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DUI Lawyer Chattanooga, TN

Defending Clients Arrested For a DUI in Hamilton, Bradley, Marion, Polk, & McMinn Counties

Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are serious legal matters, especially in a state like Tennessee, where courts harshly prosecute even first-time offenders. As a state with some of the strictest driving under the influence laws, hundreds of alcohol-related driving fatalities each year, and well over 15,000 yearly DUI arrests, impaired drivers are clearly a priority for Tennessee law officers and policymakers alike. Therefore, it’s extremely important to understand what constitutes an offense and equip yourself with an experienced DUI lawyer, so you can protect your rights under the law and avoid the most severe penalties. 

Have you been arrested for a DUI in Tennessee? Call Andrea Hayduk Law today at  (423) 301-5050 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our DUI attorney in Chattanooga, TN.

First DUI Offense in Tennessee

In Tennessee, you can receive a DUI charge if you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or higher or under the influence of drugs or illegal substances of any kind. A first-time DUI offender will typically receive a Class A misdemeanor charge, which the state punishes with mandatory jail time, anywhere from 48 hours to 11 months and 29 days. If your BAC level at the time of your arrest was .20% or higher, the minimum jail sentence is increased to seven days. In addition to jail time, you may face fines ranging between $350 and $1,500, community service, driver’s license revocation for up to one year, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device after license reinstatement (at your expense). The specific punishments vary widely depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the judge’s discretion. 

Other potential penalties and collateral consequences for first-time offenders include: 

  • Restitution to anyone you injured 
  • Towing/confiscation of your vehicle
  • Alcohol and drug treatment programs or awareness courses
  • Court and legal fees
  • High-risk insurance 

These penalties may be increased if you caused a fatal crash while driving under the influence, fled police or the scene of an accident, or if there was a child under 18 in the vehicle at the time of your arrest.

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    Second & Third DUI Offenses

    A second DUI conviction carries enhanced punishments, such as at least 45 days jail time, a minimum $600 fine, a license suspension of up to two years, and additional penalties depending on the facts of your case and judicial discretion. You may also need to complete approved alcohol or drug assessment programs and community service prior to license reinstatement, and the court may order you to forfeit your vehicle. Third DUI offenses carry even greater penalties. One of the most notable is a license suspension of six years. 

    Repeat DUI Offenders

    If you receive four or more DUI convictions, you will receive a Class E, D, or C felony charge, depending on your specific number of prior convictions. Class E felonies carry penalties of 150 consecutive days to six years of jail time, Class D felonies can result in sentences of up to 12 years, and Class C offenders can receive as much as 15-year sentences. All other legal penalties may be similarly enhanced. 

    Repeat offenders (four or more DUI convictions) will also face all the additional consequences of a felony, such as the following: 

    • Loss of voting rights and restoration costs (including restitution)
    • Difficulty finding a job
    • Compromised parental privileges 
    • Loss of the right to bear firearms 

    Defenses to DUIs

    It's clear that a DUI in Tennessee is a very severe offense that can result in substantial legal consequences. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to understand your rights and the possible defenses. Below are some defenses that may be used in a Tennessee DUI case:

    • Contesting the legality of the initial stop
    • Challenging the field sobriety tests accuracy
    • Disputing the breathalyzer test results
    • Claiming the police officer did not obey proper procedures
    • Questioning the validity of blood or urine tests

    However, every DUI case is unique, and the best defense strategy will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. An experienced DUI attorney, such as Andrea Hayudk, can help evaluate the facts and review the evidence of your case to help you build a solid legal defense.

    Contact our Chattanooga DUI lawyer today at (423) 301-5050 for an experienced defense.

    Why Hire Andrea Hayduk Law

    The Tennessee judicial system can be intimidating, but it’s nevertheless important that you fight your DUI charges. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, Andrea Hayduk Law can help you prepare an effective legal defense with the goal of reducing, dismissing, or acquitting your charges or to negotiate lesser penalties upon a conviction. Attorney Hayduk is a longtime defender of Tennesseans dealing with DUI defenses. She is a founding member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) and serves on the boards of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL) and the Tennessee Innocence Project. 

    Contact Our DUI Attorney Today

    When you choose to work with us, Attorney Hayduk will strategically guide you through each step of the legal process toward the best possible outcome, including:

    • Gathering the necessary evidence and witness statements to challenge any allegations
    • Helping you prepare effective legal arguments
    • Scrutinizing the prosecution and arrest circumstances
    • Exploring potential defenses and outcomes
    • Handling all legal paperwork

    Contact Andrea Hayduk Law today to get started on your defense with our DUI lawyer in Chattanooga, TN.

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