Repeat DUI Offense

Lebanon DUI Attorneys Representing Clients Charged with Repeat DUI Offenses

Representing those facing DUI charges in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Cookeville, and throughout Tennessee

The consequences of a DUI conviction can affect every area of your life. The strict penalties of a first DUI offense are significant enough, but each additional DUI conviction brings substantially increased consequences. If you are facing a repeat-offense DUI, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your rights and help limit the severity of the penalties of a second, third, or fourth DUI offense.

At Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, PLLC, we have more than 70 years of combined experience representing clients in the criminal justice system. Our legal team has a thorough knowledge of Tennessee law, and extensive courtroom experience. We are here to provide a strong defense on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation to discuss your case today.

What is the difference between DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated)?

In Tennessee, none – there is no technical “DWI.” However, these terms are often used interchangeably.

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What are the penalties for Tennessee DUI?

The following is a summary of the penalties for a second or subsequent DUI conviction:

Second Tennessee DUI Offense

  • Jail: 45 days up to one year
  • Fine: From $600 to $3,500
  • License suspension: Two years
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Alcohol drug and treatment program

Third Tennessee DUI Offense

  • Jail: 120 days up to one year
  • Fine: From $1,100 to $10,000
  • License suspension: Six years
  • Alcohol and drug treatment program
  • Ignition interlock device

Fourth or Fifth TN DUI Offense

  • Class E felony
  • Jail: 150 days to one year
  • Fine: From $3,000 to $15,000
  • License suspension: Eight years
  • Alcohol and drug treatment program
  • Ignition interlock device

Sixth Tennessee DUI Offense

  • Class C felony
  • Jail: 150 days to 15 years
  • Fine: From $3,000 to $15,000
  • License suspension: Eight years
  • Alcohol and drug treatment program
  • Ignition interlock device

Other possible penalties include:

  • Vehicle subject to seizure or forfeiture
  • Child endangerment penalties (if passenger under 18)
  • Community service
  • Restitution to anyone suffering injury or loss

Up until January 1, 2020, if a person received a DUI conviction, and they already had four previous misdemeanor DUIs, or two previous felony DUIs, they were subject to Tennessee's Motor Vehicle Habitual Offenders Act, which revokes driving privileges for at least three years. If caught driving with an HMVO, they could be arrested and charged with a Class E felony.

However, this law was recently abolished. If you are an HMVO offender, please consult with us about petitioning for reinstatement.

How long will a DUI stay on my record?

In most cases, a DUI will always remain on your record. DUI convictions are not generally eligible for expungement, with rare exceptions.

Do I need to hire an attorney for my DUI case?

Yes. A DUI is a serious criminal offense in Tennessee, especially as the state continues to apply more stringent consequences. Therefore, you need a professional to protect your rights and minimize the penalties as much as possible. Retaining a Lebanon DUI attorney at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry is a smart decision and can make the difference between keeping or losing your driver’s license.

How soon after my arrest should I hire a DUI attorney?

As soon as possible. Your defense attorney can make sure that there is a comprehensive investigation and all relevant evidence essential to your defense is preserved.

Can I be arrested for DUI even if the vehicle was not moving?

Yes. You can be arrested for a DUI even while sitting in a parked car. In Tennessee, the state needs to prove that a defendant was in “physical control” of the vehicle. It is enough that you became impaired and subsequently put yourself in a position to operate the vehicle, even if it isn’t moving.

Do I have to perform a field sobriety test if a police officer stops me while driving in Lebanon, TN?

Law enforcement can ask you to undergo a field sobriety test. However, you do not have to consent to a field sobriety test. There is no legal penalty for refusing a field sobriety test, but the law enforcement officer is not required to tell you this. For instance, your mere refusal to participate will not cause you to lose your driver’s license.

Can I choose between a blood, breath, or urine test when arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee?

No. Tennessee law permits a police officer to decide which test(s) to administer when charging a person with DUI. By obtaining a driver’s license, you have implicitly consented to taking a chemical test (i.e., blood, breath, or urine test) to determine your blood alcohol level. This is called the Tennessee Implied Consent Law. If a court finds that you are in violation of the implied consent law – refusing a chemical test – your license will be suspended for one to five years, depending upon the specific circumstances of your case.

Nonetheless, before an officer may request a chemical test, they must have reasonable cause to believe you were driving under the influence. Be wary about submitting to a Breathalyzer® test. Registering a blood alcohol level of .08 (the legal limit) or higher on a Breathalyzer is a damaging piece of evidence that allows the prosecution to have a better case against you.

Do I have the right to speak to an attorney before taking a chemical test?

No. Tennessee motorists do not have the right to speak to a lawyer before deciding whether to submit to a chemical test. You may not be permitted to consult a friend or relative either. Further, if you delay in giving your consent to a chemical test, this may be deemed as a refusal, and you may be charged with an implied consent violation. Contact our attorneys as soon as possible after you are charged or detained.

Will I have to get an ignition interlock device after a DUI?

In Tennessee, judges are now required to order an ignition interlock device for all convicted DUI offenders, and it must be installed for 365 days before they can apply for a new driver’s license. Another aspect of the new law requires that individuals prove that they are in compliance with the ignition interlock device, showing that they have been free of violations for 120 consecutive days before the device can be removed. There are heavy penalties for tampering with or removing an ignition interlock device. An ignition interlock device costs about $60 per month to maintain, not including installation costs.

Fingerprint requirement for DUI offenders

After a person has been charged with DUI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) requires that fingerprints be taken and sent within five days, where they will be filed with the National Crime Information Center. The person's DUI charge will be added to the national crime database to which law enforcement officers have access in their vehicles. If a person with a DUI in Tennessee is pulled over in another state, that jurisdiction will be made fully aware of the individual's criminal record.

Can I still drive after a DUI arrest?

With a valid Tennessee driver’s license, you may continue to drive while your DUI case is pending unless ordered otherwise by a Tennessee judge. Typically, your license is only revoked if you are convicted of a DUI or if you violate Tennessee’s Implied Consent law.

What happens to my license if I am an out-of-state driver convicted of a DUI in Tennessee?

Tennessee has no jurisdiction over licenses issued by other states. But your home state will likely learn of your DUI conviction, which can lead to a license revocation in your home state. This is why it’s crucial to handle any DUI arrests and charges immediately, even if they happen out of your home state.

How do I reinstate my driver's license after it has been revoked?

Reinstating your driving privileges after a DUI conviction is never an easy task. Once your suspension is completed, you may be allowed to apply for a restricted license by installing an ignition interlock device, which requires you to blow into a breathalyzer before being able to start the car. Your Lebanon DUI defense attorney from Lowery, Lowery & Cherry will evaluate your case and determine if you might be eligible to have your license reinstated.

When you have been charged with a second, third or subsequent DUI charge, you can benefit from the capable services of an aggressive Lebanon DUI defense attorney from Lowery, Lowery & Cherry. We are here to protect your rights and do whatever we can to reduce the charges against you and protect your finances and your future.

Schedule a consultation with a Lebanon DUI defense lawyer today

The Lebanon criminal defense attorneys at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, PLLC are here to represent your interests regardless of the number of prior DUI convictions you might have. Please contact us as soon as possible after your arrest, so we can begin building the strongest possible case for your defense. We serve clients in Nashville, Mt. Juliet, Cookeville, or elsewhere in Tennessee. To set up a consultation, call 615-454-9404 or fill out our contact form.