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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

Perhaps you and a friend were enjoying a few drinks after work and your friend claims that he or she is sober enough to drive. However, you may wonder if you will be also held responsible if your friend is charged with a DUI? The short answer: Yes. Under Tennessee legislation, anyone who gets into a vehicle with an intoxicated driver is equally responsible in determining whether or not the driver is in a fit state to be behind the wheel. The details of this Tennessee law are explained below, but remember that if you are ever charged with a DUI, it is imperative that you seek assistance from an experienced Tennessee attorney to avoid a criminal conviction.

Tennessee’s DUI By Consent Law

Like in all areas of the country, Tennessee drivers who have blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit can face significant punishment that corresponds to how many times they have committed the offense. However, the driver may not be the only person subject to criminal charges. Any passengers who have agreed to let that person drive will be given the exact same DUI charges through Tennessee’s DUI By Consent law. For example, if a passenger and an intoxicated driver are both given their first DUI charge, they may face at least 48 hours of jail time, their licenses revoked, fined, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, and more. 

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Campbell County traffic violations defense attorney

The staggering amount of car accidents caused by distracted driving in Tennessee pushed lawmakers to institute a new law on July 1, 2019 that bans any kind of cell phone use while driving. Understanding this new law can help you avoid a costly ticket in addition to a serious crash. In some cases, the penalties for using your phone behind the wheel can carry costly fines and the loss of driving privileges. Regardless of the charges, it is critical that you present an aggressive defense to the court with the guidance of an experienced traffic violations attorney.

Distracted Driving Statistics in Tennessee

For the three years leading up to 2019, distracted driving by Tennessee motorists caused more than 24,000 crashes annually. Tennessee also had the highest fatality rate of any state for distracted driving in that time period. The national average was 1.49 fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles, while Tennessee’s rate reached 7.2 deaths for that same mileage.

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Campbell County domestic violence defense attorney

The laws that determine police protocol when they are called to a domestic violence incident differ from state to state, and the procedure is particularly unique in Tennessee. It is worth understanding how police are told to act when they arrive on the scene and how this could affect your case if you are accused of domestic abuse. Most importantly, the consequences that you face as a result of domestic violence allegations can be severe. Therefore, it is crucial that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights were not violated during the arrest and help you determine the best strategy for defending against these charges.

Police Procedures for Domestic Abuse in Tennessee

When the police are called in for a domestic violence incident, they are highly encouraged to arrest the “primary aggressor.” If an officer thinks that he or she has probable cause to determine who may be the primary aggressor, it is a near certainty that an arrest will be made, regardless of the desires of the alleged victim. Police will also not assess the willingness of the alleged victim or other witnesses to testify in judicial proceedings.

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Campbell County boating under the influence attorney

The weather is starting to improve, and people will soon be able to participate in their favorite outdoor activities. Tennessee is rich with bodies of water for everyone to enjoy, whether it is just for an afternoon swim or a day of boating. However, just like on the roads, Tennessee’s waters are protected from those who use controlled substances before operating a watercraft. Boating under the influence (BUI) of drugs or alcohol greatly impairs a driver’s ability to safely maneuver the vessel. BUI is a crime, since boaters who choose to do this run the risk of hurting themselves or others. This is why anyone caught operating a boat while intoxicated can be charged with a misdemeanor offense, which carries significant criminal penalties if convicted.

What Is Tennessee’s BUI Law?

The state of Tennessee forbids those who operate any water vessel to do so while impaired. This includes using any of the following:

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Campbell County drunk driving defense attorney

The state of Tennessee punishes those who drive under the influence (DUI) harshly, even for first-time offenders. Penalties increase for subsequent DUI convictions against a driver, but they become even more severe if a person is injured or killed because of a DUI collision. Additionally, Tennessee punishes those who flee the scene after causing a drunk driving car crash, regardless of whether it caused injury or death to a victim.

Is Fleeing the Scene Considered a Felony?

