Archive for October, 2012
Law enforcement officers investigating a potential crime make important decisions about who to arrest. At the scene of a suspected DUI an officer may decide to arrest and charge both the driver and passenger of a vehicle with the offense of Driving Under the Influence. Depending on the circumstances, an officer may choose to only arrest the driver of the vehicle if the officer suspects DUI.
The state prosecutor, however, is not required to follow the officer’s decisions. After an arrest is made, a prosecutor may learn of additional facts, like the ownership of the vehicle involved in the crime. In response to this knowledge, a prosecutor may issue additional arrest warrants for uncharged defendants or increase the severity of the charges.
In most DUI cases, the prosecutor has one year from the date of the offense to bring charges – the statute of limitations for Tennessee misdemeanor offenses. For more serious DUI-related offenses involving multiple offenses, bodily injury, or death, the prosecutor may take up to 15 years to bring charges.
The criminal defense attorneys at Oberman & Rice are able to provide advice and counsel both before and after arrest. Should you have any questions about a Tennessee DUI issue, you may contact Steve and Sara by calling (865) 249-7200. Our Tennessee DUI website, provides additional information about the crime of DUI and its associated penalties.
[Source: Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-2-101 & § 40-2-102]
Posted by in Court Procedures, DUI Fourth Offense, DUI Penalties, DUI Second Offense, DUI Third Offense, Forfeiture, Hiring a Tennessee DUI Attorney, Tennessee DUI Consequences, Tennessee DUI Information, Tennessee DUI Laws, Tennessee DUI Penalties, Tennessee Traffic Violations on October 13th, 2012
The Tennessee Department of Safety, through law enforcement officers, may seize the vehicle of anyone suspected of multiple DUIs. A vehicle may also be seized from anyone found to be driving on a revoked, cancelled, or suspended license if the reason for the revoked, cancelled, or suspended license was a DUI conviction. In other words, a person convicted of a DUI risks vehicle seizure if he or she is found to be driving without a valid license or is suspected of DUI, regardless of whether there is a conviction.
When a citizen’s property is seized, the government, which is typically be represented by the Tennessee Department of Safety in cases involving vehicle and asset forfeiture, must follow the rules. Multiple state laws, court cases, and administrative rules govern the forfeiture process. Furthermore, constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and against excessive fines may apply to forfeiture proceedings just as they do criminal proceedings.
The Department of Safety rules and regulations are complicated and often intimidating. Nevertheless, failure to take action within strict time limits may result in the loss of property rights. If you or someone you know has had property seized by law enforcement, it is important to contact a Tennessee criminal attorney immediately. You may contact Steve and Sara by calling (865) 249-7200. You may also wish to review our website for additional information about forfeitures.
[Source: T.C.A. Section 55-10-401 et seq., Williams v. State Dept. of Safety, 854 S.W.2d 102 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1993), Stuart v. State Dept. of Safety, 963 S.W.2d 28 (Tenn. 1998)]
A First Offense DUI in Tennessee is always a Misdemeanor (sentence of less than 1 year in jail) if no accidents, injuries, or deaths result from the offense. However, all DUI convictions require defendants to serve at least 48 hours in jail, which is a harsher punishment than a defendant would receive for most other Misdemeanors.
Even though Second and Third Offense DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, the mandatory minimum sentences are 45 and 120 days respectively for Second and Third Offenses. A Fourth or subsequent DUI Offense is a Felony Offense (sentence of 1 year or more in jail) and, upon conviction, requires that a defendant serve 150 days in jail. These mandatory jail sentences are significantly harsher than mandatory minimum sentences for nearly every other Misdemeanor Offense.
Jail time is one of many penalties that are unique to DUI. Please visit TNDUI.COM for more details about the penalties for DUI offenses in Tennessee. A Tennessee DUI attorney can help you avoid the harshest punishment. Please contact Knoxville DUI attorneys Steve and Sara at (865) 249-7200 if you have any DUI-related questions.
[Source: T.C.A. 55-10-403]