Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Memphis, TN

Find Support for Your DUI Case

Being arrested for drunk driving is a traumatic experience. A DUI charge in Tennessee can have very serious consequences for the accused. In the state of Tennessee, the cost of a DUI  – factoring in bail, towing, hiring an attorney, court costs, and more – can really add up. In addition to the financial burden, a DUI conviction can damage your reputation and harm your professional life, making it harder to land a job.

A DUI arrest or charge can be very stressful and make you worry about your future. If you or someone you know has experienced a DUI charge, it’s important you take action right away. Before pleading guilty or paying a fine, remember that you can fight the DUI charges, even if you failed a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney Shannon A. Jones has been aggressively defending people against DUI charges for over 20 years.

What is a DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence. Under Tennessee law, no one under the influence of an intoxicant is allowed to drive or be in control of a vehicle in any public place. The law says that a person must not drive if his or her BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08 or higher. This amount can mean as few as two alcoholic beverages, depending on factors such as weight, metabolism, and the period between drinks.

However, a driver may still be charged with DUI if their BAC is below .08. If a police officer sees the driver operating the vehicle recklessly, speeding, or breaking other traffic rules, the officer has reason to pull the driver over and investigate. Field sobriety tests other than a blood test or breathalyzer, which are used to measure BAC, can indicate if the driver was driving under the influence of a drug (illegal or prescription) that affects the central nervous system.

Tennessee DUI laws are the same in Memphis as they are in Nashville, Knoxville, and every other city. The same strict, harsh laws are similar statewide. To be convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, the state must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s critical you hire an attorney who is well versed in how to combat these tests.

A DUI defense must include a thorough investigation into every aspect of the arrest with a focus on critical areas that build a successful defense strategy, such as:

  • Are the blood or breath test results accurate? It is not unheard of for breathalyzers to malfunction.
  • Were the tests appropriately conducted?
  • Did the police officer have probable cause for making the traffic stop in the first place?

What is the punishment for a DUI conviction?

Below is a look at the general penalties for DUI in Tennessee. DUI penalties vary by case depending on the circumstances and facts. The following information should not be relied upon without consultation with a qualified, experienced Tennessee DUI attorney.

  • 1st Offense: The first DUI conviction in Tennessee results in 48 hours of jail time, a fine between $350 and $1,500, and the driver’s license is revoked for a year. If the BAC is .20 or more, a minimum of 7 days jail time must be served.
  • 2nd Offense: Jail time increases significantly for repeat offenders. A second offense results in a minimum jail sentence of 45 days, a mandatory fine of between $600 and $3,500, and license revocation for 2 years. The offender is also subject to vehicle seizure and forfeiture.
  • 3rd Offense: The jail sentence increases to 120 days, and the fine escalates to between $1,100 and $10,000. Further, the license is revoked for 3 to 10 years.
  • 4th Offense: Whereas the first, second, and third DUIs are usually charged as misdemeanors, the fourth offense for DUI is considered a felony, meaning, if convicted, the jail sentence ranges from 1 to 6 years and the driver’s license will be revoked for 8 years. The minimum fine is $3,000, and it may go as high as $15,000.

It’s important to note that, unlike many other crimes, a DUI conviction in Tennessee cannot be expunged from your record. Put simply, a DUI conviction sticks with you for life, unless your case is won or dismissed. Due to the seriousness of a drunk driving charge, it’s important you consult with a Tennessee DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Implied Consent Law

Tennessee has an implied consent law, meaning that if you refuse to submit to a test after being suspected of driving under the influence, you risk having your driver’s license suspended for a solid year. You need to request a hearing immediately to challenge the license suspension. Attorney Shannon A. Jones can help you fight for your driver’s license.

How can an attorney defend against DUI charges?

An attorney can help you avoid the harsh penalties listed above. A DUI lawyer who knows the ins and outs of DUI laws in Tennessee can protect and defend your legal rights. An attorney’s duty is to look out for your best interests in this difficult situation. Remember: just because you were charged with driving under the influence doesn’t mean you are guilty, nor should you have to bear the most severe consequences the law permits.

Highly skilled and experienced attorney Shannon A. Jones will work hard to get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether. Depending on the case, he may have evidence against you withheld from court or advise you in entering a plea bargain. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain: Shannon A. Jones will do everything he can to secure for you a positive outcome.

If you or a loved one has been accused of driving drunk or under the influence of a substance, attorney Shannon A. Jones is here to help you explore your options. Don’t feel pressured to plead guilty so you can avoid serving jail time. Allow Shannon A. Jones to assess your case and guide you through a tough situation. Call us today at (901) 562- 3605 and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney.