Common Mistakes after a Tennessee DUI Arrest
Under Tennessee laws, a DUI arrest is a more serious situation than a typical traffic stop where you might receive a ticket and pay a fine. A DUI arrest means that you have been accused of a crime that could result in incarceration, a criminal record and other penalties.
You cannot take a DUI arrest lightly; you must proactively protect yourself by contacting a Tennessee attorney to represent your interests and to help you avoid conviction or minimize penalties associated with DUI. You should also avoid making serious mistakes that could potentially damage your case.
Common mistakes that people make after a DUI arrest include the following:
- Failing to take a DUI charge seriously. A DUI conviction could haunt you for the rest of your life. In addition to mandatory jail time and loss of license, a permanent DUI conviction could hamper future employment opportunities and ability to secure credit. Additional insurance premiums alone will cost thousands of dollars. There is a great deal on line in a DUI case. Please take it seriously. The State of Tennessee does.
- Not immediately hiring a qualified TN DUI attorney. Simply stated DUI laws are complex and you need competent representation when facing criminal charges. Defenses must be raised in a timely fashion or they will be lost. The prosecution will not help you look for those defenses. A promising case can quickly become a loser if the proper defenses are not raised. In fact, some lawyers miss these defenses because they lack the proper training and experience.
- Hiring an attorney based solely on fee. The State has unlimited resources when it comes to criminal prosecutions. This is especially true in DUI matters. It is important to hire an attorney who can devote the proper amount of time and effort into your defense. A minimal fee usually equates into a minimal defense. Make your choice wisely.
- Failing to understand driver’s license laws. You could lose your right to drive when arrested for drunk driving and you need to take prompt action if you hope to keep your license while your case is ongoing. You also need to understand the laws for a license suspension so that you know what to expect. A Nashville DUI lawyer will explain your options to you, and help you determine when it is possible to seek a hardship license.
- Driving on a revoked or suspended license. You could find yourself in more serious trouble if you drive on a suspended license, since you will be committing an additional crime.
- Failing to exercise your constitutional rights. You have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to remain silent. If police stopped you or forced you to submit to a breath test for no reason, then the evidence from the test can be suppressed so that prosecutors would be unable to use it against you.
- Accepting the State’s first offer. If you take the first offer, you do not give the judge an opportunity to rule on constitutional challenges. Moreover, you forfeit your right to raise issues and make the State prove their case. The first offer may not be fair. It is hard to judge without actual real court DUI experiences. It could be the prosecution's effort to get rid of your case with a minimum amount of work. Few DUI cases are reduced to reckless driving at this stage, and you could face harsher penalties than you would if your Nashville DUI lawyer negotiated a better offer.
- Not showing up in court. If you do not show up when required, the court will issue an arrest warrant or capias and revoke any bond. Your next traffic stop will result in your arrest and your DUI charges will still be hanging over your head. Some counties will actually go to your home or work and serve the arrest warrant. Make sure you show up in court.
- Taking DUI advice from your friends. Aside from the fact that your statements can be used against you in court, this advice is usually wrong. Please get your counseling and advice from a qualified DUI lawyer. This is the best source of information.
- Self-representation. Talking to lawyers or researching the law on your own is not enough to ensure your rights are protected. You need to have an attorney and his knowledge of Tennessee DUI law on your side.
Don't make these mistakes and put your future at risk. Contact an experienced TN DUI attorney today for help with your case.
I help good people restore their lives
-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney. With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases. If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage. If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.