The start of the new year signaled changes in the severity of penalties for Tennessee drivers who have been convicted of causing a drunk-driving death. A new law that took effect January 1 removes the option of probation for a person convicted of vehicular homicide related to intoxicated driving. This measure further enforces the already strong stance that the state takes against drunk driving.
Up until the beginning of 2017, drivers who were convicted of vehicular homicide could seek probation. As that is now no longer an option, it is critically important for a driver to explore defense options as soon as possible after an arrest. Supporters of the new law believe that the severity of the punishment should match the crime.
The cost of a DUI conviction is extensive, especially if it is a repeat offense or someone is injured or killed. It is always beneficial to seek experienced counsel regarding defense options, and it is never a good idea to face a drunk driving charge or plead guilty without first seeking the opinion of a legal professional. In some cases, it may be possible to seek a shorter time behind bars or challenge the formal accusations at trial.
Tennessee has some of the harshest DUI penalties in the country, and now these harsher penalties will have a direct impact on those convicted of vehicular homicide. Drivers must take steps to protect their rights and interests after an arrest. Regardless of a person's past criminal record, he or she still has the right to seek the best possible outcome possible under the available facts and circumstances..
Source: wmcactionnews5.com, "No probation in drunk-driving deaths", Nancy Amons, Jan. 3, 2017