Choosing the right Tennessee DUI lawyer is a critical decision that must be taken seriously. A Driving Under the Influence charge is often the first interaction many people have with the criminal justice system, which naturally leads to stress and uncertainty about the criminal process and possible repercussions. Many people often receive a flood of mail following a DUI arrest from attorneys, but it makes sense to carefully consider all options.
If you hire a lawyer and become dissatisfied with your choice, while your case is pending or even after a DUI conviction, it may be difficult to retain a different DUI attorney. For instance, because it is so important to begin investigating a DUI quickly, our office is often reluctant to to take a case after another lawyer has been retained and precious time to investigate has been lost. Therefore, the first decision should be made after considering the following:
- What is the focus of the attorney’s practice? Are they, and for how long have they been primarily devoted to DUI defense?
- Has the lawyer had any complaints filed against him or her?
- What books and articles has the attorney published?
- Did the DUI attorney graduate from an ABA accredited law school?
- Has the Tennessee Commission on CLE & Specialization and the National College for DUI Defense certified the attorney as a DUI Defense Specialist?
- What reviews has the attorney received from lawyer review agencies like Avvo?
- Has the lawyer achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s™ prestigious “AV” (very high to preeminent) rating?
- When and how often has the attorney lectured to his or her peers about DUI Defense?
We encourage prospective clients to devote the appropriate time, usually 2 hours, to properly investigate and speak with an attorney about their case. In our office, Steve and Sara are available every day of the year to discuss pending DUI charges. Please contact us at 865-249-7200 with any questions.
The internet and electronic record keeping has led to the end of a time when what “happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas.” Similarly, criminal convictions from a distant state may no longer be ignored after a person moves away from that state. As law enforcement, court clerk’s offices, and agencies responsible for drivers licenses continue to store and share information electronically, a person’s criminal history is increasingly likely to follow him or her across state lines.
For example, a prior DUI conviction from another state may significantly increase potential penalties and the outcome of a Tennessee DUI case, just as would a prior Tennessee DUI conviction. State and federal agencies are increasingly accurate and reliable in their effort to report crimes to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). By accessing the NCIC, any state or federal prosecutor may quickly review an individual’s entire criminal history, including charges that have been dismissed.
Prior charges and convictions may negatively impact pending DUI litigation. As a result, it is imperative that anyone facing criminal charges fully disclose these charges to their Tennessee Defense Attorney, even if the prior charges have been dismissed and expunged.
Please contact our office to find out more about convictions in other states and how to address them as part of a DUI defense strategy. You may contact our Tennessee DUI defense lawyers, Steve and Sara by calling (865) 249-7200.
We are often asked how to obtain information from the Tennessee Department of Safety (TDOS) for driver license reinstatement (e.g. following a revocation for a Tennessee DUI conviction). While one could certainly call the TDOS at 1-866-903-7357, the easier course of action is to check the status of a Tennessee driver license by visiting the TDOS website. This is a wonderful resource for Tennessee residents whose driver license is revoked or suspended, however the following information is required to process a request: ; Last Name; and Date of Birth.
A related question is: how do I obtain a copy of a Tennessee Driver Record/Driving History/Motor Vehicle Record (also referred to as Tennessee MVR) online? Unfortunately, Tennessee does not currently provide an option to obtain this report online. A person must visit a full service Driver Service Center, a list of which can be viewed by clicking here. The following information on obtaining a copy of one’s driving record comes from the Tennessee Department of Safety website:
You will need the following when requesting your record:
- Date of Birth
- Driver License Number
If you want someone else to obtain a copy of your MVR for you, you must submit a notarized statement authorizing that person to obtain the record.
You may also obtain a copy of your driver record (also called a motor vehicle record or MVR) by mailing your request to:
Tennessee Department of Safety
PO BOX 945
Nashville, TN 37202
There is a $5.00 charge for a copy of a three-year driver record. A cashier’s check or money order should be made payable to the Tennessee Department of Safety. If mailing, allow two weeks from the mailing date to receive the driver record. The federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) prohibits the release of personal identifying information from driver license and vehicle registration records unless an individual submits a form requesting their records be open.
