Your first court date after a Knoxville DUI arrest will usually be an arraignment. This court appearance will often be within two weeks of your arrest. The arraignment serves several purposes. The first is that the Court must be sure that you know what you are charged with and what your rights are. The Judge will also want to know if you have a lawyer, if you are going to represent yourself, or if you don’t have enough resources, whether you are going to use the public defender.
If you have a Knoxville DUI lawyer retained before the arraignment, often you will not have to appear as your attorney can likely let the Court know that he or she has been hired to handle the case and that you are aware of what your charges are. Both your DUI lawyer and the State’s prosecutor will likely want more time to prepare the case and you will be given a court date at a later time.
Tennessee has steadily increased the penalties for DUI over the last twenty or so years. There are now mandatory, minimum penalties that not even the Judge can keep you from serving, if you are convicted. In order to avoid the following penalties you would have to have your case dismissed, reduced to a lesser charge, or be found not guilty. The bare minimum penalties for a first offense DUI in Tennessee are:
- 48 hours in jail
- 11 months and 29 days on probation
- Loss of driver’s license for 1 year
- 12 hours of DUI School
- 24 hours of roadside litter pickup
If you have had a previous DUI, the minimum penalties become much more severe.
Yes, the majority of the cases where a blood test is given, the results come back over the legal limit, but even so, we have had great results in getting DUI cases dismissed and reduced to lesser charges.
That is because there are more issues involved in a DUI case than just what your BAC was. For instance, an officer must have “reasonable suspicion,” as defined by the law, to even ask you to take a blood test. He also must have had a legal reason to stop your car or keep you from leaving. The many different defenses to DUI, even with an elevated BAC, could and does fill entire books. If you have been arrested for DUI it is important that you speak to a qualified DUI defense lawyer in Knoxville about the specific facts of your case, to determine what defense you have.
The answer to this question varies greatly and depends in part on the specific facts of your case. I have heard of Knoxville DUI lawyers charging as little as $1500 and as much as $15,000 for a first offense DUI. Both those prices are extremes. At the Barnes Law Office we understand a high quality DUI defense attorney is probably not something you’ve budgeted for. It is important to us that our fees remain affordable but also compensate for the large amount of time, effort, and expense that goes into each and every case. We accept credit cards and offer payment plans with affordable down payments so that you can get the representation you need.
Ultimately, hiring a top notch DUI lawyer may even save you money. The cost of SR-22 high risk insurance, fines, court costs, probation fees, ignition interlock or transdermal alcohol monitoring devices add up, but even those costs can’t compare to the cost of lost income in many fields over years and decades. If having a DUI on your record causes you to be passed over for even one better job in your life, the financial consequences could be extreme.
DUI cases present many specific issues that most criminal defense and other civil cases do not. I’ve spent my career learning the law, science, investigation techniques, and courtroom skills that are often the difference between a guilty plea and keeping a DUI off a client’s record. Before opening the Barnes Law Office, I trained under two nationally acclaimed DUI defense lawyers, I am a member of the National College for DUI Defense and have attended their Summer Session at Harvard College, I am trained by a leading Ph.D. out of Chicago, IL, on the use of and science behind gas chromatography, the method used to test alcohol blood samples, and I have taken the both the Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and the ARIDE drug impaired driving courses, the same courses that DUI field officers take. Every year I to attend DUI trainings and conferences across the country to continually improve and keep up with the latest changes in DUI defense.
I think all of those things makes me well qualified to handle your Knoxville or East Tennessee DUI case, but the biggest reason I think I should represent you is that I will treat you well, return your calls promptly, listen to and answer your questions, work tirelessly to get you a good result, and always keep your best interests as my top priority. That is my promise to each and every client.
Contact us today for a free consultation!
Your peace of mind, experience, and case result drive everything we do. Taking on a new case is a great responsibility and we treat it that way. We hope you will give us an opportunity to serve you or a loved one facing a criminal prosecution or DUI.