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Memphis DUI Lawyers
DUI Charges in Tennessee & Mississippi
In the state of Tennessee, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. If you are pulled over and a police officer suspects you to be driving under the influence, then they may ask you to perform some field sobriety tests (FSTs). If you are arrested and charged with DUI, you will face a criminal proceeding during which you will be subjected to witnesses and evidence, as well as arguments from the prosecution.
It is important to know that while chemical tests such as the breath or urine test seem extremely scientific and foolproof, there are always the factors of human error and machinery malfunction that can be introduced to invalidate evidence.
There is no evidence admitted in a DUI case that cannot be fought against by our Memphis DUI lawyer. Contact us today!
The DUI Process in Memphis
If a police officer suspects you to be driving under the influence, he or she may pull you over. They will be listening for slurred speech, smelling for alcohol on the driver's breath, and looking for bloodshot eyes or other symptoms of intoxication or impairment. They may also ask you to perform field sobriety tests in order gather enough evidence for an arrest.
There are two very important points that you must be aware of in this scenario:
- First, an FST is designed only to gather information to warrant an arrest. It is not a pass-or-fail test so much as it is a means to gather enough evidence to support an arrest.
- Second, you are not required to take the FST, and you cannot be legally punished for refusing it. This being said, there is no reason you should ever consent to this test, as the results could be detrimental to you.
The DUI process essentially begins with an arrest. If the officer believes that they have enough evidence, then they will arrest you and transport you to jail.
After a certain amount of time, the judge will set bail, and you may be able to be released on your own recognizance in order to focus on building a defense of your case with your attorney. You will then have a court date set, which will generally be between two and six weeks from your arrest.
At this court date, you will be asked to enter a plea, and if you plead not guilty, then your case will go to general sessions court. If the matter is not immediately settled in that court, then it will go to a grand jury. If probable cause is determined in this case, then you will go to trial court where your Memphis DUI attorney will argue your case before 12 of your peers.
Can I Be Arrested for Drunk Driving If I Only Had One Drink?
The state of Tennessee does not arrest for DUI based on the amount of drinks that a driver has had. The intoxication level of a driver is determined using Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels. Tennessee has a BAC limit of .08% for drivers above the legal drinking age. If you are under age 21, the legal BAC limit is .02%.
While there are several charts that attempt to tell you the amount of drinks that you can have and what your BAC level should be, these are not always accurate. It is also near impossible to tell someone that their BAC will be below the legal limit if they have one drink. The weight of a person has a lot to do with their BAC level, for example, a person who weighs 100 lbs will be affected by one drink more than someone who is 250 lbs.
The answer to this is simply, yes. It is possible to be arrested for DUI after only having one drink. If your BAC level appears to be above the legal limit after the performance of a chemical test, then you may be charged with DUI even if you only had one drink. One of your first priorities after a DUI arrest should be seeking aggressive and experienced DUI defense in Memphis.
Our legal team has a certified criminal trial specialist who has taken on immeasurable DUI cases over the years. Attorney Ferguson also has a 10.0 'Superb' Avvo rating due to the reviews of former clients. Team up with The Claiborne Ferguson Law Firm, P.A. for the DUI defense that you need if you have been arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee.
First DUI Charge in Tennessee
Conviction of a first DUI offense in a span of ten years will carry Class A misdemeanor penalties, including:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Up to $1,500 in fines
- Driver's license revocation for a year
Losing your license can be a very serious issue as you could be forced to rely on public transportation to get you to and from work and other important destinations, which can dramatically affect your lifestyle and schedule.
Skillful representation can help you build a strong defense of your case to argue in court as you pursue a favorable outcome. Our legal team can provide you with this high-quality representation and much more. We work up front to build a strong case, while working tirelessly behind the scenes to uncover flaws with the prosecution's case, questionable issues with evidence, and other matters in order to pursue a dismissal of your case.
An added element that we bring to courtroom litigation is that we utilize science and other know-how in order to control the room in our favor. There is no evidence brought forth in a DUI case that is 100% flawless, and we capitalize on this fact.
Mississippi DUI Laws
In the state of Mississippi, it is unlawful to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher. The penalties you can face largely depend on the circumstances of the case and if you have had prior DUI convictions.
Under Mississippi DUI laws, the possible first offense DUI penalties include:
- Up to 48 hours in jail
- A $250 to $1,000 fine
- 120-day license suspension
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer
After getting arrested, you have the right to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and best interests throughout the legal proceedings. Rather than facing your charges alone, let a legal professional handle your case and help you get back on track.
Here are several benefits of hiring our skilled DUI defense lawyer in Memphis:
- We have the experience, knowledge and resources to handle or influence your case
- We will investigate all aspects of your arrest, from evidence collection procedures to police questioning tactics, in order to build a defense strategy on your behalf
- We can determine any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you or if your right had been violated by law enforcement officials during the arrest
- We understand how the court system works, which could be beneficial in building a strong legal defense
- We can provide information regarding available plea bargains or other options that may reduce jail time or fines related to an offense
- We can help lower charges and/or penalties associated with an arrest, whether through a plea agreement or fighting for you at trial
- We will also be able to anticipate potential legal issues and advise their clients accordingly
Defending Your Rights in Memphis DUI Cases
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI and drugs, first DUI, or multiple DUI, then you could face serious penalties upon conviction, and it is important for you to have skilled legal assistance on your side that can aggressively defend your case in court.
Our firm has been representing the criminally accused residents of Memphis, Tennessee in various criminal defense cases for many years with a long history of success in the cases that we have handled. Our Memphis DUI lawyers also incorporate scientific analysis into our legal assessment so that we can take apart any evidence necessary in order to pursue the best possible outcome in every scenario.
View the firm's profile at FindaDUIAttorney.com.
Arrested for DUI in Tennessee or Mississippi? Turn to our Memphis DUI attorney for defense. Call today!
Over 35 Years of Criminal Defense Experience
Rated as Top Attorneys for Criminal Defense
Our Lead Attorney has a 10.0 "Superb" Avvo Rating
2013-2018 Avvo Clients' Choice Award for Criminal Defense