The Oberman & Rice law firm often deal with issues surrounding Tennessee driver licenses, relating to Tennessee DUI offenses, as well as other traffic issues. Should you have any legal issues surrounding your Tennessee driver license, our attorneys, Steve and Sara are be available to speak with you and can be reached by calling 865-249-7200.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) continues its drunk driving enforcement with the use of sobriety checkpoints in the Knoxville. THP is scheduled to conduct a DUI Roadblock tonight, February 1, 2013 on Concord Road at Northshore Drive (State Route 332). Although specific times have not been released, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Media Release indicates that it will be conducted “Late Night.” The Knox County DUI Checkpoint is one among many in East Tennessee as part of the campaign, “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk This Super Bowl Sunday.”
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott, this will be the first THP “No Refusal” DUI enforcement on Super Bowl weekend. One purpose of Tennessee DUI Checkpoints is to deter motorists from driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. We encourage you to arrange for a designated driver this weekend. AAA of East Tennessee is also offering their safe ride program for Super Bowl Sunday. AAA will tow your car within a 10 mile radius and provide you a safe ride home. To take advantage of this service, a AAA membership is not needed.
Anyone arrested for DUI (driving under the influence), or another related charge, should immediately contact a Tennessee DUI Attorney familiar with Tennessee DUI laws. For more information about the crime of DUI or about your legal rights with respect to a Tennessee Highway Patrol checkpoint, Steve and Sara are available by calling 865-249-7200. You may also wish to visit www.tndui.com for more information about the offense of driving under the influence in Tennessee.
In accordance with a Tennessee state law that was passed in 2011, the Knox County government provided the Tennessee Department of Safety with a list of people who had failed to pay their litigation taxes and fines (often referred to as “court costs”) within one year after their criminal cases were resolved. As a result, nearly 1,300 motorists who faced a criminal offense in Knox County in 2012, including traffic offenses, received a letter earlier this month informing them that their driver licenses would be revoked for failing to timely pay their court costs. Unfortunately, as the Knox News Sentinel reported on January 25, 2013, officials recently discovered that many people should not have been included on the list submitted to the Department of Safety. According to the Knox News Sentinel, over 500 people never owed court costs or had timely completed their obligations to the court. Even though the Department of Safety has been notified of the error, the consequences of this mishap remain unclear. For more information about this developing story, read Clerical Error May Cause Wrongful Revocation of Driver’s License by our firm’s managing partner Steve Oberman.
It is important to note that Driving on a Revoked License is a criminal offense, and an officer may immediately arrest anyone found driving with a revoked license. Moreover, a person who drives while his or her license is revoked as the result of a DUI conviction will be made to serve at least 48 hours in jail if convicted of Driving on a Revoked License. Please contact Steve and Sara for further assistance if you have a question about your driver’s license. You may reach our attorneys by calling (865) 249-7200.
Many people are unaware of the many collateral consequences of a DUI conviction. One generally understood consequence of a conviction for Driving Under the Influence, First Offense, in Tennessee is the loss of a driver license for one year. Even though a restricted driver license may be obtained for many people convicted of a DUI, First Offense, a restricted driver license will typically not suffice to rent a motor vehicle. Most, if not all, national rental agencies require a renter to provide a valid driver license. Therefore, the possibility of renting a car will not be an option for at least a year after a conviction for Driving Under the Influence in Tennessee.
Even after the Tennessee driver license reinstatement of someone convicted of DUI, the ability to rent a car may be limited due to insurance concerns. Individual rental companies may respond differently to a prior DUI conviction. Therefore, the best course of action would be to contact a sales representative before a rental car is reserved online and relied upon for transportation. Higher rates, travel restrictions, and special insurance may be required to rent a vehicle, so it makes sense to shop around and compare policies and rates.
Please click here for additional information about the collateral consequences (other consequences) of a DUI conviction. An experienced Tennessee Defense Lawyer should be consulted about all of the possible consequences of a Driving Under the Influence conviction. Steve and Sara are available to answer questions about the consequences of a Tennessee DUI and may be reached by calling 865-249-7200.
The Knoxville Police Department has announced plans for a “New Year Holiday Enforcement Campaign.” The increased enforcement will focus on motorists who are speeding, following too closely or driving recklessly, as well as those who show signs of impaired driving (driving under the influence). More information about the KPD holiday enforcement plans can be found by clicking here. The increased patrols will begin at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and conclude at midnight on New Year’s Day.
Should you or a loved one be arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) or related charges, the attorneys at Oberman & Rice are available to assist you. You may contact Steve and Sara by calling 865-249-7200. You may also wish to visit www.tndui.com for more information about the offense of driving under the influence in Tennessee.