Month: June 2017

Knoxville Tennessee DUI Attorney

What is the Impact of a DUI Charge on Various Aspects of Your Life in Knoxville, TN?

When someone is facing a DUI charge in Knoxville, Tennessee, they are frequently under a lot of stress concerning the immediate impact. The immediate impact of the charge on your job, your finances, your family, and your social life are readily apparent. Still, a lot of people don’t realize the full extent of the impact of a DUI charge on various aspects of their lives. A DUI could end up on your criminal record. It could cause you to lose your driver’s license and/or end up with an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. It could result in high fines, the necessity of taking DUI classes, and higher insurance rates or lost coverage. It could also prevent you from being able to start a new career, continue in your present career, join the military, or even travel to another country. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the different ways that a DUI in Knoxville, Tennessee, could change your life.

Your Criminal Record and Career Opportunities with a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Charge

When you get a DUI conviction in Knoxville, Tennessee, you are going to have this on your criminal record, which could prevent you from achieving your future career goals. Most companies perform background checks on potential new hires, and this is where your criminal record is going to be particularly relevant to your life and goals. There are some jobs that you will no longer be eligible for with a DUI on your record. Following are just a few examples of occupations where you may not be able to be employed if you have ever been convicted of a DUI in Knoxville, Tennessee:

  • Police Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • CDL Commercial Vehicle Driver
  • Government Employee

Your Dreams of Travel and Vacation Plans with Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Charge

One frequently overlooked consequence of a DUI in Knoxville, Tennessee, is the impact on your dreams of travel and your vacation plans. Many people love to travel or hope to travel later in life. When facing a DUI charge, however, it may never even occur to them that their dreams of international travel are on the line. If you plan to immigrate to another country, then this too could be off limits with a DUI conviction. Some countries will not allow anyone with any kind of criminal record to enter. Following are the countries with the strictest policies prohibiting persons with a criminal record from entering:

Knoxville Tennessee DUI Attorney
If you are fighting a DUI, don’t fight it alone. Contact Barnes Law today!
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Countries in the European Union

Your Plans to Serve in the Military with a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Charge

If you have any plans to serve in the Army, the Marines, the Navy, or the US Air Force, these plans could quickly be derailed by a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI conviction. If you are in the military at the time of your arrest, then the details of your arrest must be closely inspected by a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI attorney to assess the impact of the charges on your military career. Many people don’t realize that their military careers will be affected by a DUI that happens while on leave or between deployments. Individuals who are convicted of such crimes are often deemed unfit to handle leadership and unfit to represent the armed services of the United States. Even if it is your first offense, it could change the trajectory of your military career or completely end it.

Your Auto Insurance Rates with a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI Charge

If you are lucky, you have no plans to travel or join the military, and if your career is not affected by a DUI conviction, then you will still have the long-term consequence of a DUI on your auto insurance rates. Having a DUI conviction on your record will cause your auto insurance policy rates to be raised significantly, even if it is your first DUI. If you have multiple DUI convictions, then the effect on your auto insurance rates will be even worse, assuming you are able to get your license back. For many people in Knoxville, Tennessee, there is almost no point in having a license or a vehicle, because they can’t afford the auto insurance rates that they must pay for in order to drive legally. Some auto insurance companies will make you pay a much higher rate for a period of five years, without further DUI charges, before lowering the rate again. In the meantime, your rates could be thousands of dollars more each year for the same auto insurance coverage, because you are a high-risk driver.

Another important thing to be aware of with a DUI charge is that if you caused any damages in an auto accident with another driver, your auto insurance policy may refuse to cover those damages. You could end up facing the expenses of paying the damages caused to other vehicles in a DUI auto accident yourself. Adding up all of the potential consequences of a DUI conviction starts to get expensive.

Contact Barnes Law to Protect Yourself from the Impact of a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI

Because the impact of a Knoxville, Tennessee, DUI conviction can be so costly and life-altering, it is important to consult with a skilled DUI attorney, like those at Barnes Law. There are cases where it is in your best interests to accept a plea deal, but if you want to avoid the impact of a DUI conviction, then this may not be your best option. You need to protect your career, your future plans, and your ability to stay mobile on the road. Contact Barnes Law to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options for fighting a DUI charge in Knoxville, Tennessee.

DUI defense attorney in Knoxville TN

SIX OF THE BEST DUI DEFENSES YOUR LAWYER SHOULD KNOW AND USE IN KNOXVILLE

There are many defenses to a Knoxville DUI charge that are often specific to each case, but there are a few that come up on a regular basis.  These are some of the most successful defenses your lawyer should be using for your Tennessee DUI defense case.

