A DUI case can be confusing and troubling, as being accused can affect many aspects of your life, including your career, finances and even your freedom. Tennessee takes DUI cases seriously and any prior convictions for DUI can have a tremendous impact on the possible sentence if a case is pursued. Knowing the consequences and the ways in which prior convictions may affect a case is as important as knowing what kind of defense may be possible if you face DUI charges.
First of all, if you are facing a second offense, the state may be able to take your vehicle away. Jail time is also on the table if you have prior DUI convictions. If convicted of a second offense, jail time may be 45 days, which can have a serious impact on your job and family. And, of course, you'll have to pay hefty fines.
The good news is that any case can be challenged. One of the first things that may work in your favor is if the facts of any prior convictions are investigated. For example, if facing a second offense, records may indicate that the first offense was not truly convicted as DUI but, possibly, as a lesser charge unrelated to DUI, which means what may be believed to be a second offense is actually a first offense.
The proper handling and investigating of prior convictions can make all the difference in how subsequent charges are pursued and handled in the court system. Never just assume a second, third or fourth offense will result in the standard tough sentence outlined as each case is unique and a knowledgeable and dedicated defense can profoundly affect what consequences may be applicable or legally handed down. Our firm has more information about the role of prior convictions in Tennessee and what steps may be taken to deal with those prior convictions.