Rogersville DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
We Take Your DUI Defense Seriously
An arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) requires a smart legal strategy. Unlike a minor traffic offense, even a first-time DUI conviction may lead to serious consequences such as a fine, driver’s license suspension and/or jail time. These consequences can stay on your record for life.
The good news is that a strong DUI defense is possible whether you are a first-time or repeat offender. At the Stapleton Law Office, our Rogersville DUI/DWI defense attorney Mark Stapleton has been fighting for the legal rights of those who have been accused of crimes such as driving under the influence.
We understand how the local prosecution will try to paint your situation and what to do to build you a strong claim that will hold up in court. The prosecutor has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which in turn requires persuasive evidence. One of our most effective strategies at Stapleton Law Office is to file a motion to exclude improperly obtained evidence, resulting in the prosecutor’s inability to make the case against you.
DUI Laws & Penalties in Tennessee
According to Tennessee Code 55-10-401, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher.
Offenders are punished based on a few factors, one of which is whether this is a first or subsequent offense. However, additional factors that can affect your sentence include your BAC level, whether anyone was hurt or endangered, whether you refused or took a breathalyzer, and more.
DUI offenses, from least to most severe, in Tennessee are categorized as the following:
- Implied consent/test refusal penalties: For refusing to take a breathalyzer or any kind of chemical test to determine sobriety, your license can be revoked from 1 to 5 years.
- First offense DUI penalties: A first offense DUI conviction in Tennessee is considered a misdemeanor offense and carries penalties such as a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days, fines of up to $1,500, and/or DUI classes, license suspensions, and ignition interlock devices.
- Second offense DUI penalties: Second offenses are also misdemeanors and may be punished by a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days, a fine of up to $3,500, and having their vehicle taken away entirely.
- Third and subsequent offense DUI penalties: Third offenses are also misdemeanors, so the maximum jail sentence remains 11 months and 29 days. Additionally, you may have to pay fines up to $10,000—plus associated court costs. Other penalties mentioned above, such as vehicle forfeiture and DUI school, may also be required.
Reviewing Police Procedures
At every step in the arrest, the police are bound by certain procedures. We begin our analysis with a review of police procedure, starting with the initial stop. Police generally must have cause to support the initial stop, such as observing erratic driving.
Similarly, the police generally must observe signs of intoxication before escalating the initial stop into field sobriety or chemical blood alcohol testing. Our defense strategy is aimed at fighting to protect your legal rights.
Analyzing the Evidence
Even with forensic evidence such as blood alcohol test results, there may be defensive strategies. Did the police administer the Breathalyzer test properly? Did the lab administer the blood test properly in the chain of custody? If the answer to either question is no, we may argue that the evidence against you should be excluded.
As in our criminal defense practice, we will use our negotiation skills in your DUI defense. If you are a first-time offender, there may be alternatives such as a less serious offense or even dismissal of certain charges against you in exchange for community service or attending an alcohol program. We will pursue every avenue to ensure you receive the lightest possible sentence.
How Can a DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer Help Your Case?
Whether this is your first DUI in Tennessee or your third, the help of a defense attorney can be invaluable. Such attorneys have the knowledge and experience to identify key elements in the prosecution’s case that may weaken their argument. As many DUI laws are incredibly complex, a knowledgeable attorney can uncover any weaknesses or potential violations of your rights. A defense lawyer will also be able to explain the law in an understandable manner and provide you with options to best pursue your case.
Services that a DUI/DWI defense lawyer may offer include:
- Reviewing the evidence and police procedure to check for any irregularities or violations of your rights.
- Negotiating with prosecutors and courts to seek reduced charges or alternative sentencing options such as community service or alcohol programs.
- Building an effective defense strategy tailored to the facts of the case by utilizing expert witnesses and other legal resources.
- Explaining all potential plea bargains, court orders, and other outcomes of the criminal process so you can make informed decisions about your case.
- Representing you at trial, if necessary, to protect your legal rights and ensure a favorable outcome for your case.
Contact An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney
Every DUI case is different. Depending on your history, the evidence against you and the police actions during your arrest, we will use every available defense to your advantage.
Not all of our criminal cases end in trial. We have worked for our clients on many occasions and had DUI cases, assault cases, sexual assault cases, and other types of drug cases dismissed prior to ever getting to trial.
Schedule your free initial consultation by calling Stapleton Law Office toll free at (423) 418-8469 to learn more about your legal options.