DUI Attorney Columbia TN

DUI Attorney Columbia, TN

Tough representation when you’re arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Police and prosecutors take drunk driving very seriously because too many people die or are seriously injured by intoxicated drivers. If you want to drink, you shouldn’t drive. If you do drink and you’re arrested, you could be charged with a DUI offense. Whether you’re a first-time DUI offender or you have a prior record, a conviction will result in a jail sentence, revocation of your driver’s license, fines, and other expensive penalties. You may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device (IID) and attend a drug and alcohol evaluation program.

You do have the right to assert all the defenses that apply. The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates knows what defenses can be used in DUI cases. We have helped many Columbia defendants obtain DUI dismissals and acquittals. We also negotiate plea agreements for traffic offenses such as speeding when possible. The police and prosecution have to obey the rules. They need to keep you informed and follow proper procedures. Our Columbia DUI lawyer is ready to help you now.

How can we help

What is a DUI offense?

The Tennessee DUI statute defines driving under the influence as driving when you drive or control an

“Automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, or apartment house complex, or any other premises that is generally frequented by the public at large, while:”

  • You were under the influence of an intoxicant (alcohol), drug, controlled substance (or a combination of these items) to the point that your ability to drive safely was impaired.
  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was .08 or higher.
  • You drove a commercial vehicle and your BAC was .04 or higher.

The BAC limit for minors is .02 or higher. Essentially, there is no tolerance for minors who drink and drive.

Some of the most serious DUI charges include:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Vehicular assault if someone is seriously injured by your DUI accident
  • Child endangerment if you committed a DUI while a minor was in your vehicle
  • Aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated

What are the penalties for a DUI conviction in Columbia?

The penalties for a DUI conviction according to Tennessee law and the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security are as follows:

  • First offense. If the DUI offense is your first offense, you will likely spend at least two days in jail, possibly more. If your BAC was .20 or more, you’ll serve at least seven days. Your license will be revoked for a year (a restricted license may be available). The judge may direct you to enroll in an alcohol and drug treatment program. The judge may also fine you up to $1,500 (the minimum fine is $350) and order you to pay restitution to any victims.
  • Second offense. If you have a prior DUI on your record, you’ll spend 45 days to up to one year in jail. The license revocation period lasts for two years. The fine can be up to $3,500, your car or other vehicles may be subject to seizure or forfeiture, and the judge will likely order another substance abuse treatment evaluation and direct you to comply with any recommendations.
  • Third and subsequent offenses include longer sentences, a larger penalty, and other severe consequences.

If this is your second DUI in the past five years, you’ll need to pay for and install an IID for six months.

Tennessee does have recovery courts that handle the substance abuse side of your sentence. Our Columbia attorney can let you know if this is something for which you are eligible.

What DUI defenses do you assert?

Columbia DUI attorney Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates works on your case from the moment of the first call until there is a decision to drop the charges, there is a plea agreement, or there is a jury trial. Some of the defenses we often assert are that the police:

  • Did not have a legitimate reason to stop you
  • Didn’t conduct the field sobriety tests properly
  • Didn’t conduct the breath or blood tests properly
  • Used equipment that wasn’t correctly validated
  • Failed to explain the consequences for refusing to submit to a breath test

We also assert that the government couldn’t show that you committed a DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. We may even argue that there are medical reasons for a high BAC reading. Other defenses may also apply.

If any evidence was improperly obtained, we file motions to suppress that evidence. In some cases, with your consent, we negotiate plea agreements that reduce the DUI charge to a less serious offense.

What are checkpoint stops?

The police cannot randomly stop drivers unless they follow the proper procedures to establish a checkpoint stop to check for driver intoxication. The Tennessee Department of Homeland Security updates its sobriety checkpoints list monthly. This list should indicate in advance where the checkpoints are and when the stops will take place. Generally, the checkpoints are at intersections or roadways that are marked by police cars and traffic cones.

Drivers who are pulled over in a DUI can refuse to take a breath test but that will likely mean their license will be suspended or revoked. Drivers in Tennessee do grant their implied consent to be tested for driver impairment due to alcohol or drugs. Drivers do have the right to refuse to grant a law enforcement officer the right to search their car. The police will either need reasonable grounds to conduct a search or will need to obtain a warrant. The police, at the checkpoint stop site, can require you to submit to a  field sobriety test.

Tennessee divers can under Tennessee law, just turn around and leave, provided the turn and the exit don’t violate any state traffic laws.

Do you have a DUI lawyer near me?

Our office is located at 604 N High St in Columbia, TN.

Our Columbia criminal defense lawyer has 30 years of experience fighting for criminal defendants including defendants charged with a DUI. He understands how to question the officers, contest the validity of breathalyzers, and assert all your defenses.

Speak with an experienced Columbia, TN DUI defense lawyer today.

At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we understand that a DUI charge can be scary. Your liberty is at stake. The fines, increased insurance rates, cost of an IID device, and cost to use alternate transportation if your license is revoked are quite high. Our skilled and respected Columbia DUI lawyer will review exactly what happened, assert your defenses, question the officer, and prepare your case for trial. We’ve helped many DUI defenses keep their freedom and their driver’s license.

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