Tennessee DUI laws provide mandatory minimum sentences, and sentence enhancement factors, for those who are convicted. A DUI first offense carries a minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail and a $350.00 fine, among other things. This minimum sentence however can be increased in several ways. For example, if your blood alcohol level is 0.20% or higher, the minimum sentence is raised to 7 days, even on a first offense. For those charged with DUI with a minor in the vehicle, the minimum jail time is substantially increased to 30 days. Read on to understand the different sentence enhancements and criminal charges that can be brought against you.
Minor child in the car = 30 Days in Jail
You'll face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail if convicted of a DUI with a minor child in the vehicle. You'll also receive a minimum fine of $1,000.00. Please note, these are the minimum sentences. The potential offer from the prosecutor or the sentence handed down by the judge can much stiffer. This will vary by county and by judge. DUI first offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, and a $1,500.00 fine.
Minor child in the car who is injured = Felony
If you are found guilty of DUI, and had a minor present in the vehicle who suffered serious bodily injury, then you're looking at a Class D Felony. This has a minimum sentence of 2 years and a maximum of 12 years in confinement, plus a fine of up to $5,000.00.
Additional charges can be brought
In addition to the sentence enhancement factors listed above, you could be charged with child endangerment, vehicular assault, or even vehicular homicide if there was a death. Call the experienced DUI attorneys at Saenz & Maniatis, PLLC today to discuss your case at (615) 366-1211. Hablamos Español.
For information on Breathalyzers, click here.