Aggravated DUI in Tennessee

In Tennessee, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence ranging from 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days, a fine of up to $1,500, and driver’s license revocation for one year. However, if certain aggravating factors exist, then a first offense can result in harsher criminal penalties or even a felony charge.

The following are common examples of aggravated DUI in Tennessee:

  • High blood alcohol content (BAC) – If a person’s BAC is .20 percent or higher, a first offense carries a mandatory minimum of seven days in jail, rather than 48 hours like ordinary first-time offenders.

  • Driving with a minor passenger – Child endangerment is a DUI with a passenger under 18 years old. This offense is punishable by a 30-day mandatory minimum jail term and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if a child suffers a serious injury, child endangerment is a Class D felony, which can result in imprisonment for up to 12 years, a maximum fine of $5,000, and driver’s license revocation for up to five years. If a child dies, then the offense is a Class B felony, which carries a maximum prison term of 30 years, a fine of up to $25,000, and license revocation for up to 10 years.

  • Serious injury to another person – If a DUI driver is responsible for another person’s serious injury, it is considered vehicular assault. A first offense is a Class D felony. Additionally, if a DUI driver has two or more prior DUI or vehicular assault convictions, or one prior vehicular homicide conviction, then the offense is considered aggravated vehicular assault, which is a Class A felony that carries a maximum prison term of 60 years and a fine not exceeding $50,000.

  • Killing another person – If a DUI driver is responsible for another person’s death, it is considered vehicular homicide. The first offense is a Class B felony.

When facing aggravated DUI charges, it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. Your lawyer can investigate the arrest, collect and assess evidence from the scene, and develop an aggressive and personalized defense strategy to protect your rights and best interests inside and outside the courtroom.

If you have been arrested for a DUI in Clarksville, call Patton | Pittman Attorneys at (931) 361-4477 or fill out our online contact form today to request a free case evaluation. Our trial-tested lawyers have more than 100 years of combined legal experience!

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