Tennessee law states that any person who flees the scene of a collision -- whether or not alcohol or drugs are involved -- will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This includes accidents which take place on or at:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney DUI

The legal drinking age across the country is 21 years old. Anyone younger than that who drives while impaired by alcohol will face serious consequences. Minors who drive drunk risk losing their driving privileges if caught, but they also put those around them at risk of serious injury or death. Tennessee takes underage drinking and driving seriously, and because of the potential risks, a child who drinks may not be the only one facing criminal punishment. Whoever provided the minor with alcohol or drugs may also face misdemeanor or even felony charges.

Consequences of Driving Drunk as a Minor

Tennessee has three main laws that attempt to control the number of minors who drink illegally. In instances when a minor is caught drinking or attempting to purchase alcohol, he or she can still be charged under these laws, even if he or she is not driving. Tennessee’s Driving While Impaired law applies to minors aged 16-20 who have not yet hit the age of legal alcohol consumption. If caught driving drunk, a minor will have his or her license revoked and pay a fine of up to $250. The court may also require the minor to complete community service hours.

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Campbell County drugged driving defense attorney

The state of Tennessee enacted 18 new laws starting the first of the new year, one of which looks to decrease or put an end to the number of drugged drivers who hit the road while under the influence. Tennessee’s new opioid law that took effect on January 1, 2020, is meant to keep hard drugs out of the hands of people who should not be taking them. It will require that all opioid prescriptions be sent directly to pharmacies via an electronic note from a doctor. Opioid prescriptions will no longer be filled with a written prescription. The hope is that the drugs will stay with the patients who need them for medical purposes, lessening the likelihood that people will drive while under the influence of drugs.

Penalties for DUI Drugged Driving

Tennessee is giving pharmacies the entire year of 2020 to update their equipment in order to receive electronic opioid prescriptions. That means at the start of 2021, written prescriptions will no longer be available.

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Campbell County driver's license reinstatement attorney

There are many violations in Tennessee that can result in the suspension of a driver’s license, including driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol (DUI), inability to provide proof of insurance, and excessive accumulation of negative points on a driver's record. In regard to DUI suspensions, it can be a long and costly process in order to reinstate a license before a driver can legally get back on the road. Since most people drive every day, it is important to learn the proper procedures for license reinstatement if you are a Tennessee motorist. 

Penalties that Come with DUI License Suspension

Punishments for driving under the influence can be given out to adults over the age of 21 and minors who are under the legal drinking age. Minors will have their license revoked for one year if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.02 percent, and the court system can order extra punishments as it sees fit. An offender could also pay a fine of $250 and/or be required to complete a certain number of community service hours.

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Campbell County DUI defense attorney

Driving under the influence does not limit the “influence” to alcoholic beverages. In the state of Tennessee, a driver can be convicted of DUI if he or she has taken any type of intoxicating substance -- including marijuana -- prior to getting behind the wheel. Even those who take drugs legally for medical purposes can be charged with DUI if they cause a car accident with prescription medication in their systems. Furthermore, anyone who chooses to drive while under the influence of drugs must submit to a chemical and/or field sobriety test if pulled over. A driver is allowed to refuse these roadside tests, although this may result in being arrested on suspicion of DUI. Following an arrest, a driver will usually be asked to take a chemical blood alcohol test at the police station or through blood being drawn at a hospital, and refusal of these tests will result in a driver’s license revocation for at least one year.

Tennessee Law Against Drugged Driving

The more times a driver is convicted of a drug-related DUI, the more severe the penalties. If a driver is convicted more than three times, the subsequent offenses are charged as felonies that are punishable with fines, jail time, and loss of driving privileges. Sentences for a conviction include:

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Campbell County criminal defense attorney

Parents who drink and drive can expect more severe punishments if they drive with their child in the car. Tennessee’s child endangerment law covers DUI offenses with a child in the car, because the child is put in danger when he or she is in a car with an impaired driver. The broad definition of child endangerment is any act -- or neglect of an act -- that causes a child to suffer physical, emotional, or psychological abuse. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reported that in 2017, DUI-related accidents were the cause of 220 child fatalities (of 1,147) nationally, and 118 of these were children inside the vehicles of drunk drivers.

