Many times, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a result of a lapse in judgment. Nevertheless, it is a crime in Tennessee that can have serious consequences for a first-time DUI offender, including jail time. Nashville DUI lawyer Bernie McEvoy realizes that good people can make mistakes without intending to break the law or cause harm to anyone. Drawing on his experience as a former prosecutor, Attorney McEvoy is committed to helping defendants achieve a favorable outcome to avoid or mitigate the consequences of their charge. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Williamson or Davidson County, whether it is a first-time or repeat DUI, Bernie McEvoy can provide trustworthy legal advice and shrewd representation.First-Time DUI Charges in Tennessee
Tennessee law provides that it is illegal to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration in one’s blood or breath of .08% or more. A DUI may also be charged for driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicant, marijuana, a narcotic drug, or a stimulant drug. Therefore, even driving with a lawfully prescribed medication in your system could lead to a DUI arrest if the side effects fall into one of these categories.
Although a first-time DUI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor, it is punished more severely than most misdemeanor offenses. In fact, a Tennessee DUI conviction will result in mandatory jail time, even if you have never been convicted of a previous DUI or any other crime before. At a minimum, a first-time DUI offender will be sentenced to 48 hours in jail and may be sentenced to up to 11 months and 29 days. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was .20% or more, the minimum jail sentence is seven consecutive days for a first-time DUI. Furthermore, you may be fined an amount between $350 and $1,500 and/or required to pay restitution to anyone injured in an accident. Other penalties may include participation in a drug and alcohol treatment program, or the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
A first-time DUI arrest will also initiate an administrative process concerning your driving privileges. A DUI arrest or refusal to submit to a chemical blood test will likely result in the revocation of your driver’s license for one year. However, if you succeed in contesting the matter in an administrative hearing, you may be able to avoid these consequences. You may also be eligible for a restricted license, even if your driving privileges have been revoked. You have the right to hire a DUI lawyer to represent you in the criminal and administrative proceedings.Contesting a DUI Charge
Depending on the facts of a particular case, there may be defenses available to defeat a DUI charge, reduce a first-time DUI to a reckless driving or reckless endangerment offense, or otherwise avoid the most severe penalties associated with a conviction. In a DUI case, the prosecution has the burden to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced DUI attorney can scrutinize the legality of the traffic stop, the police officer’s conduct during the arrest and their prior training, the administration of field sobriety tests, the warnings provided by authorities, the condition of the equipment used for the blood-alcohol or breath-alcohol test, and other relevant factors. If the prosecution’s evidence can be rebutted or excluded, its case may be weakened to a point at which the charge is reduced or even dismissed.Protect Your Future by Retaining a Trustworthy Nashville Attorney
DUI cases are complicated, and presenting an effective defense takes skill and knowledge. Nashville criminal lawyer Bernie McEvoy has handled thousands of drug and alcohol-related driving offenses, and he can readily identify an effective strategy to help a client. If you have been charged with a DUI, a drug crime, or another criminal charge in Nashville, Franklin, or elsewhere in Davidson or Williamson County, contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy. Call us at (615) 255-9595 or (615) 804-8779 during evenings and weekends, or contact us online to arrange a consultation.