If you are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), you can be facing years in jail and fines of thousands of dollars. In Tennessee, even a first offense for DUI can be punishable by up to 11 months in jail. However, the consequences of a DUI conviction can affect a person’s livelihood for decades after a jail term has been served and fines have been paid. While a charge for DUI demands your full attention, it is far from the end of the world. In fact, it is the start of your defense. Below, our blog outlines why it is so important to fight a DUI charge.
- Your insurance will go up: While you may be allowed to drive after your license suspension ends, your insurance will increase… substantially. While there is no set amount, drivers may experience an increase of hundreds of dollars extra each month for several years. The cost can be prohibitive and many people simply choose not to drive during this time.
- Installation of an IID: If you do decide to keep a vehicle for personal use, you may be required to install an interlock ignition device (IID). An IID will require you to pass a breath test before allowing your vehicle to turn on and may also require random testing. You will be responsible for passing each test that is given and failure to do so can result in further penalties.
- Limited job opportunities: Employers routinely screen potential applicants for DUI convictions and having one on your criminal record can disqualify you from certain jobs, even some which do not require you to drive. Furthermore, you may be required to report a conviction to your employer which can result in you losing your job.
Fighting DUI Charges
After being accused of a crime, you have the right to legal representation and do not have to make decisions or statements without your attorney present. While law enforcement may have you believe that your arrest will result in an open and shut case, events are rarely black and white. Ultimately, you can contest an accusation because it is your right to do so. The case against you as presented by police is not always as strong as it is presented to be and with the proper defense, the charges may not hold up in court.
Three factors which can affect your case include:
- The arresting officer did not have probable cause: If the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over or conduct a search, any evidence which was subsequently obtained may not be admissible in court.
- Incorrectly administered sobriety test: Not only are there strict protocols for the administration of field sobriety tests, the test can be inaccurate even when all procedures are correctly followed. If the “results” of a test make up central evidence in your case, the prosecution may have a hard time pursuing a conviction.
- Contamination of a chemical test: If you were given a blood test, the results could be skewed by the contamination of your blood sample. Furthermore, a procedural error by a laboratory technician or worker may also invalidate a blood test as evidence.
Experienced DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys
Make no mistake, if you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, then your future is on the line. At Patton | Pittman Attorneys at Law, we can help you to understand the crime which you have been accused of as well as what you may expect in the case ahead. Our Clarksville DUI/DWI defense attorneys possess more than 75 years of legal experience and can provide you with the effective advocacy you need. You do not have to face the criminal justice system alone. Contact us today and discover how we can help.
Call (931) 361-4477 or contact us online to speak to an attorney about your case.