Tennessee DUI Penalties
Understanding Tennessee DUI Charges and Penalties
A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense is a criminal matter that ranges from a misdemeanor to a Class A Felony. A DUI charge should be taken very seriously, as a conviction can carry severe penalties. While specific penalties depend on the circumstances of your case and prior criminal history, there are some penalties that can be anticipated in most cases.
There are always a variety of fees associated with a DUI conviction. A mandatory fine is imposed in almost all cases, which can range anywhere from $350 to $15,000. These fines can be deceptive, however, as the final cost of a DUI conviction is often far greater. In addition to a fine, there are other expenses for which a convicted individual is responsible:
- Bail and towing expenses
- Court-imposed drug and alcohol treatment programs
- High-stakes insurance policy that must accompany a restricted license
- Restitution to those who suffered physical injury or property loss
- Ignition Interlock Device installation and maintenance
- License reinstatement fees
When all is said and done, even a first-time DUI conviction can cost an individual thousands upon thousands of dollars. Very often, a DUI conviction also carries with it some restrictions on your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Many individuals with a first or second DUI offense lose their driver’s license for at least a year. In some instances, a restricted license is required for some time after revocation. Individuals with repeat convictions may have their license suspended for up to a decade.
Imprisonment is a severe penalty, but not uncommon, especially for individuals with multiple convictions. The length of a jail sentence is determined by a judge, who takes into account the statutory range set forth in the state’s DUI laws, your criminal history, and the facts in your case. Serious convictions can result in years of jail time.
The potential impact of a DUI conviction can be substantial, in terms of cost and the loss of important freedoms, including your liberty. With so much on the line, it is advisable to have a Tennessee criminal attorney with proven successes defending DUI clients. The DUI defense attorneys at the Murfreesboro-based firm of Kidwell, South, Beasley and Haley have been defending Tennessee residents against DUI convictions for more than four decades. If you are facing a DUI conviction, a free initial consultation can go a long way in helping you determine your rights and exploring how our attorneys can help.