William StoverAttorney At Law

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FAQs about DUI in Tennessee

William H. Stover answers your frequently asked questions about drunk driving

In practice for more than a decade, I have successfully represented thousands of clients as they fight criminal charges, particularly those relating to DUI. When you choose the Stover Law Group, you’re choosing a criminal defense attorney who cares about you. I offer guidance and real solutions when you face penalties for DUI.

Throughout the years, I’ve been asked the following questions about drunk driving charges most frequently. For more information on my DUI services, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

A Nashville DUI defense lawyer who supports you

For more information on my criminal defense services, call 615.613.0541 or contact me online to schedule a free initial phone consultation to discuss your case. I represent clients in Nashville and throughout Middle Tennessee, including Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Gallatin, Shelbyville and Lebanon.


Do I need a lawyer for a DUI case in TN?

If you are charged with DUI, you have the right to a lawyer. You can hire an attorney or use a public defender. Criminal defense attorneys provide important assistance throughout your DUI case and are likely able to help you achieve a better outcome than if you go it alone. At the very least, you should consult with a DUI lawyer before making a final decision regarding legal representation.

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Are DUIs considered misdemeanors or felonies in TN?

In Tennessee, your first, second, and third DUI charges within five years are all misdemeanors, with potential penalties increasing at each level. A fourth DUI upgrades the charge to a Class E felony, punishable by 150 days to one year in prison. Additionally, certain circumstances automatically upgrade a DUI to a felony:

  • DUI vehicular assault (seriously injuring another person while DUI) – Class D felony
  • Child endangerment (DUI with a child under age 13 in the vehicle) – Class D felony if the child is injured; Class C felony if the child is killed
  • DUI vehicular homicide (causing a fatal auto accident while DUI) – Class B felony
  • DUI aggravated vehicular assault (two or more prior DUI or vehicular assault convictions, one prior vehicular homicide conviction or a BAC of .20 or greater) – Class A felony

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What is the penalty for a 1st offense of drunk driving in TN?

If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, you could face the following penalties:

  • 48 hours or longer in jail
  • Seven days in jail if your .BAC is .20 or above
  • Loss of license for one year
  • Mandatory DUI school
  • $350 to $1,500 in fines, plus any restitution applicable
  • Ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
  • Court-ordered drug/alcohol treatment program
  • Loss of license for up to one year if you refuse a blood test or Breathalyzer outright

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What is the penalty for a 2nd offense of drunk driving in TN?

A second DUI conviction within five years could result in the following penalties:

  • 45 days to one year in jail
  • $600 to $3,000 in fines, plus any restitution applicable
  • Loss of license for two years with restricted license eligibility after one year
  • Confiscation of vehicle
  • Mandatory DUI school
  • Ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for 6 months minimum after your license is reinstated
  • Loss of license for up to two years if you refuse a blood test or Breathalyzer outright

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What is the penalty for a 3rd offense of drunk driving in TN?

With a third DUI conviction in five years, the penalties increase to include the following:

  • 120 days to one year in jail
  • $1,100 to $10,000 in fines, plus any restitution applicable
  • Loss of license for three to ten years with no eligibility for restricted license
  • Confiscation of vehicle
  • Mandatory DUI school
  • Ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle for six months minimum after your license is reinstated

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How does a lawyer defend me in my DUI case in TN?

As an experienced DUI attorney, I have an arsenal of tools to use in your criminal defense. During the early stages I’ll investigate the circumstances of your DUI arrest to make sure proper procedure was followed, such as whether you were tested without consenting or you have a medical condition that causes you to fail a field sobriety test. I know how to use the law and rules in your favor, and I am often successful in achieving downgraded or dismissed charges, reduced penalties and alternative sentences.

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William H. Stover Attorney at Law
500 Church Street, St. Cloud Corner, Suite 450
Nashville, Tennessee, 37219 USA
615.613.0541