FAQs about Criminal Law
How long does a DUI conviction stay on my record?
In Tennessee, a DUI conviction stays on your record for life. However if the charge is amended to either reckless driving or reckless endangerment, the charge may be expunged off your record at a later date. Most other states have similar laws. The effects can result in possible denial of job opportunities or restrictions on credit because it is typically retrieved by credit reporting agencies. This could lose you both jobs and housing opportunities. In addition, a conviction can cause an increase or cancellation of you auto insurance policy. Over the past decade, many rental car companies have begun denying rental privileges for as long as six years after a DUI conviction. All of these reasons explain why I 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. This differs from county to county in Tennessee as to how thorough of a back ground check is performed. When I go into court on your behalf, I do not “volunteer” information about prior convictions. However, I 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, I do not believe it is a wise choice. The right to drive, your freedom, and your future employment options may hang in the balance. The choice is yours. Do not just simply go to court unprepared and assume the truth will win out. I strongly urge you to take advantage of my free consultation. This consultation would save you thousands of dollars, your freedom, and your driver’s license.
Why should I hire you as my attorney?
Honestly, this is a very fair question. I have attended numerous advanced training courses on police arrest procedures and on criminal trial practice. I use these skills to challenge every aspect on a DUI arrest. In addition, I am a member of both state and national networks of other DUI lawyers that exchange information about new DUI defense strategies. I also follow national and local trends in the law and trial practices. I have over 16 years of DUI experience and I know how to get results in DUI cases. In short, I strive to give my clients the best representation possible.
Why am I receiving mail from attorneys seeking to represent me?
The United States Supreme Court has rule that “commercial free speech” in protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Many lawyers send out such information to inform defendants their rights.
If I am convicted, what is the worst thing that can happen to me?
The “minimum” punishment I will go over with you at your free consultation. Be advised that there are increased punishment requirements, if you have a prior offense. Beyond these “guidelines” I have to evaluate your case based upon the facts, the prosecutor, your record, and the propensity of the judge in his/her sentencing for DUI cases. I will review these details at your free consultation.
Will I get a harsher sentence if I fight the case than if I plead guilty?
That depends upon many factors. This question is very case and judge specific. However, I inform my clients before the case is set for trial of my opinion.
Do I need to see an alcohol (or drug) counselor?
Maybe. I always encourage anyone facing alcohol or drug related offenses to get an assessment for any potential problems that may exist. If this offense is not your first alcohol offense, in my free consultation, I will discuss how this assessment and treatment, if necessary, can be a “silver lining” for even a very bad case.
Do you do payment plans?
Yes. I understand that most people need some type of help paying my fee. However, I greatly appreciate fees paid in advance of court. However, payment plans are determined on a case by case analysis.
When can you start on my case?
Immediately, once financial arrangements have been made. It is important to start the DUI defense investigation as soon as possible after the arrest while the facts are still fresh on your mind.