The Most Important Factors in a DUI Case

We are often asked: what are the most important factors that impact a DUI Case in Rutherford County, Tennessee?

For DUI cases in Tennessee, there are two critical factors that play into any agreement that can be achieved with the District Attorney: (1) the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC); and (2) any prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Let’s take a look at each of these factors in Rutherford County DUI cases.

How BAC Affects Your Case

Under Tennessee Law, it is unlawful for any person to either drive or be in the possession of any automobile (or other motor vehicle) while either: (1) under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system; or (2) having a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

When you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI, the State will take a blood sample for testing with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations to determine the BAC. If the sample returns a positive BAC of 0.08%, or higher, the State will prosecute you as a DUI offender. If the sample returns under a BAC of 0.08%, the State will send the blood for further testing to determine whether any drugs were in your system.

The results of what is in your blood are eventually sent to the District Attorney, who will use the results to make an offer to settle your case. But the bloodwork isn’t the only thing that factors into a DUI case. The District Attorney will also consider any prior convictions that you may have.

How Prior Convictions Affect Your Case

As mentioned above, the State will make their initial offer once they receive the results of your blood testing. If the State pursues DUI prosecution against you, the offer you receive will depend upon your prior alcohol-related offenses, if any.

If you are charged with a DUI First Offense, the most common charge in Rutherford County that we see, the minimum penalties include:

  • Forty-Eight (48) Hours in Jail
  • $350.00 Fine
  • Eleven (11) Months and Twenty-Nine (29) Days Probation
  • Twelve (12) Hour Alcohol Safety School
  • DUI Victim Impact Panel
  • One (1) Year License Loss
  • Court Costs

If you are charged with a DUI Second Offense or higher, the minimum penalties increase for each additional offense on your record within the past ten years. For a summary of the minimum penalties for multiple DUI offenses, Click Here.

If you or a friend or loved one have been charged with a DUI Offense, you can call our experienced Murfreesboro DUI Attorneys for a free consultation. We are here to help. When it matters most.

Arrested for DUI. Is My Life Over?

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, is your life over? No. There are many things that you can do that will get you through this process, even if you end up with a conviction on your record, without any significant scars. However, you should expect to work to make this happen.

In Tennessee, a DUI Conviction carries a minimum forty-eight hours in jail, attendance for at least two different education classes, a one year license loss, court fines and costs, and one year of probation.

While that sounds bad, for DUI cases here in Rutherford County, there are opportunities to attend rehabilitative centers, which can count for time served in jail and which offer courses that will satisfy certain requirements under state law. There are also local businesses who will install an ignition interlock device and local agents who can offer SR-22 coverage, which will allow a restricted license even if you are convicted of DUI.

Note: Proof of both SR-22 Insurance and the installation of the Interlock Device are required to obtain a restricted license in Tennessee, which allows drivers to continue driving under certain circumstances even after a DUI Conviction.

All of the things listed above can be done before your court date, which will show everyone involved that you are taking this seriously and significantly increase your chances to get through this process without further damage to your life. Further, there are many successful people who have lived past a mistake in their life. You can persevere through this as well.

With mindful preparation and dedication to doing the work beforehand, you can get through this process without significant scars on your future. So no, your life is far from over.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a consultation to discuss any charges with our office, please reach out at 615-890-1099 to set up a time to come in and meet with Scott and Chase.

Are Courts Open During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

We have been asked a lot in recent weeks are courts open during the COVID-19 Pandemic? The short answer is yes!

The Tennessee Supreme Court entered an Order to suspend all in-person court appearances, with certain exceptions. What that means is that most court appearances have either been moved to a new court date or conducted via video conferencing software.

Our office practices primarily in Criminal Defense (DUI, Drug Possession, Domestic Assault, etc.) and Family Law (Divorce, Child Custody, Parenting Plan Modification, etc.). For our practice, here is how the court dates have been affected.

Criminal Defense. All criminal cases have been moved to a new court date unless the court date addresses an issue that affects your constitutional rights to post bond, to enter a plea, etc. Further, the local jail has prohibited in-person meetings with counsel, so we are meeting with our clients via video conferencing.

Court clerks and judicial offices in criminal court remain open. We continue to work on our criminal cases by filing motions, negotiating with district attorneys, and keeping regular communications with our clients. Once in-person court resumes, regular court appearances will return as well.

Family Law. As noted above, in-person court appearances are forced to move court dates. Unfortunately, we have had several cases set for trial that have been moved; however, we have worked diligently to get new court dates.

Court clerks and judicial offices in family law remain open as well. Further, the court is holding temporary hearings on a regular basis to address immediate needs of our clients. Our office has handled three of those hearings in this week alone!

Conclusion. Courts remain open, even if in-person court proceedings have been suspended for the immediate future. If you or someone you know needs an attorney who remains hard at work advocating for clients, contact our office today.

COVID-19: Taking Precautions to Prevent Spread, Remain Open During Pandemic

The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly is deeply committed to protecting not only the rights of our clients, but also their health and wellness. At this time, while our office remains open for business, we have adopted and implemented a number of recommendations from local, state, and federal government agencies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Specifically, our office is adopting recommended social distancing policies including, but not limited to: deep cleaning and disinfecting office space to ensure cleanliness and help fight the spread of any disease or virus; allowing all staff and attorneys to work remotely; limiting in-person meetings to the extent possible; and setting all client meetings and new client consultations via electronic and/or telephonic meetings.

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently issued an Order suspending all in-person court proceedings for all local and state courts, subject to a few limited exceptions, in an effort to fight against the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.

A copy of the Tennessee Supreme Court Order, including its mandate for local and state courts and all exceptions to this Order, may be viewed by clicking here.

While the Courts have temporarily suspended proceedings, The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly remains committed to diligently working for our clients and achieving their goals. We will remain open and fully responsive to all clients for any questions and concerns during this time.

The Court Clerk Offices are also open through the suspension of court proceedings and are available to receive fax filings for court documents as well as answer calls regarding rescheduling court appearances, so that our office may make appropriate filings, assert necessary defenses, and best serve our clients and the community.

In this trying time, as in all times, if you or a friend are in need of help, we are here to help. We hope you and your families remain healthy and happy during this trying time in our community.

Scott, Chase, Austin, and Rich.

How Does Tennessee Handle Music Festival Drug Offenses?

We are often asked “how does Tennessee handle music festival drug offenses?” This is an important question here in Middle Tennessee, which hosts several high profile music events, including the Bonnaroo, the CMA Festival, and the Pilgrimage Festival.

The festival that seems to draw the most festival drug offense charges is Bonnaroo; however, it is important to know the potential charges and possible outcomes for any drug charge in Middle Tennessee.

What are potential criminal charges from music festivals?
At our office, we have represented individuals charged with a wide range of criminal charges from music festivals, ranging from low-level misdemeanors like public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia all the way up to felony offenses and offenses that may create a lifetime of complications like DUI and manufacture or sale of illegal narcotics.

If you are attending a music festival in Middle Tennessee, you may be placed in a situation to be charged with any of those criminal offenses. It’s important to know your rights and know what to do if you are found in violation of the law!

What do I do if I am arrested or cited for crimes at a music festival?
The most important thing you can do if you are questioned, cited, or arrested for crimes at a music festival is to keep quiet a hire a lawyer! The more you talk after being confronted and charged with a crime, the higher your chances of getting convicted. The police officers know this– that’s why they ask so many questions!

If you or someone you know faces a criminal charge at CMA Fest, Bonnaroo, the Pilgrimage Fest, or anywhere in between, call an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of W. Scott Kimberly. We are here to help.