Tennessee Drunk Driving Punishments

Adults who are charged with a DUI without a child present can expect jail time and fines, depending on how many previous charges they have received. The following are the penalties a Tennessee motorist can face with a DUI charge:

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Campbell County manslaughter defense attorney

Roadways can be dangerous places due to many factors, such as speeding vehicles, construction zones, and treacherous weather. There is a long list of injuries and damages that can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Death is on that list, but in Tennessee, a person cannot be charged with first degree murder unless the victim's death was planned ahead of time. Instead, if someone is killed in a car accident, the person responsible may be charged with vehicular homicide. It is important to distinguish between the two charges, since the penalties are different. 

Murder Versus Vehicular Homicide

Tennessee law defines murder in different severities. The worst is First Degree Murder, which is intentionally killing another person. The punishment for this crime is either life in prison or the death penalty.

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Jacksboro DUI lawyer

Even though the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years old, minors all across the country often drink illegally. This can occur due to peer pressure or because the minors have easy access to alcohol or drugs within their home. There are many penalties and punishments when a minor is caught drinking illegally, but if they are caught driving under the influence, there will be even more consequences. They will face not only DUI charges, but they will also lose their driving privileges for a certain amount of time.

Tennessee Underaged DUI Penalties

The state of Tennessee has three statutes to enforce and attempt to eliminate underage drinking and driving. The most severe is the Driving While Impaired statute that affects minor drivers between the ages of 16 and 20. Any minor driver caught driving under the influence will have his or her license revoked for one year with no possibility of earning a restricted license. They will also face a $250 fine and service work per the discretion of the court.

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Campbell County DUI lawyer

According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes has dropped in Campbell County since 2014, but so far this year, there have been nine, bringing the total to 336 since 2009.

Regardless of whether a driver has consumed alcohol, you can expect to be pulled over if a police officer sees you driving erratically down the road. When this happens, and you have been drinking, you could face the possibility of DUI charges.

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Posted on in DUI/DWI

Campbell County Drug Lawyers

Every year, many thousands of Americans are arrested on drug charges. Law enforcement and the courts aggressively pursue drug possession and trafficking convictions. Drug-related violations of any kind can come with life-changing implications. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, it is imperative you consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. 

Impact of a Drug Conviction 

In the state of Tennessee, drug charges can be quite harsh. A first-time possession conviction results in a Class A misdemeanor. With a conviction can come fines of over $2,000 and up to one year in prison. If you have been previously convicted of two or more criminal acts, a possession charge automatically constitutes a felony. Criminal punishments depend on the amount of narcotics and the type of substance involved.

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Posted on in DUI/DWI

Jacksboro TN DUI defense attorneyHere in the state of Tennessee, there have been dozens of initiatives designed to reduce the number of inebriated drivers on the roads. From heightened criminal punishment to increases in highway surveillance, law enforcement officials and prosecutors are taking drunk driving incredibly seriously throughout the state. According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, over 7,300 people were arrested on DUI charges statewide throughout 2017. If you have been arrested on DUI charges, it is critically important to seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. 

Punishment for a DUI Conviction

Due to the high potential for fatal car accidents when a driver is inebriated, the state of Tennessee punishes drunk drivers more harshly than the vast majority of states. Even a first-time DUI offender will face a minimum of two full days in jail and fines of at least $350. Without quality legal representation, a first-time DUI offender could be subjected to a jail sentence of up to one year, one year of license revocation, and potential fines as high as $1,500. 

A second or third DUI conviction carries the same maximum prison sentence but comes with higher fines and much longer periods of driver’s license revocation. If you have been convicted of a fourth DUI, you will face felony charges and a minimum of one year in jail. More severe criminal punishment can be placed on those who are convicted of vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide. 

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