Defending Tennesseans Since 1985
Memphis DUI Lawyer
DUI Defense Firm with More Than 30 Years of Experience
Are you facing charges for drunk driving in Tennessee? Do not face the penalties that come with drunk driving alone! If you have been arrested for a DUI in Memphis, the penalties can be very serious even on a first offense. At the Law Office of Stephen R. Leffler, P.C., our Memphis DUI lawyer has helped clients navigate the confusing and taxing process following being arrested for a DUI.
In Tennessee, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is 0.08% or above. This law also applies to driving under the influence of narcotics or any prescription medications which might affect the ability to operate the car.
Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI? Don’t hesitate to call our Memphis DUI lawyer at (901) 509-9112!
BAC Rules in Tennessee
- While the 0.08% is a baseline, you can face arrest for lesser blood alcohol content:
- For drivers 21 years old and over, the legal BAC is 0.08%
- Drivers who are under 21 years old must be under 0.02%
- Commercial drivers have a legal limit of 0.04%
Field Sobriety & Chemical Tests
If you are pulled over for by a police officer, they may ask you to participate in field sobriety tests to determine if you are intoxicated. The purpose of these tests is to gather enough evidence to support a DUI arrest. You are not required to participate in the field sobriety tests. Should you be arrested, you will be subject to a chemical test to determine your BAC by breath, blood, or urine. Refusing to participate in this test will result in an automatic suspension of your license for one year on your first offense.
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What Is the Punishment for a First Offense DUI in Tennessee?
A DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor charge. The first punishment for a first offense DUI in Tennessee is a minimum of at least 48 hours in jail and can go all the way to 11 months and 29 days in jail with fines, court costs, losing your license for a year, and spending time doing community service.
Is a DUI a Felony in TN?
In Tennessee, a DUI is typically classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, there are certain circumstances under which a DUI can be charged as a felony. These circumstances include:
Multiple DUI Offenses: If you have two or more prior DUI convictions on your record within the last ten years, any subsequent offense will be charged as a felony. This is known as a "DUI third" offense.
- Serious Bodily Injury or Death: If you are involved in an accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and someone is seriously injured or killed, you may be charged with vehicular assault or vehicular homicide, both of which are felony offenses.
- Child Endangerment: If caught driving under the influence with a child under 18 in the car, you may be charged with child endangerment, a felony offense.
- Aggravated DUI: If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.20% or higher, you may be charged with aggravated DUI, a felony offense.
If you are charged with a felony DUI in Tennessee, you may face much harsher penalties than if you were charged with a misdemeanor offense. Felony DUI convictions can result in lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. Additionally, a felony conviction may impact your ability to find employment, secure housing, or obtain professional licenses.
How Much Does a DUI Cost in TN?
A DUI in Tennessee costs anywhere from $465 - $1,500 for first-time DUI. The other costs that you also have to take into account are other things such as bail, towing fees for your vehicle, driver’s license reinstatement fees, high-risk auto insurance, court costs, etc. Those extra fees can quickly balloon the cost of your DUI.
What Is the Difference Between DUI and DWI in Tennessee?
A DUI stands for driving under the influence while a DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. They are the same thing and in Tennessee, it is called a DUI while in other states it would be called a DWI. In Tennessee, there is a slight difference between them because a DWI is an optional charge for people between the ages of 16-21 while a DUI is for adults 21 or older. Between 18 - 20, you could be charged with a DUI or a DWI.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, a DUI will stay on your record for the rest of your life. However, subsequent DUI charges must be made within 10 years to be considered a repeat DUI offense. Having a DUI conviction on your record can result in difficulties obtaining a job, cause car insurance complications, and other issues.
Contact Our Memphis DUI Attorney at (901) 509-9112
Being arrested for DUI means you or your loved one could be facing serious consequences. A first-time conviction for DUI can result in a fine up to $1,500, up to one year of jail time, and the driver’s license being revoked for one year. The Memphis DUI Attorney at the Law Office of Stephen R. Leffler, P.C. can provide you with experienced legal representation to fight your DUI charge.
Contact us at (901) 509-9112 to learn how we can help!
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