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Anderson County DUI Defense LawyerThe risk of causing injuries or death is the primary reason why drunk driving is treated as such a serious criminal offense in Tennessee and throughout the U.S. When a drunk driver does actually cause an injury or fatality, the consequences they face can be especially severe. However, those who have been charged with a DUI offense involving injury or death do still have rights. An experienced DUI defense attorney can help to protect these rights and ensure that a defendant is treated fairly under the law.

Tennessee DUI Offenses Involving Injury or Death

According to Tennessee law, there are three different criminal offenses that may apply when a drunk driver injures or kills another person. The first of these, known as vehicular assault, occurs when a drunk driver causes serious—but not fatal—bodily injury. Typically, this means that the injuries result in disfigurement or loss of bodily function, or that they pose a substantial risk of death. Vehicular assault is a Class D felony, and an offender can be sentenced to a mandatory minimum incarceration period of 48 hours, along with a longer prison sentence and substantial fines. An offender's license can also be revoked for at least a year, with no possibility of a restricted driver’s license.

If a drunk driver causes a fatality, they can instead be charged with vehicular homicide. This is a Class B felony offense, which may result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines of up to $25,000. A driver who is convicted of vehicular homicide will also have their license revoked for between 3 and 10 years.

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Oak Ridge DUI Defense AttorneyIf you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you may feel that you have a poor chance of avoiding conviction and the serious consequences that come with it. It is certainly true that Tennessee prosecutors take DUI cases seriously, and they may have a strong case against you. However, an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you build a strong defense strategy that can stand up to the prosecution.

One important thing to understand about DUI cases is the types of evidence that the prosecution commonly uses to secure a conviction. With this knowledge, you may be better able to protect your rights.

Forms of Evidence in a DUI Case

In order to secure a DUI conviction, the prosecution must have evidence to demonstrate that you are guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Prosecutors can use many different forms of evidence to support their case, including:

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Campbell County DUI Defense AttorneyIf you have been arrested and charged with DUI in Tennessee, you may face serious consequences. However, an arrest does not mean that a conviction is inevitable. You have the right to be represented by a defense attorney who can help you prepare a defense strategy and work to ensure that you are treated fairly. One strategy that could be successful is making the case that your charges should be reduced to reckless driving.

Defining DUI and Reckless Driving

Under Tennessee law, the offense of DUI is defined as driving or being in control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance, such as alcohol, marijuana, or another drug. Driving or controlling a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 also meets the legal definition of DUI in Tennessee.

Reckless driving, on the other hand, requires no evidence of alcohol use or intoxication. There are a few specific situations that constitute reckless driving in Tennessee, but in general, a person commits the offense of reckless driving if they operate a motor vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard” for other people or property.

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Campbell County DUI AttorneyWhen you think of the typical DUI arrest, you most likely envision a situation that begins with a police officer signaling for a moving vehicle to pull over to the side of the road. However, you may have also heard stories of DUI arrests in situations where a person is sitting behind the wheel in a parked car. According to Tennessee law, it is, in fact, possible for a person to be arrested and convicted for DUI even if they were not actively driving at the time they were apprehended. If you find yourself in such a situation, an attorney can help you develop a strong defense strategy.

Tennessee DUI Laws

The Tennessee Motor Vehicle Code makes it clear that a DUI charge may apply in cases other than when a person is driving on a public road. For example, you may be charged with DUI if you are “in physical control” of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating substance. In addition to public roads and highways, you may be charged with DUI if you are found in an alley or on the premises of an apartment complex or trailer park, a shopping center, or any other place that is frequently visited by the public.

What Evidence Can Justify a DUI Charge?

When law enforcement officers make a DUI arrest of a person in a parked car, they may look at a variety of factors to establish probable cause that a DUI violation has occurred. Of course, they will need some evidence of intoxication, which may come from the officer’s sensory perceptions of the person’s condition, the presence of an open container of alcohol in or near the vehicle, the results of a field sobriety or breathalyzer test, or the person’s own admissions.

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campbell county dui defense lawyerA DUI can affect your life long after you have served your sentence and paid your fines. Many employers in Tennessee conduct background checks, so they will likely find out about your conviction. While finding a job may be trickier now, it is not impossible. If you are completely honest and show an employer that you are the right fit for the position, they may overlook the conviction.

Do You Have to Disclose Your DUI?

The “Ban the Box” movement has led many states to remove questions about a job applicant’s criminal history. In Tennessee, state employers may not ask about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial job application. However, the employer may ask about an applicant’s criminal history after the initial application screening. There is not currently legislation prohibiting questions about criminal history for private employers. Disclosing your DUI conviction on a job application or interview may seem daunting. However, employers may see the conviction on criminal background checks anyway, so it is important to be honest about your criminal history. 

How Do You Talk About Your DUI During an Interview?

If an employer asks about your criminal history during an interview, it is important to know what to say next. Here are some tips for improving your chances of getting a job with a DUI.

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