Bryan was more than helpful and a huge life saver. He always kept me informed and up to date. He would even respond to my obsessive emails and phone calls. He was always totally honest and upfront with me regarding all aspects of my case. My peace of mind and sanity were in good hands with Bryan. I would and will highly recommend Bryan to any one in need of legal representation.CRIMINAL DEFENSE CLIENT | November 11
DUI Defense in Tennessee
Nashville DUI attorney Bryan Stephenson knows Tennessee DUI law, and represents clients charged with DUI (1st offenders and multiple offenders), violation of the implied consent law, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, DWI-underage, DUI-vehicle owner, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, texting while driving, evading arrest, and all traffic crimes. Serving Nashville-Davidson County and all counties in middle Tennessee.
A DUI charge can happen to the most ordinary of citizens. It is one of those crimes that spans all ages, races, religions, socio-economic classes and geography, and affects both men and women. Police often look for DUIs and go on "fishing expeditions" where they pull over drivers and hunt for clues of DUI. The arresting officer often times pre-determines that the driver is going to jail before he even asks the driver to complete the field sobriety tasks or blow into the breathalyzer. The police will often arrest the owner of the car for letting a drunk friend or family member drive while the owner thinks that he or she is being responsible by being the passenger (TN law calls this "DUI - Vehicle Owner", "DUI by Consent" or "DUI by Allowance"). But just because you've been arrested doesn't necessarily mean that all is lost.
When considering which DUI lawyers in Nashville and Middle Tennessee to consult, it is in your best interest to find an experienced DUI attorney, familiar with the criminal justice system and applicable DUI and driver license laws, to analyze your case, explain your rights, options, and possible outcomes, and defend you to the fullest extent.
As a former Nashville prosecutor, DUI Attorney Bryan Stephenson is familiar with how the government prosecutes DUI, DWI-Underage, Violation of Implied Consent and other traffic-related offenses. He knows how a prosecutor looks at a case, and because of that, he knows how to approach and deal with prosecutors on behalf of his clients. While there is never any guarantee of the outcome of a criminal or DUI case, Attorney Stephenson uses his best judgment to recognize when the prosecutor is offering a "good deal" or a "bad deal," and whether the prosecutor has a strong enough case to prosecute. If there isn't a lot of evidence against you, then it may be in your best interest to go to trial. If the police violated your constitutional rights in obtaining evidence against you, then it may be in your best interest for your DUI lawyer to file a motion to suppress the evidence.
Just some of the important factors that he will assess when preparing your DUI defense:
- What was the basis of why the police stopped you?
- Was this officer looking for a DUI, or did he randomly come across you?
- Once the officer approached your car, what evidence, if any, was there that you might be under the influence, thereby allowing him to investigate you further?
- If he is alleging that you broke a traffic law, did he in fact write you a traffic citation? What traffic law was at stake? And was it a "TCA" law (a state statute) or was it pursuant to a municipal city ordinance?
- What is your driving record?
- Is the traffic stop and DUI investigation on video (not all officers have video cameras in their cars)?
- What does the police report say?
- How did the officer "grade" you on the field sobriety tests ("FST's", also called "field sobriety tasks" by Nashville police) and under what conditions were they given to you (were you in the dark, blinded by flashing blue lights, next to a busy road, in the rain, or wearing sandals, etc.)?
- If you took a breath alcohol test, did the officer follow all the rules for administering the test?
- Did the officer actually see you driving?
- Does the arresting officer have a history of discipline or dishonesty?
- If there was a breath test given, were there problems with the breath alcohol machine or the machine operator?
- If there was a blood test given, were the proper procedures followed? You have a right to request that your blood be independently analyzed by a private laboratory after the TBI analyzes it for the state.
Drunk Driving in Tennessee is called DUI (Driving Under the Influence). In other states you've heard it referred to as DWI (Driving While Impaired or Driving While Intoxicated). Convictions for DUI or DWI in other states may be used to enhance a TN DUI conviction. The mandatory minimum punishments for Tennessee DUI convictions are set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-10-403:
1st Offense DUI:
- Revocation of Driver License for 1 year (may be eligible for restricted license);
- Minimum 48 hours in jail (for arrests occurring after July 1, 2008);
- 7 days in jail if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was .20% or above;
- $350 fine (plus court costs and probation fees);
- Probation for 11 months and 29 days following jail release;
- Alcohol Safety School (in some jurisdictions, you may complete the school while serving the mandatory jail time);
- Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device on your car to obtain a restricted license if certain factors are present (such as BAC over .15%, child in vehicle, certain accidents).
2nd Offense DUI:
- 45 days in jail, followed by 11 months and 29 days probation;
- Revocation of Driver License for 2 years (may be eligible for restricted license after 1 year);
- $600 fine (plus court costs and probation fees).
3rd Offense DUI:
- 120 days in jail, followed by 11 months 29 days probation;
- $1100 fine (plus court costs and probation fees);
- Revocation of Driver License for 6 years.
4th (or more) DUI:
- This is charged as a Felony, with a minimum of 150 days--punishments may vary, and include possible prison time.
Additional possible consequences for ALL DUI offenses that aren't necessarily part of the mandatory penalties:
- Additional drug and/or alcohol treatment;
- Trash-pickup or community service;
- Attendance at a MADD Victim Impact Panel;
- Random drug screens;
- Insurance rates may increase with filing of SR-22;
- Installment of an Ignition Interlock Device on your car;
- Attachment to your ankle of the "SCRAM" device, which alerts authorities if you consume alcohol.
An experienced Tennessee DUI lawyer will explain your rights and options and make sure that you're being treated fairly by the prosecutor when you go to court. Sometimes a DUI is reduced, or "pled down", to Reckless Driving or Reckless Endangerment, or sometimes even dismissed completely in some circumstances. The situations may occur if the case against you is weak, or if the police violated your rights and unlawfully obtained evidence, or if other mitigating circumstances exist. Other times even if you are convicted of DUI, you may be eligible to get a restricted Driver License to drive to work, school, or church (or perhaps more places if you have ignition interlock installed). When considering DUI Attorneys in Middle Tennessee, Bryan Stephenson will assess your case and tell you whether you may have options to fight the DUI to an acquittal (i.e., a finding of "Not Guilty" by a judge or jury), or have evidence tossed out because of illegal police procedure, get a reduced charge, or if no reduced charge, whether you may receive the minimum punishments required by DUI. No matter the facts of your case, he will guide you through the often long, confusing, and stressful criminal justice process.
Contact The Law Office of Bryan Stephenson to schedule a free consultation.