Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is one of the more common offenses heard in Tennessee courts. It is often committed by first-time offenders who have never been in trouble with the law before. As a first offender, you likely have little understanding of the criminal justice procedures which you will face or how to handle them. You may believe you are doomed to a criminal conviction based on the evidence against you, likely consisting of a breathalyzer test. However, as in any criminal offense, you are innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, you have the right to be represented by an attorney of your choice and to a fair trial.
It is important to exercise your constitutional rights and to do so with the intention of pursuing what is in your best interests. Your right to a fair trial and to having your voice heard will be better exercised with the help of an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense in your local area. At Eldridge & Blakney, PC, you can work with a Knoxville legal team that is backed by 90 years of combined legal experience. Our trial lawyers have spent years defending clients both inside and outside the courtroom, through negotiation with prosecutors and through presenting compelling evidence to judges and juries. That kind of experience can work to your advantage when defending yourself in DUI or any other arrest.
What to Do in a DUI Arrest
The first thing to remember in any DUI arrest is to remain calm and polite. Do not dip into antagonism or confrontation with law enforcement. It can only lead to an escalation of the matter. Comply with the request for your license and registration. It is also important to know that, under implied consent licensing law, you are required to take a breathalyzer test when requested to do so as part of your licensing obligation. If you refuse, you can lose your license for up to a year.
However, your obligations end there. You do not have to answer questions about whether or not you have been drinking or how much you have drunk. You do not have to allow your vehicle to be searched without a valid search warrant. It is in your best interests and it is your legal right to remain silent.
What to Do After a DUI Arrest
Once you have been arrested, you should immediately call a reliable DUI attorney. You will be allowed a phone call and that should be your call or else a call to someone who can reach a lawyer for you. This is vitally important so that evidence regarding your arrest can be uncovered, investigated, and challenged by your attorney in court where applicable. Many aspects of your arrest can be scrutinized for flaws, from why you were pulled over in the first place to how the breathalyzer test was conducted and more. DWI arrests and convictions are based on technical and scientific aspects as well as legal factors. All of these can contain mistakes that can work in your favor. However, you will need a lawyer who understands what to look for and how to use it in court for your defense.
A DWI conviction will lead to a permanent criminal record that can follow you into the future, harming your prospects for employment, rental housing, professional licenses, and more. Your chances for avoiding this permanent punishment will be increased with legal help from Eldridge & Blakney, PC.
DWI arrest? Contact one of our experienced litigators at (865) 544-2010 for a free consultation or request your consultation through our online form today.