One of the most serious consequences of a DUI conviction is a lifetime criminal record. If you plead guilty to the charges, anyone who looks up your criminal record in the future will see that you have a conviction for drunk driving. It could affect your employment, professional licensing and other areas of your life that involve background checks.
To keep your record as clear as possible, it’s important to seek legal advice from a lawyer who regularly handles DUI cases. The lawyer who prepared your will or represented you in a family law matter will not be familiar with the defenses and dispositions of a DUI case.
For many misdemeanor offenses, first-time offenders can obtain pretrial diversion that would result in dismissal of criminal charges after the diversion period. Unfortunately, Tennessee does not offer pretrial diversion for drunk driving. There are only three ways to avoid a DUI conviction:
· Obtain a dismissal of all charges
· Obtain a not-guilty verdict at trial
· Negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser-included offense, such as reckless driving.
While a conviction for reckless driving is less harmful than a DUI conviction, it will still result in a permanent criminal record.
The consequences for a driving under the influence conviction in Tennessee are daunting. Even for a first-time offender, you face driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, increased insurance premiums, potential jail time, and a lifetime criminal record. An experienced DUI attorney can advise you in the best defense based on the facts in your case. The law firm of Hindman & Associates defends clients charged with DUI in the Knoxville area.