Tennessee treats DUI cases rather seriously, even for a first-timer. For instance, jail time is mandatory if the court finds you guilty of the charge. Though the law is upheld at all times, more often than not, you need a good attorney to represent you. Here’s why.
Knowledge of the law
You are probably aware that your blood alcohol concentration level should be at least 0.08 BAC for the police to arrest you – which is true—but sometimes having a blood alcohol level of as low as 0.02 BAC can also constitute a charge. With an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can stay up to date with these types of charges, knowing what you are likely to face when you get to court.
When a police officer stops you on the road on the suspicion that you may be driving under the influence, they will perform field sobriety tests, which are preceded by breathalyzer tests. According to Tennessee laws, you can refuse to do roadside tests, and there are no penalties for saying no to an officer. When a police officer asks you to do this test, they won’t tell you that you have a right to refuse. And as you may know, your environment or health can lead to false evidence that a prosecutor can use against you.
If you have an attorney, they can advise you on what to do or say when a police officer stops you for DUI. Your arrest is the most sensitive part of your case because most of the evidence used in court is gathered during this time.
You could go to trial
In Tennessee, it is your legal right to represent yourself in court when charged with any crime, including DUI. You may have an idea of the law and how to defend yourself, but the prosecutor has had years of experience in court. They know all the tricks and traps to get you cornered. Having a defense attorney with years of experience can help you avoid getting railroaded by unscrupulous prosecutors.
Of course, there are also situations where you might not need an attorney. For instance, if it is your first offense, the prosecutor will offer you a plea deal, which is more lenient than the actual sentence. You can take that plea deal without the help of an attorney if it sounds good enough.