Memphis DUI Lawyer Patrick Stegall looks at what is required if you end up going on probation for a DUI.

Most Tennessee DUI convictions will be of the misdemeanor type (it takes four convictions to get to a felony). The punishment for a misdemeanor DUI in Tennessee is 11 months 29 days, with a certain amount of time, by law, that must be spent in jail. Let’s take a typical first-time offender with no aggravating circumstances such as a high BAC, an accident, or a child in the car.

A typical first-time offender with no aggravating circumstances convicted of DUI in Tennessee will be looking at an 11-month, 29-day sentence, with probably 48 hours to be served in jail and the remaining 11 months and 27 days on probation. Let’s take a closer look at that.

Probation is also known as a suspended sentence. It means that for the convicted individual, his or her jail time has been suspended. It’s a contract between you and the judge. The judge says I’ll agree to keep you out of jail, and you agree to abide by all conditions and complete all required tasks.

Under Tennessee law the judge has the discretion to “impose any conditions of probations which are reasonably related to the offense.” However, the judge must require the following:

Participation in an alcohol and drug safety DUI school, and/or drug offender school program, if available; and

  • A drug and alcohol assessment or treatment; or
  • If the court deems it appropriate and the service is available, both a drug and alcohol assessment and treatment.

As an alternative or as an addition to those two, the court may order you to attend a victim impact panel. Another condition, required by law, is litter pickup. You must perform 24 hours of it in three 8-hour shifts. You must also pay monthly probation fees. In Memphis these usually run about $45 a month.

You’ll have to maintain regular contact with your probation agency. You can travel and even move out of state, you just have to let them know. If you move you’ll be registered with another agency.

You need to know every consequence of a DUI before you agree to a sentence. For more information on Tennessee drunk driving charges, and to see if you can possibly win your case, contact Memphis DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall today.