When faced with a DUI charge, many people think that they would just like to get through the legal proceedings as quickly as possible and take whatever punishment the judge deems appropriate. Faced with overwhelming anxiety and stress, it becomes hard to think about the long-term, often irrevocable consequences that could stem from a less-than-favorable ruling. That’s why it is of utmost importance to seek counsel from an experienced attorney—someone who can objectively look at the facts of your case and help you obtain the best possible outcome.
Many people erroneously believe that if they are a first-time offender, they will be let off with a lighter punishment. This could not be further from the truth. In the state of Tennessee, even first-time DUI offenders face penalties including mandatory minimum jail sentences, mandatory minimum fines and classes, 24 hours of litter pick-up, high risk SR-22 insurance, as well as driver’s license suspension.
If convicted of DUI, you will be subject to fines ranging anywhere from $350 to $15,000. These fines do not include other fees you will pay to the courts throughout the judicial process. Further, if a judge orders you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, you will be responsible for installation and maintenance costs of the device.
You also should consider any loss of income you may suffer as a result of incarceration and time away from work dealing with the courts. Things may get worse if you lose your job and are forced to look for new employment, which will become much harder to find with a new DUI conviction on your record. Many have estimated the long term financial impact of a DUI 1st offense conviction to be well over $10,000 when factoring in the cost of high-risk insurance and the cost of lost future employment and education opportunities.
Depending on the severity of the case, you could be classified as a felon if convicted of DUI. Individuals with felony convictions on their records face difficulty in traveling out of the country. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you could face deportation.
Perhaps the biggest factor that many people overlook when facing DUI charges is the stigma that a criminal conviction can bring. A DUI conviction in Tennessee may not be expunged from your record—it will stay with you for the rest of your life.
If you or someone you love is facing a charge of driving under the influence in the state of Tennessee, call the Garza Law Firm at (888) 680-7554. Knoxville-based DUI attorney Marcos Garza is ready to help you move past this troubling time and secure the best possible future for you and your family.
Call the Garza Law Firm at (888) 680-7554 to schedule a free case consultation.