If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Germantown, TN or in the Memphis area, you’re probably worried about what this means to your future. You’re right to be concerned, because DUI convictions in Tennessee carry significant penalties. A first offense DUI conviction requires a minimum of 48 hours in jail, and in some cases it may be a minimum of seven days. You must pay a minimum $350 fine and will be sentenced up to 11 months and 27 days of supervised probation. Probation requires paying monthly fees, attending alcohol safety classes, and completing community service. There are also court costs that must be paid at the end of probation, and suspension of your driver’s license for at least a year. Additionally, there are collateral consequences such as potential loss of your job, having a permanent conviction on your record, and higher insurance rates. With so many penalties, a Tennessee DUI charge is obviously a serious matter. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Germantown, TN, a Germantown DUI lawyer should be contacted to discuss the case. Your lawyer can listen to the facts, advise you of the worst case scenario, and begin preparing your defense. How can a DUI attorney in Germantown help you? He or she will go to court and begin investigating the case. That usually means meeting with the prosecutor for the state, gathering evidence, and reviewing the police reports. Police reports are extremely important in DUI cases because the arresting officer is usually the state’s main (and sometimes only) witness. It is the observations of that officer that the state is relying on to convict you. The reports, then, should be reviewed for inconsistencies and weaknesses. A Germantown DUI lawyer should examine whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over and arrest you. There must be a valid reason for the traffic stop, such as speeding, weaving, or failure to use a turn signal. Failure to prove a valid reason is grounds to have the case thrown out. There must also be probable cause to believe that you were under the influence, but if all the state has is the officer’s observations, that may not be enough. If you performed field sobriety tests for the officer, and if those tests were videotaped, your lawyer will want to review them. How you looked on the tests could be crucial in determining whether the state can prove you were “under the influence.” If you refused to submit to a chemical test (whether through breath or blood analysis), that will hurt you but may also help you. Refusing to the test means an automatic suspension of your license for one year, whether you are convicted of DUI or not, but it also deprives the state of potentially damaging evidence against you. On the flip side, submitting to the test preserves your license (for now), but you have just given the state what might be all the evidence they need to convict you. If you submitted to a chemical test after being detained by the police, contact a Germantown, TN DUI attorney for help. There may be ways to challenge the validity of the test based on how the machine was calibrated or how the test was administered. Fighting a DUI case in Germantown is not easy, because the officer testifying against you is presumed to be 100% credible. However, clues may be found in the police report, in the field sobriety tests, and in the chemical test which could point to weakness in the state’s case. Patrick Stegall is a dedicated Germantown DUI lawyer who looks for those clues. For help with your case, please contact him at (901) 205-9894 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CategoryFiled under: DUI/DWI