DUI First Offense

For obvious reasons, the penalties for DUI first offense are the least onerous of all the DUI penalties.  However, these penalties still include mandatory jail time, mandatory fines, and a mandatory loss of license.  Most people that are facing DUI charges are facing a first offense.  If you are arrested or charged with DUI First Offense, please make sure you hire an attorney that can help you reach the best possible solution in your case.

DUI First Offense | Penalties

The penalties in the State of Tennessee are very rigid.  If you are navigating this website, it is highly likely that you or a loved one have been charged with a DUI First Offense.  The penalties for DUI First Offense implemented by the Tennessee legislature can be overwhelming.  It is important to understand the consequences you face upon a plea of guilty.  Here are the penalties:

  • An "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail.  There is also a mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail.
  • A fine up to $1,500.  There is a mandatory minimum $350 fine.
  • Loss of driving privileges for one year.  If you did consent to a blood draw, any alcohol in your system will require you to obtain an ignition interlock device for your vehicle.  An ignition interlock device has an installation fee, as well as a monthly fee for monitoring.
  • You must attend alcohol safety school
  • In some jurisdictions, you must complete 24 hours of public service work.

The Financial Aspects

Although it is only a first offense, the financial repercussions are substantial.  Besides the fine, court costs, and attorneys fees, you will have to pay a monthly fee for the ignition interlock device.  If you cannot afford the ignition interlock device, you will lose your job, which leads to further personal struggles.   Additionally, you will have to get SR-22 insurance, which is only carried by certain insurance companies (for more information about SR-22, click here).

Your Decision

The decision you make to either fight or plea guilty may be one of the most important choices you make in your life.  Make sure you go with a lawyer that knows the complexities of the DUI Laws in the State of Tennessee.  It is not worth your job, your family, and your finances to go into battle alone.  You need to have representation that can give you the best possible advice, whether that advice would be to fight or enter a plea of guilty.  You need to hire a person that will zealously advocate for your position.  You need to hire a person that can be an informed adviser to help you make the right decision.  The worst feeling in the world is to enter a plea of guilty, then look back six years later and wonder if that was the right decision.  If you don't go to court with a knowledgeable attorney, you may be gambling with your future.