One of the most common driving offenses that can put you on a criminal record in Tennessee is a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. This type of criminal charge can affect your employment and education, but can also impact your driving record. Once you are charged with a DUI, you may lose certain driving privileges and each DUI you are charged with will be put on your driving record for officers to see when they pull you over. If you are concerned about this, consider hiring a Tennessee criminal law lawyer who can work with you to figure out your options. 

Being Arrested for DUI

The first thing that will happen if an officer charges you with a , is you will be arrested and booked at the police station. Your length of stay at the police station may depend on how soon you sober up and when a hearing is scheduled.

Different consequences can come out of a hearing depending on how you acted when you were arrested, whether the DUI resulted in a car accident, and how intoxicated you were. 

Common consequences of a first-time DUI can include paying a large fine and license suspension for a certain period of time. This means you may not be able to drive anywhere for a while. If your license is not suspended, you will have an ignition interlock device placed in your car that requires you to take a breathalyzer test to start your car. You will also be required in Tennessee to attend an alcohol and drug treatment program. 

The DUI charge itself will go on your criminal and driving record. This can impact what could happen if you are charged again with other traffic violations or criminal offenses. Talk to a lawyer if you are concerned about these consequences. 

Consequences of a DUI Felony

The differences between a misdemeanor and a  charge involve the degree of intoxication and damage caused by your actions. Car accidents caused by drinking while driving that lead to personal injuries and death are one example. A history of DUI charges can build up to a felony charge. If a child was in your car during a DUI charge, this can also warrant a felony-level charge. 

Other common examples involve driving with a suspended driver’s license or being found with a BAC level that is significantly higher than the legal limit for driving. The consequences for this kind of charge can involve the same consequences for any DUI cha, except to a greater degree. Your fines will be higher and jail time will be longer. A felony charge can prevent you from buying guns, voting, and can result in higher insurance rates.