THE BARNES LAW FIRM
Award Winning Client Service, Proven Results
Most clients have lots of questions immediately after having been arrested for DUI. Often a DUI charge is the first and only time that someone deals with the criminal justice system and therefore they have no idea how the process really works.
Fortunately we’re here to listen to your questions and give you straight-forward answers. A huge part of the anxiety of an arrest is not knowing what will happen.
Below are 5 of the most common questions we get shortly after an arrest. There are lots more of course, so give us a call or fill out the contact form if your question isn’t answered here.
Your first court date after a Knoxville DUI arrest will usually be an arraignment. This court appearance will often be within two weeks of your arrest. The arraignment serves several purposes.
The first is that the Court must be sure that you know what you are charged with and what your rights are.
The Judge will also want to know if you have a lawyer, if you are going to represent yourself, or if you don’t have enough resources, whether you are going to use the public defender.
If you have a Knoxville DUI lawyer retained before the arraignment, usually you will not have to go to court on this date since your attorney can let the Court know that he or she has been hired to handle the case and that you are aware of what your charges are.
Both your DUI lawyer and the State’s prosecutor will likely want more time to prepare the case and you will be given a court date at a later time.
Tennessee has steadily increased the penalties for DUI over the last twenty or so years. There are now mandatory, minimum penalties that not even the Judge can keep you from serving, if you are convicted.
In order to avoid the following penalties you would have to have your case dismissed, reduced to a lesser charge, or be found not guilty (which is our goal in every case we take on).
The bare minimum penalties for a first offense DUI in Tennessee are:
If you have had a previous DUI, the minimum penalties become much more severe.
If that were the case, I wouldn’t have much of a job, but even when the State has a BAC, you can still fight and win.
The majority of the cases where a blood test is given, the results come back over the legal limit, but even so, we have had great results in getting DUI cases dismissed and reduced to lesser charges.
That is because there are more issues involved in a DUI case than just what your BAC was. For instance, an officer must have “reasonable suspicion,” as defined by the law, to even ask you to take a blood test.
He also must have had a legal reason to stop your car or keep you from leaving.
The many different defenses to DUI, even with an elevated BAC, could and does fill entire books.
If you have been arrested for DUI it is important that you speak to a qualified DUI defense lawyer in Knoxville about the specific facts of your case, to determine what defense you have.
Frankly, getting arrested for DUI is not cheap, even if you can’t afford a private DUI lawyer and have counsel appointed.
Even so, we try hard to keep our services affordable, while still maintaining a small enough number of cases to do a good job and make sure all our clients are well taken care of.
To be a little more specific, the answer to this question varies greatly and depends in part on the specific facts of your case and the quality of the lawyer you hire.
I have heard of Knoxville DUI lawyers charging as little as $1500 and as much as $15,000 for a first offense DUI. Both those prices are extremes.
We understand a good DUI defense attorney is probably not something you’ve been budgeting for. It is important to us that our fees remain affordable but also compensate for the large amount of time, effort, and expense that goes into each and every case. We accept credit cards and offer payment plans with affordable down payments so that you can get the representation you need.
Ultimately, hiring a top-notch DUI lawyer may even save you money. The cost of SR-22 high risk insurance, fines, court costs, probation fees, ignition interlock or transdermal alcohol monitoring devices add up, but even those costs can’t compare to the cost of lost income in many fields over years and decades.
If having a DUI on your record causes you to be passed over for even one better job in your life, the financial consequences will be extreme.
“John is amazing not only did he get the outcome he promised he did it in a shorter time than he originally said. He went above and beyond in returning my emails and phone calls. John and staff truly cared about me as a person. I highly recommend John Barnes.”
“I would highly recommend Mr. Barnes to everyone & I would definitely contact Mr. Barnes if I or anyone in my family should ever need an attorney again:) They were all very professional, friendly & treated our case with importance:) Mr.Barnes got my son’s DUI dropped to reckless driving so I would definitely recommend him to everyone!!!!!!!”
“Mr. Barnes and his staff are amazing. I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job with my case. At no point in the long process was I disappointed in any way with how things were handled.”