A recent ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court has doubled down on fees assessed after a DUI conviction. The hefty costs, along with the other penalties that could be assigned, make it imperative to defend yourself against a contrived DUI charge. Here’s some advice on how to frame and structure your defense.
Work with a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Investigate Charges Against You
DUI law is more complex than you think. Though some people try to defend themselves after an arrest, we recommend talking to professionals who have experience with DUI defense and the Tennessee court system. Acting as your own attorney in traffic court is one thing, but criminal offenses are a different beast. At Andrew Farmer Law, our DUI attorney fights hard for every single client.
If you’re hit with a DUI charge, you may be fined, given a restricted license, have your car outfitted with an ignition interlock device, or even face jail time. You’ll also have a criminal record, which can affect you for the rest of your life. Not all DUI arrests are legitimate—and here’s some ways you can fight back.
Call Andrew Farmer Law at (865) 205-2637 or contact us online to speak to an experienced lawyer about your DUI case.
What Counts as a DUI?
Like most of the U.S., the blood alcohol limit (BAC) that determines whether you are “under the influence” is 0.08 in Tennessee (or 0.02 if you’re under 21). However, that’s not the only condition that denotes a DUI. You may be considered too intoxicated to drive even if your BAC reads lower than .08, and any effects caused by medication or illegal drugs (or any mix of substances) can also land you a DUI if it makes you an unsafe driver. Police typically determine your fitness to drive by administering field sobriety tests or using a breathalyzer or blood test to get a reading on the substances in your body.
I Was Under the Legal Limit When Pulled Over
It’s important to keep our roads safe, but sometimes police are overzealous in making DUI arrests. Despite the fact that law enforcement agencies are not allowed to set ticket or arrest quotas, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has been caught doing just that more than once. Officers may be fudging the rules because they fear for their job and catching innocent drivers in the trap.
The same goes for racial profiling. Many Tennesseans have accused police officers of racially-motivated investigations or treatment resulting in officers being demoted or even fired. Police must have probable cause to pull you over—meaning your driving must be bad enough to warrant consequences on its own. If a police officer cannot provide a valid reason for a traffic stop, you cannot be tried for a DUI no matter your BAC at the time.
Even if you did give them a reason to flash their lights, it doesn’t mean drunkenness caused your mistakes. Driving while fatigued, facing unfavorable road conditions, or using your cell phone while on the road are just some of the factors that can contribute to poor driving. Even though we know not to do these things, no one is perfect. Dangerous driving shouldn’t automatically result in a DUI charge; there are plenty of other ways to prosecute bad drivers. It’s not ideal to admit that you were texting your friends while on the road, but a traffic ticket is much less harmful than a DUI.
Were Your Tests Erroneous?
If your breathalyzer or blood tests came back with discouraging results, you may be able to challenge the tests themselves. Breathalyzers must be operated by licensed officers, and all DUI tests must be administered in a certain way to ensure accuracy. Deviation from proper procedure may cause incorrect results (and the natural margin of error may also work against you). Analysis of your test administration may uncover a case for dispute—and allow you to claim one of the defenses above.
You May Be Able to Get Your Case Dismissed
If you want aggressive legal representation for your DUI case, look no further. Our attorneys can help you fight back against a DUI charge and avoid the life-changing penalties that come with it. Don’t let our justice system assail your rights.
Contact Andrew Farmer Law online or call (865) 205-2637 for a free DUI consultation today.