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A Track Record You Can Count On

  • First Degree Murder/Shaken Baby/Abusive Head Trauma Not Guilty
  • Second Degree Murder Not Guilty
  • Simple Possession of Marijuana Case Dismissed
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  • Sale, Manufacture and/or Deliver of Schedule VI Penalty Reduced
  • 2 Counts of Aggravated Assault Case Dismissed
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Putnam County DUI Defense Lawyer

Fighting Drunk Driving Charges in Putnam, Wilson, Overton, Cumberland, White, Cookeville, DeKalb, Smith & Jackson Counties

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) has life-altering legal consequences whether you were arrested in your neighborhood or across the state. Our team at The Law Office of Douglas K. Dennis understands how our clients may be confused or intimidated by the legal process. That’s why we strive to counsel you in a manner that inspires confidence about navigating the ins and outs of your case. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony DUI charge, we offer responsive representation with compassion and respect to help you or your loved one have a fighting chance at securing their best possible future.

Fight your DUI case with us by calling (931) 486-8823 for a free consultation.

Getting Stopped for a Suspected DUI

If the police stop you for a suspected DUI offense, anything they do after that is meant to gather evidence to confirm their suspicion. Officers can turn a suspected DUI check into an arrest by submitting you to field sobriety tests or chemical tests of your breath and blood. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Tennessee is set at .08. However, BAC readings of .20 or higher can result in more severe penalties, at the judge’s discretion.

You have the right to refuse a field sobriety test, such as walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet backwards, or keeping your gaze locked on a swaying flashlight. The results from these unscientific tests can be inaccurate and cause you unnecessary trouble. You cannot, however, refuse a test of your breath or blood. As a holder of a Tennessee driver’s license, you have already consented to breath and blood tests to determine your BAC and must undergo these checks if an investigating officer requires them.

DUI Convictions

Getting a DUI conviction, even on a first offense, gives the judge a portfolio of severe sentences that may be levied against you.

DUI convictions occurring within 10 years of each other can carry the following penalties under Tennessee law:

  • First Offense: You can be jailed for a minimum of 48 hours but possibly up to 11 months and 29 days, face a $350-$1,500 fine, may lose your driver’s license for one year, and may take a mandatory court-approved DUI education course.
  • Second Offense: You can be jailed for a minimum of 45 days but possibly up to 11 months and 29 days, face a $600-$3,500 fine, may lose your driver’s license for two years, and may take a mandatory court-approved DUI education course. Your vehicle can also be confiscated.
  • Third Offense: You can be jailed for a minimum of 120 days and up to 11 months and 29 days, face a $1,100-$10,000 fine, may lose your driver’s license for 6-10 years, and may take a mandatory court-approved DUI education course. Your vehicle can also be confiscated.
  • Fourth Offense and beyond: You can be imprisoned for at least one year, face a $3,000-$15,000 fine, and may lose your driver’s license for eight years with no chance of getting a restricted license.

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the main difference between a DUI and a DWI is that DUIS are given to adults 21 or older, while DWIS are given to 16 to 21-year-olds that are driving under the influence. But, if you’re between 18-20 you could be charged with either one.

How Long is a DUI on Your Record in Tennessee?

A DUI will stay on your record forever. However, the look-back period for repeat DUI offenses is 10 years. Since there is a 10-year look-back period in Tennessee, this means that if you receive a DUI conviction, only convictions within the previous decade can be counted towards subsequent DUIS.

Get a fighting chance at avoiding or mitigating these penalties by calling us at (931) 486-8823 for a free consultation.

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  • “Doug and his legal assistant, Jodi, are the kindest, most wonderful, caring people who will help you through rough spots in your life. Doug's knowledge of the law is unequivocally brilliant! I ...”

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