The stakes of a DUI case are raised significantly if a child under the age of 18 was present in the vehicle at the time of the stop. The state of Tennessee does not take child endangerment lightly, and prosecutors will aggressively pursue maximum allowable punishments if they believe that the child’s life was, in fact, in danger.
If you are convicted of DUI in Tennessee AND you were accompanied by a minor at the time of your arrest, you will face a mandatory minimum additional jail sentence of 30 days in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000. It is important to note that these are minimum penalties, and prosecutors will likely try for much stiffer punishments.
If you are found guilty of DUI, had a minor present in the vehicle at the time of arrest AND the child suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the violation, then you will be convicted of a Class D felony. Penalties for this class of felony in the state of Tennessee include a minimum of two years to a maximum of 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are convicted of DUI in a case in which a minor was present in your vehicle and died due to the violation, your record will show a Class C felony. A Class C felony in Tennessee carries a minimum prison sentence of three years, a maximum sentence of 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, your license may be permanently revoked.
Keep in mind that every DUI case is unique. The circumstances surrounding your arrest, as well as any prior criminal charges on your record, should be considered when building a defense strategy. Attorney Marcos Garza, who literally wrote the book on DUI law in Tennessee, will examine the details of your case to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.
If you are facing DUI charges in the state of Tennessee, call the Garza Law Firm today and schedule your free, no-risk consultation.
Call (888) 680-7554 and put Mr. Garza’s experience and expertise to work for you today.