FAQs about Tennessee DUI Law and Procedure
FAQs about Tennessee DUI Law and Procedure
Understanding TN DUI laws is important if you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. By learning about your rights and about what you should do after you have been arrested, you can protect yourself and hopefully avoid some of the serious consequences of a drunk driving conviction. You should also understand what is involved in hiring a Tennessee DUI attorney, so you can be confident that you are hiring the right advocate to represent you.
Below are answers to many common questions you may have if you have been arrested for drunk driving.
How long does a DUI conviction stay on my record?
In Tennessee, a DUI conviction stays on your record for life. Most other states have similar laws. A DUI conviction can result in denial of job opportunities or restrictions on credit since your conviction is typically retrieved by credit reporting agencies.
A conviction can also cause an increase or cancellation of your auto insurance and impact your right to drive beyond the initial license suspension. In the last five years, for example, many rental car companies have begun denying rental privileges for as long as six years after a DUI conviction.
The serious and long-lasting consequences of a DUI charge are why you should hire an experienced Nashville DUI attorney to fight for a non-DUI disposition to your case, or an outright acquittal.
If I had a drunk (or impaired driving) conviction in another state, will it show up in Tennessee?
Yes, DUI/DWI convictions from other states usually show up in a computer search conducted by the prosecutor. However, convictions from other states do not show up on every occasion. If you have a past DUI conviction in another state or in Tennessee, you may face much harsher penalties if you are convicted of drunk driving.
When Attorney Lee Martin goes into court on your behalf, he does not volunteer information about prior convictions. However, he must know your full record and be prepared to address this issue if the prosecutor presents it to the court.
Do I need a lawyer?
Every person has the right to represent him or herself in court. Because DUI is such a critical matter, however, representing yourself is not a wise choice. Your right to drive, your freedom, and your future employment options hang in the balance when you face DUI charges. Although the choice is yours, you should take advantage of Lee Martin’s free consultation to learn how a TN DUI lawyer can help you.
Why should I hire you as my attorney?
Everyone arrested for drunk driving needs to find the right advocate to represent them, and it is smart to ask about your attorneys experience and qualifications.
The bottom line is, you will find that Lee Martin has the experience you are looking for to provide you with the very best DUI representation. Lee has attended numerous advanced training courses on police arrest procedures and criminal trial practice. He uses these skills to challenge every aspect on a DUI arrest. In addition, he is a member on state and national networks of other DUI lawyers that exchange information about new Tennessee DUI laws, national and local trends in the law and trial practices. In short, Lee strives to give his clients the best representation possible.
Why am I receiving mail from attorneys seeking to represent me?
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that "commercial free speech" is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
If I am convicted, what is the worst thing that can happen to me?
TN DUI lawyer Lee Martin will explain the "minimum" punishment that you face at your free consultation. Be advised that you will face harsher minimum penalties if you have previous DUI convictions. The DUI sentencing "guidelines" also offer flexibility, which means that he must evaluate your case based upon the facts, the prosecutor, your record, and the propensity of the judge in sentencing for DUI cases. These details will be reviewed at your free initial consultation.
Will I receive a harsher sentence if I fight the case than if I plead guilty?
This depends upon many factors. This question is very case and judge-specific. Upon reviewing your case and the facts of your situation, Nashville DUI lawyer Lee Martin can advise you as to whether he thinks a plea bargain will result in a more lenient sentencing.
Do I need to see an alcohol (or drug) counselor?
Maybe. Lee always encourages anyone facing alcohol or drug-related offenses to get an assessment of any potential problems that may exist. If this offense is not your first alcohol offense, in his free consultation, he will discuss how this assessment and treatment, if necessary, can be a "silver lining" in even a very bad case.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. Lee Martin understands that most people need some type of help paying attorney fees. However, he greatly appreciates fees paid in advance of court.
When can you start on my case?
Immediately, once financial arrangements have been made. The sooner you contact a TN DUI lawyer, the better your chances of a favorable outcome, so do not hesitate to get in touch today if you have been arrested for drunk driving.