The “Bad Stop” DUI Defense

This is one of the most basic defenses to DUI, but also one of the most effective.

The law is clear that for a police officer to pull you over or to “seize” you, he or she must have at least “reasonable suspicion” that you are committing or have committed a crime.

Police can’t pull you over on a hunch.  They can’t pull you over because it’s 2 A.M. and you’re leaving a particular part of Knoxville.  They can’t pull you over because you have out of county or out of state license plates, and they can’t seize you for sitting in your car minding your own business.

But sometimes they do.  And when they do, a good Knoxville, TN DUI lawyer will recognize the “bad stop” and file a motion to suppress all the evidence and ask the Judge to throw the case out.

The “Disconnect” DUI Defense

You’d probably be surprised how often a blood alcohol test result comes back far higher than a client would expect based on what they had to drink.

I’m often surprised at how high a result is based on watching my client on video and seeing that they look perfectly sober.

When these things happen there is a “disconnect.”  Something is wrong with the evidence.  Should we believe our own eyes seeing a sober and well functioning person?  Or should we believe the TBI blood alcohol test report that says the person had a high BAC?

There are plenty of reasons to rely on our own common sense and not a number on a page that is subject to human and machine error.

The “Real World Tests” vs. “Cop Tests” DUI Defense

“I couldn’t do those tests sober!”

It’s funny because it’s true.  The “Standardized Field Sobriety Tests” are difficult.  There are numerous reasons that people can’t perform them perfectly that have nothing to do with impairment.

We shouldn’t expect a 22-year-old college athlete and a 52-year-old teacher to perform to the same level on tests that require balance and coordination.

We shouldn’t expect someone with back problems, knee surgeries, inner ear issues, and a number of other medical conditions to be able to stand on one leg for 30 seconds with their eyes closed and their head tilted back.

In what world is that something people are expected to do to prove their innocence!

Don’t buy into these tests.  They are tools for the prosecution to convict, not to objectively prove guilt or innocence.

At Barnes Law in Knoxville, we prefer to use my common sense and listen to how my client sounds, how she walks, how he answers questions, and the “real world” indicators of impairment or sobriety that we can all recognize.

The “Bad Investigation” DUI Defense

If you were the victim of a crime wouldn’t you expect a thorough investigation of what happened?  You wouldn’t want the police just jumping to conclusions.  You’d want them to investigate.  To find out the truth and to be sure about it.

I’ve seen people arrested for DUI before they were even able to get out of the car.  I’ve seen DUI investigations that lasted less than 1 minute.

You and I are held to certain standards in our work.  Police officers’ work affects people’s entire lives.  They should be held to at least as high a standard of professionalism and diligence.

If the investigation was shoddy, we can’t trust the results.

The “Good Person” DUI Defense

This isn’t technically a “defense” to DUI.  Let me explain…

This is part of any good DUI defense but needs to be paired with a legal or factual defense.

Almost everyone we represent at Barnes Law for DUI is a good person.  They contribute to their families and the Knoxville community, they take the charge seriously and get help if they need it, and the work to make sure it never happens again.

Sometimes my clients have made a simple mistake about whether they were ok to drive.  Sometimes the police are the ones who made a mistake.

In any event, it’s important that you take certain steps to show that you are a responsible person who is not a danger to your community and that you won’t end up back in Tennessee DUI court ever again.

Taking these steps, that we can discuss, can lead to better results than an “actual” defense by itself.

The “At the Time of Driving” DUI Defense

This is something I see occasionally.  It happens when someone is arrested at their home or at some time after allegedly driving drunk.

In these situations a police officer may first encounter a person who has been in a car accident or who someone has called the police on.

However, the officer can only testify to what she sees at that time, not whether the person was impaired “at the time of driving.”  (or sometimes they can’t say whether the suspect ever drove at all.)

The State has to prove, not just that someone was impaired, but that they were impaired “while driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle.”

That isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

Our Experienced DUI Defense Lawyers Can Help You Beat a Knoxville DUI Charge

These are just a few of the defenses that may be available depending on the circumstances of your case.

Only a qualified Knoxville, TN criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending DUI cases and who stays on top of all the changes in Tennessee DUI law and practice can advise you about your case.

If you have questions or would like us to evaluate your case give us a call at (865) 805-5703.