Nashville DUI Defense Attorneys
Experienced legal representation for Tennessee residents facing DUI charges
Tennessee is notorious for having exceptionally strict laws concerning individuals who are accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Anyone charged with such a crime faces a lifetime’s worth of consequences.
If you are facing DUI charges in Tennessee, it makes sense that you would be anxious, frightened, and desperate to make it all go away. Working with a skilled and tenacious Nashville DUI defense attorney gives you the best chance at having these charges dropped entirely, or reduced. At The Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC we tailor our representation and assistance to your needs and circumstances. Contact us today to get started on your case.
How can we help?
- What is a DUI charge in Tennessee?
- What are my rights if I am pulled over for DUI in Nashville?
- What are the penalties of a Tennessee DUI conviction?
- What are common defenses attorneys use against DUI charges in Nashville?
- Do I need a Nashville defense lawyer for a DUI charge?
- Is there a DUI defense attorney near me?
What is a DUI charge in Tennessee?
It is illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in the state of Tennessee. If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, you can and most likely will be charged with DUI. However, you should note that even if your BAC is under .08%, you can still be arrested for driving under the influence if law enforcement believes you are impaired in any way.
What are my rights if I am pulled over for DUI in Nashville?
To prove you are under the influence, law enforcement will ask you to complete a breath test, and likely a series of roadside tests. You have the right to refuse both. You do not have to take the breath test, and you do not have to participate in the field sobriety tests.
But this does not mean there are no consequences. Tennessee has an implied consent statute. This means that, when you are operating a vehicle, you give your implicit consent to be tested if law enforcement believes you are under the influence. If you refuse the breath and field sobriety tests, your license will be suspended for violating this civil law. However, refusing a breath test denies the State a key piece of evidence in its case against you. As such, consider refusing to take the tests.
What are the penalties of a Tennessee DUI conviction?
The penalties for a DUI conviction are tough. Alongside court fees, possible impound fees, testing costs, restitution for any damage to other people’s property or injuries, and an increase to your insurance premiums, you will face fines, jail time, and other potential penalties.
|For a first time offense:||For a second offense: |
|For a third offense:||For a fourth or subsequent offense: |
Fourth-time offenses are felony offenses.
Can my driving record be held against me at my DUI hearing?
Potentially, yes. The court is permitted to use your driving record as evidence against you if you are considered a repeat offender. Under TN Code § 55-10-405:
If… the date of a person’s violation of § 55-10-401 is within ten (10) years of the date of the present violation, then the person shall be considered a multiple offender and is subject to the penalties imposed upon multiple offenders by this part. If a person is considered a multiple offender under this part, then every violation of § 55-10-401 that resulted in a conviction for such offense occurring within ten (10) years of the date of the immediately preceding violation shall be considered in determining the number of prior offenses. However, a violation occurring more than twenty (20) years from the date of the instant violation shall never be considered a prior offense for that purpose.
Furthermore, Tennessee allows prior convictions from out-of-state to be used when determining sentencing. As such, if you have been convicted of a DUI in another state, you could be considered a repeat offender if you are convicted of DUI in Nashville.
Enhancements for DUI-related charges
Repeat offenses are not the only charges that have enhanced penalties. You can face felony charges for:
- Vehicular assault, if you cause serious injury while driving under the influence. This is a Class D felony resulting in up to 12 years in prison, fines, and license revocation for up to five years.
- Child endangerment, if there is a passenger in the care who is under the age of 18. This is a Class D felony resulting in up to 12 years in jail, fines, and license revocation for up to five years. If the child dies, it is a Class B felony. Your license will be revoked. You face up to 30 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines.
- Vehicular homicide, which is a fatal crash caused by a driver with a BAC of at least .08. Your license will be revoked. You face up to 30 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines.
- Aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated, which is a Class A felony. Your license will be revoked. You face up to 60 years in prison and/or $50,000 in fines. Under the law, you can be charged with aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated if you have:
- Two or more prior
- DUI convictions,
- Vehicular assault convictions or,
- any combination.
- One prior Vehicular Homicide.
- A BAC of .20 or greater at the time of the vehicular homicide has (1) one prior DUI or Vehicular Assault offense.
- Two or more prior
What are common defenses attorneys use against DUI charges in Nashville?
The Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC has decades of experience representing clients who are facing DUI charges in and around Nashville. Some of the defense strategies we may use include:
- Challenging the legality of the stop, even if the stop occurred at a DUI checkpoint.
- Challenging the accuracy of any and all chemical test results.
- Challenging the arresting officer’s observations on your assumed impairment and overall behavior at the scene of the incident (including providing reasonable explanations and possible witnesses who saw things differently).
- Asserting there was not probable cause for your arrest.
While these may be common defenses, a good attorney modifies and adapts their strategies to your individual situation. Sometimes, a new defense must be created entirely. Sometimes, current defenses only work in certain aspects, and must be either supplemented or otherwise expanded. A Nashville DUI defense lawyer from our firm will create a defense based on your specific needs.
Do I need a Nashville defense lawyer for a DUI charge?
Yes, you do. In 2021alone, there were 18,757 DUI arrests in Tennessee. Law enforcement is always looking to make more, and the laws are designed to crack down on offenders.
DUI charges can have significant effects on your personal and professional life; a conviction will be worse. Along with incarceration, fines, and fees, you may lose your job, your right to carry a firearm, and your right to vote. You may be denied educational opportunities or housing. You can lose your professional license or security clearance.
The sooner your chosen representation can get started on building your case, the stronger it is likely to be, and the better your chances are for winning.
Is there a Nashville DUI criminal defense attorney near me?
The Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC is located at 402 BNA Drive, Bldg. 100, Suite 202 in Nashville, Tennessee. We make in-custody visits when applicable.
Experienced Nashville DUI defense attorney protecting your rights
Being charged with a DUI in Tennessee carries an extraordinary amount of weight, stress, and pressure. A conviction will be worse. You do not have to face it alone, however. The Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC can help. Nashville DUI defense attorney Perry Craft has been representing the accused for decades. Whether you are here in Nashville or elsewhere in Tennessee, we can help. To get started today, call us at 615-953-3808 or use our contact form.