Tennessee is among the most strict states in the US when it comes to DUI charges. Yet, many people don’t realize how serious of a crime it is or how difficult it can be to successfully defend yourself against DUI charges in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today, we’re going to look at some of the most common myths and misconceptions that people frequently believe about driving under the influence and the impact that such charges can have on your life.
Myth: Your License Will Be Automatically Revoked if You Refuse a Blood Alcohol Test
When you get pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence in Knoxville, Tennessee, the police officer will probably ask you to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) breathalyzer test. While refusing to do so could lead to such consequences, because it does look suspicious to a jury, your license is not automatically revoked based on your refusal to take the BAC test.
Myth: You Are Automatically Guilty if Your BAC is Over the Legal Limit to Driver
While this makes a lot of sense on the surface, the reality is that there are many situations in which you may not be found guilty of a DUI, even though your BAC was over the legal limit. For example, there may be questions about the legitimacy of the test, about the time between driving and the BAC reading, or about whether or not you were even actually driving while your BAC was over the limit.
Myth: You Do Not Need an Attorney if You Are Innocent of the Alleged Crime
This myth comes from the common assumption that justice will prevail. The truth is that people really do end up convicted of crimes that they did not commit, and it really could happen to you. If you are accused of and charged with a crime in which you are innocent, it is essential to have skilled legal representation to ensure that you do not end up suffering the consequences of something you didn’t really do. Never assume that justice will prevail without an effective legal defense.
Myth: Your First DUI Offense is Not Going to Be Punished Too Harshly
Your first DUI in Knoxville, Tennessee, may not result in the more severe penalties of repeat offenders, but the consequences are still going to be harsh. You should not assume that you will be more likely to win your case or that your case is not that big of a deal, just because it is the first time you have been charged with a DUI. Keep in mind that most DUI charges are first offenses and are taken seriously.
Myth: You Don’t Need to Hire an Attorney Because One Will Be Provided
In some cases, you can have an attorney provided, but you will have to qualify as indigent, meaning that you do not have the financial means to hire an attorney. If you don’t qualify, you will not be provided with an attorney. Further, if you do get a free or ‘pro bono’ attorney, he or she is likely to have a very large case load. Thus, you may not get the attention and prioritization that you need to win your case.
Myth: The Influence of Prescribed Medication Does Not Count as Driving Under the Influence
It is understandable why so many people make the mistake of believing that the effects of their prescription medications don’t qualify for a charge of driving under the influence. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Anyone who takes prescribed medications is legally responsible for knowing how the medication affects them and whether or not they are safe to drive. If your medication prevents you from driving safely, then you can be charged with a DUI.
Myth: Minors Will Not Face Serious Consequences for a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Charge
Drivers who are between the ages of sixteen and eighteen often think that they will not face serious consequences for a DUI charge because they are minors. The truth is that minors are held to a higher standard of sobriety because they are not legally allowed to have any BAC at all. While adults can drive with a BAC that is lower than .08%, minors can be charged with a DUI with a BAC of .0002%.
Myth: A DUI is Less Expensive Without a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Defense Attorney
Although it can cost a lot of money to work with a skilled Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI defense attorney, you are far more likely to face serious fines and penalties without one. Further, you still have to address your court costs. Working with an attorney can be costly, but it is because of the work that goes into saving you from a criminal record, from higher insurance premiums, and even from jail time.
Your attorney ensures that your case is thoroughly investigated and that all facts are taken into account. Then, they do everything they can to get the best possible outcome for you. In many cases, your DUI defense attorney will accept credit cards, and they may also have a different rate for first offenses. It is difficult to say exactly what you will end up paying for legal representation without seeking a free consultation with a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI defense attorney. Some lawyers may end up charging less than $2,000, while others may charge more than $10,000. It depends on the case and the lawyer. Contact the Barnes Law Firm to learn more about what it may cost to defend you.
Keep in mind that the expenses of a conviction are likely to greatly outweigh the cost of your criminal defense. Your attorney can help you avoid the cost of high risk auto insurance with SR-22. Your attorney can keep you from having a lengthy jail sentence. Your attorney can help you get your charges reduced or dropped. If you are innocent, then your attorney can help to ensure that you don’t end up paying for a crime you didn’t commit. The consequences of a DUI charge can follow you for life, and if you don’t work with a skilled DUI defense attorney in Knoxville, you are likely to regret it.