Do People Commonly Assume They Will Have To Plead Guilty To DUI Charges?
It is common for people to feel defeated from the very beginning when facing criminal charges
What Are The Top Misconceptions That People Have About DUI Arrest And Charges In Tennessee?
The biggest misconceptions in my experience from potential clients I meet with is they don’t understand the seriousness of a DUI conviction. Driving under the influence is an A misdemeanor in Tennessee. However, unlike most misdemeanor charges a DUI conviction has mandatory jail time even for first-time offenders. In Tennessee, most misdemeanors and some felony charges can be expunged from your permanent record through diversion. However, if you are convicted of a driving under the influence charge in Tennessee, it can never be expunged from your criminal record. DUI charges in Tennessee are not eligible under T.C.A. 40-35-313 for judicial diversion either.
At What Point Should I Hire A Defense Attorney In My DUI Case?
Ideally, we get involved with the case immediately after an arrest, or as soon as possible after an arrest has been made.
What Important Information Should I Share With My DUI Defense Attorney?
It is important to share as much information as possible about the case with your attorney. Some important items to discuss are where you were stopped, who you were with, where you have been, how much you had to drink, were you taking any medications, did you perform any field sobriety tests or Breathalyzer tests.
Do You Advise Your Clients To Undergo Pre-Trial Voluntary Counseling In DUI Cases?
There is no bright-line rule because each case is different, but in certain cases it can be an advantage to be proactive and seek help on your own without being required by the court. Some of my clients are able to help their cases significantly by getting out in front and getting help on their own.
At What Point Will I Have To Enter A Plea Of Guilty Or Not Guilty In My DUI Case?
In Tennessee, the criminal court system is broken up into two courts. The first stop for the majority of defendants is General Sessions’ Court. General Sessions’ Courts have the authority to handle misdemeanor cases and hold preliminary hearings on felony cases. It is possible, if a defendant desires, to enter into a guilty plea in General Sessions to a charge of driving under the influence. However, the prosecutor handling the case for the State of Tennessee is not required to turn over discovery on the case until the case reaches the second stop in the process which is criminal court. The criminal trial courts in Tennessee have the authority to handle both misdemeanor and felony cases.
After being arraigned in criminal court your attorney will file for discovery which will then be provided by the prosecutor. After reviewing discovery and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the case it will be the defendant’s sole decision whether to enter a plea of guilt.
What are The Next Steps To Take After I Enter A Plea Of Not Guilty In My DUI Case?
- Continue to investigate and gather facts.
- Analyze all evidence.
- Put together a trial strategy with theme and theory.
For more information on Pleading Guilty To DUI Charges In TN, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (615) 864-6527 today.
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