There are numerous rules that restrict what people can do while in control of motor vehicles in Tennessee. Drivers often overestimate their ability and might think that they can break traffic laws without putting themselves at risk of a crash.
One common traffic offense that leads to criminal prosecution involves impairment at the wheel. Driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Tennessee can occur because someone caused a wreck or possibly because they failed a breath test during a traffic stop. Although many people plead guilty to DUI charges, the three considerations below inspire some people accused of impaired driving to fight back at trial.
Potential criminal consequences
Tennessee state law authorizes a judge to sentence someone to fines, jail time or possibly probation when they plead guilty to or get convicted of a DUI offense. Someone’s prior record, their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of their arrest and secondary factors, like the presence of a minor in their vehicle, can influence the penalties a judge imposes.
The risk of a criminal record
Pleading guilty to a DUI won’t just mean having a major blemish on one’s driving record. It will also mean failing every background check that employers and other parties choose to perform in the future. While there are plenty of businesses and landlords that will overlook DUI charges, there are others who will treat such offenses as the deciding factor regarding whether they offer someone an opportunity or not. The chilling effect that a criminal record can have on someone’s opportunities might be sufficient reason for them to defend against the charges.
Financial consequences of a conviction
Obviously, large fines can be a hardship for those who already have limited resources. The financial consequences of a DUI will also likely include drastically increased insurance costs for multiple years after the conviction. Additionally, people may experience financial hardship because of their license suspension or any career consequences that result from a criminal conviction.
When someone looks at the long-term impact of a DUI offense on their future, attempting to fight the charges at trial might be a much better option than pleading guilty and hoping for mercy from the court. Learning more about the likely impact of a DUI conviction may help people respond to the charges they’re facing after an arrest in ways that are more informed. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started and to receive necessary support.