When Tennessee police officers suspect that someone is under the influence, they may pull them over to better determine whether they are high or drunk. People get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) offenses every day across Tennessee. Many of these motorists accused of intoxication plead guilty. They think that going to court will be inconvenient and that fighting back might put them at elevated risk of being sentenced to harsher penalties.
The inconvenience of a criminal trial is often one of the main factors that influences a defendant’s response to pending charges. If someone lives outside of Tennessee, facing DUI charges can present a particularly significant challenge. Many workers, like contractors and construction professionals, work temporarily in Tennessee. Such professionals may plead guilty because they don’t want to return to Tennessee for court, which could be expensive and damaging to their reputation.
However, ultimately, those who live in other jurisdictions while facing a DUI in Tennessee may benefit from securing in-state legal representation.
A Tennessee lawyer knows what’s at risk
The penalties for DUI charges are different in every state, and every judge has a different way of handling these cases. Someone familiar with Tennessee state law can provide a defendant with more accurate information about the risks in their case. From the possible penalties to the way a specific judge has handled such cases in the past, there are many details that a local lawyer can provide better assistance with than someone from out of state.
In some scenarios, an in-state defense attorney can help someone plan an appropriate defense strategy, possibly while minimizing the need for the defendant to return to the state. They may be able to forgo attending hearings if their lawyer will be present on their behalf. An attorney can also sometimes arrange to have an out-of-state defendant testify via secure video calling.
Additionally, a lawyer familiar with the Tennessee court system could help an out-of-state defendant explore possible options for pre-trial diversion that could help them keep their record clean. Instead of pleading guilty to an offense that occurred in another state and waiting to see how the courts respond, it is often better for those accused of drunk driving in Tennessee to obtain local help when fighting back against those allegations.
Recognizing that seeking in-state counsel to manage an out-of-state living situation is a major complicating factor for a DUI case may benefit someone who has been recently arrested while visiting or working in Tennessee.