Roane County DUI lawyer

DUI Defense Attorneys in Roane County Protecting Your Rights

A DUI is an extremely serious criminal offense that can affect nearly anyone who has the occasional drink. Most people charged with a DUI do not have other criminal convictions and are not career criminals and are just people who may have made a poor decision – as everyone does from time to time. In addition, in some cases, people who are accused of drunk driving are actually innocent of any criminal wrongdoing. To keep a DUI charge from ruining your life for many years to come, seek the services of a skilled Roane County DUI lawyer from the Barnes Law Firm as soon as you can.

The Tennessee DUI Process

Being arrested and slapped with a DUI charge is not something anyone usually sees coming. Once it happens, you have to deal with it and might be wondering what will happen next and what you can expect. If you haven’t already hired an experienced Roane County DUI attorney, this should be your first step. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the better protected your rights will be. 

The DUI Arrest

The court DUI process in Tennessee begins with your arrest. If the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or another drug, he or she has the legal right to arrest you. You might be asked to participate in a field sobriety test or submit to a chemical test in order to obtain additional evidence of impairment. During a traffic stop or an arrest, saying nothing or as little as possible is usually your best option. Remember your Miranda Rights and that you do not have to say anything at all.

In some cases, you could be convicted based on the opinion of the officer alone. Tennessee DUI laws do not necessarily demand that you fail a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer or blood test to be convicted of a DUI. This makes it even more imperative that you have a skilled Roane County DUI lawyer to fight for your rights.

Getting Released from Custody

Once you have been processed for your arrest at the police station, a judge can decide if you can be released on your own recognizance or if you will be required to post bail. If this is your first DUI or you have a clean criminal record, you may not be required to pay a bond for your release. Bond helps ensure that you will return for your required court appearance. If the court believes that you are a flight risk, you will need to pay a bond, and it will usually be higher the greater the risk they believe you are. Your Roane County DUI attorney can request no bail on your behalf or a reduced bail, but if any of the following apply to you, you may risk a higher bond:

  • You have prior DUI convictions
  • You have a history of failing to appear in court
  • Your DUI was associated with reckless behavior (including excessive speeding or with a minor in your vehicle)
  • Your chemical test resulted in an extremely high blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Your DUI caused an accident resulting in injury or death

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Initial Hearing

Whether you are out bond or remain in jail, you will need to show up for your preliminary hearing, which usually happens between two and six weeks after your arrest based on the schedule of the court. At this hearing, which is also referred to as an arraignment, you will be asked by the court if you plead guilty or not guilty. Your case could be settled at this hearing, but if not, it will move to general sessions court.

General Sessions Court

If your charge is a misdemeanor and it did not settle at the arraignment hearing, you will wind up in this court. Here your case can have three outcomes:

  • Plea agreement
  • Preliminary hearing
  • Trial without a jury

If your DUI is a felony charge or it is not settled at this stage, your case will be required to be heard by a jury.

Potential Consequences for a DUI Conviction in Tennessee

To reduce the charges and penalties you could face for your DUI, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DUI lawyer in Roane County to represent you. Not only can a DUI conviction cause problems for you in your work and personal life, but you also might be at risk of the following just for a first DUI offense:

  • Imprisonment or jail time
  • Fines and fees
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Possible seizure/forfeiture of your vehicle
  • Mandatory enrollment and completion of an alcohol and drug treatment program
  • A mandatory Ignition Interlock Device installed on your vehicle at your expense
  • If two convictions of DUI in 5 years, Ignition Interlock Device required for six months after reinstatement at your expense

Keep in mind that the seriousness of your consequences will increase will each subsequent DUI conviction, making it even more crucial that you seek out the help of a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Roane County.

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Call Today to Schedule a Consultation with a DUI Attorney in Roane County

If you have been arrested on a DUI charge, you need a proven DUI lawyer in Roane County to help you during this pivotal and overwhelming time in your life. We have helped numerous clients reduce or drop their charges and, therefore, the penalties they face on DUI charges. 

Call the Barnes Law Firm at 865-805-5703 to schedule your private consultation today, or you can use our online contact form. We also offer the convenient option of online video consultations if you are unable to come to our office.


Client Testimonials

"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."

Coach M.

"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!!!!!!!"

Alicia U.

"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."

Scott C.