Wrongful DUI Arrests and Their Long-Term Effects

Wrongful DUI Arrests and Their Long-Term EffectsPolice officers are in place to justly serve and protect our residents and cities – though, this isn’t always the case. There have been numerous situations in the past decade of people being wrongfully accused, detained, and arrested for crimes they did not commit.

We recently came across a piece in The Daily Beast about a “rogue” cop who was handing out DUIs “like candy,” in their words. While we’d like to think that this is a one-off story about one particular LEO, what really struck us was the effects that the wrongful DUI arrest had on the victims. That got us thinking about how these incidents could adversely affect innocent people’s lives, which could potentially be altered forever.

What is needed for a DUI arrest in Tennessee?

For a DUI arrest and charges to take place, the police and prosecution must take several factors into consideration. While on the road, the police officer must have reasonable grounds to initiate a field sobriety test. This is after they observe that the driver may be swerving recklessly on the road, or they have some other form of suspicion that the driver could be under the influence. The driver does not always have to be physically displaying signs of being intoxicated; sometimes, they could be acting completely normal yet still have a BAC level above Tennessee’s legal limit of 0.8%.

Whether or not the driver does a sobriety test, and the police officer decides to arrest them anyway based on their suspicions, the police officer will ask the driver to complete a chemical test, where their BAC level is measured more accurately by blood. Consent for this test is required by the Tennessee Implied Consent Law, but if the driver refuses, the officer will advise them of the consequences, and then ask again. Even if the driver was not intoxicated, if they refuse to do the chemical test, there are severe penalties. For instance, a first-time offender can get their license taken away for an entire year. You may face stiff fines and jail time.

After all this, you could be held in jail for a few nights before the trial begins. Even if you win your case, your license may still be suspended because you refused to do the chemical test. An experienced lawyer from our team can help answer any questions you may have about this if it has happened to you. They will help fight for your right to maintain your license since you were wrongfully detained from the start.

What can these situations cause for the innocent victims?

Being wrongfully detained for a DUI places the victim in a world of humiliation, consequences, and struggle for no good reason. The victims face plenty of shame and embarrassment as they walk down the hospital or station corridors in handcuffs to take their chemical test. They should not have to feel this way as they are fully innocent. It makes them feel small and belittled when they do not deserve to be treated that way.

In Tennessee, driving intoxicated while having a minor in the vehicle can be considered child endangerment. If a police officer wrongfully accuses a driver of a DUI and their children were in the back, this places them at risk of losing their children to Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS). Suddenly, for doing nothing wrong, parents see themselves potentially getting their children taken away from them. Their life – which was going so well – makes a 180° turn out of the blue because of a police officer’s predisposition and unfairness. Once you get the DCS on your tail, it’s hard to cut them off. An innocent parent should never be placed in this type of position.

The victim will also lose money that they would have never expected to give up. A DUI case involves plenty of attorney and private laboratory fees to clear their name. Although they may be financially struggling at the moment, they are obligated to pay these fees to prove their innocence. During an arrest, a police officer can be excessively aggressive and rough and can hurt the victim’s wrists and arms in the process. The victim will suffer through not only physical pain but emotional. They may be left mentally scarred from a situation that should have never happened in the first place. They can display signs of trauma in other situations in their life down the line.

What should you do if you are being wrongfully detained for a DUI in Franklin?

If you are pulled over and a police officer begins to wrongfully accuse you of driving intoxicated, there are several things you should do to help your case later. Hire an attorney and document the events of the arrest as soon as possible; include a list of witnesses (if any) along with their contact information. For the record, you can legally record the interaction with the police on your phone, but be respectful; the situation may escalate otherwise. Have them write down anything that can potentially help you in the trial. This written record will help your Franklin criminal defense attorney determine where and how your rights were violated to present them in court.

Unfortunately, although this situation may not be heard of every day in the media, it happens more often than we think. It’s important to be prepared going into this situation, and one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys will help you along the way. They will ensure that you know your rights following a false DUI arrest. They will also inform you of your ability to sue for being wrongfully accused and arrested. As mentioned previously, the innocent victim will have to deal with a lot, both mentally and physically, because of a police officer’s bias and incorrect use of their power.

Being wrongfully detained and accused of a DUI can lead to so many adverse consequences for your future. No one deserves to be arrested when they have done nothing wrong. If you were innocent yet got arrested for a DUI, contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys today at the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates. With offices in Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood, we will walk you through every step. Call our office, or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation.

Related Content: