DUI offense in Tennessee can be very expensive (even as a 1st-time offender). The average cost of a first-offense DUI is nearly $6,000. Costs include bail money, towing, SR-22 insurance, court costs, mandatory education courses, ignition interlock device installation, as well as reinstatement fees. If your first DUI offense resulted in an accident, injury, or death, you could face much harsher penalties. Learn more about the potential penalties that you will face if convicted of a 1st offense DUI in TN below. 

  • Jail time: You will face a minimum of 48 hours in jail, but up to 11 months (at the judge’s discretion). If your BAC was over .20, you will face a mandatory seven days in jail. Furthermore, if you have a passenger under 18 years of age in the car, you will face a mandatory 29 days in jail (Title 55-10-430).
  • Fines: Fines for a 1st offense DUI in TN can range from $350 – $1,500.
  • License suspension: It is mandatory that your license is revoked for a period of one year. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license. 
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed: A 1st offense DUI in TN mandates that you install an ignition interlock device to be installed at your own expense.  
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program: You will likely be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program. Further treatment may be ordered at the judge’s discretion. 

Will My Drivers License Be Suspended?

In short, yes. Your license will be suspended if you are convicted of a 1st Offense DUI in TN. However, you may be eligible (under certain conditions) for a restricted license. A restricted license will allow you to get back and forth from work and home, go to school, attend medical appointments, and take care of necessary life functions. A restricted license is not guaranteed though, you must apply for it. Furthermore, your application can be denied for several reasons. Lastly, you cannot get a restricted license for commercial use. If you have been convicted of your 1st offense DUI in TN and would like to apply for a restricted license, it is recommended that you work with an experienced DUI attorney in Tennessee to increase the likelihood of approval. 

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Contacting a DUI Attorney in TN

Being charged with a 1st offense DUI in TN is no walk in the park. It can threaten your livelihood, relationships, recreation, etc. These penalties can be further exasperated if you choose to defend yourself when faced with DUI charges. Working with a proven DUI attorney in TN can help to reduce your charges, as well as find potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. Common weaknesses include insufficient probable cause for the traffic stop, improper administration of the field sobriety test, as well as unlawful search and seizures conducted by the police. If you have been charged with a 1st offense DUI, do not take the risk of representing yourself against the highly trained and capable prosecution team. Give us a call to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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