Are Reductions Routine in 1st Offense DUI Cases?

Most new clients we meet have the incorrect preconceived notion that as long as they have never been in trouble before (no convictions, no traffic tickets, etc.), the State will simply agree to reduce the pending DUI 1st Offense to something such as a Reckless Driving.  In reality, a person’s prior criminal history, or lack thereof, is seldom relevant to the case unless the person is convicted and facing sentencing.

Over the past several decades, the trend in our society has been toward harsher penalties and more conservative laws for driving under the influence.  A recent story in the ABA Journal highlights one reason that prosecutors are hesitant to be lenient on the punishment for DUI offenders.  DUI prosecutors often state that they cannot reduce a DUI, even if just a first offense, because the defendant may then go out and repeat the behavior of driving while impaired, endangering the lives the community.  This exact scenario, as reported by the ABA Journal, recently played out in Maryland.  However, rather than striking and injuring a citizen at large, the defendant in question struck and injured a retired Maryland County Judge and his wife.  The same Judge had previously shown leniency to the defendant, suspending his DUI sentence (meaning he did not have to serve any time in jail).

Accounts such as these provide prosecutors, state legislators and private organizations (such as MADD) with the ammunition needed to justify the “no tolerance” trend toward DUI offenders.  Unfortunately, although each Driving Under the Influence case is quite unique and bears individual scrutiny to determine whether a reduction is appropriate, many jurisdictions are pushing for convictions in all cases under the assumption that the defendant will re-offend.

This trend only highlights the importance of selecting a qualified attorney to handle your DUI case.  Never assume that you can handle the case yourself or hire the cheapest lawyer you can find because you are assured a reduced charge due to your clean record.  Do your homework and hire the very best DUI defense attorney that you can afford.  For more information on how to select a Tennessee DUI attorney, click here.  For information about a Tennessee DUI charge, you may contact Steve Oberman or Sara Compher-Rice at (865) 249-7200.

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  1. #1 by Malcolm - October 29th, 2012 at 17:01

    Well ive been charged with DUI for drugs. Although I dont believe i was impaired, after one week of researching im going to a shrink, and ( I cant believe im saying this but) maybe i deserve 48 hrs in jail. Im going to the shrink for plain drug use. Pain pills mainly but I was on pot also. My question is if im charged with 4 misdomeanors will I have 2 searve 4 years in jail or probation? I understand every county is different but most cases………

  2. #2 by Sara Compher-Rice - November 6th, 2012 at 07:34

    Thank you for you comment/question. Unfortunately, there are too many factors that must be considered when advising a person of the possible outcomes of their case. I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney. Your attorney can advise you about potential defenses in your case, as well as the penalties associated with your charge.

  3. #3 by Genevirve - September 9th, 2016 at 08:27

    I got a DUI and restricted license. I had the interloc device put on so I wouldn’t have restricted driving. The judge did not order it. I wish to have the device removed since I do not go anywhere besides work meetings home etc. I called the interloc company they set up N appt with the ones who installed it. To remove it. The guy there would not remove it. He said he could only do that with a signed order from a judge. I explained it was not ordered by the judge I chose to have it installed. He refused to remove it. Any advice on this

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