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Multiple offense sentencing for DUI in Tennessee

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense that can result in severe penalties, including jail time and fines. You may be subject to multiple offense sentencing if you are found guilty of DUI in Bartlett, Tennessee.

What is multiple offense sentencing?

Multiple offense sentencing is a penalty program in Tennessee Code Title 55 that allows the court to impose more than one punishment for a criminal offense. This includes any combination of prison time, probation, fines, or community service.

Why is multiple offense sentencing significant?

Multiple offense sentencing gives offenders a sense of accountability and helps deter future criminal behavior. It also sends a message to other potential offenders that DUI is not tolerated in Tennessee.

What are the consequences for a DUI in Tennessee Code Title 55?

This is not an exhaustive penalty list, but takes a look at the first four repeated offenses:

  • First offense 48 hours in county jail up to 11 months and 29 days and highway litter pickup duty.
    If BAC is .20% minimum is seven consecutive days and highway litter pickup duty.
  • Second offense county jail or workhouse for 45 days and no more than 11 months and 29 days.
    Can conditionally be sentenced to attend a substance abuse program.
  • Third offense 120 days to 11 months and 29 days maximum. They can also be conditionally sentenced to a substance abuse program.
  • Fourth offense is a felony, with 150 days and a maximum allowed authorized for a Class E felony.
  • There are also additional, conditional sentences that can result in class D and B felony convictions.

Additional consequences

If you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee criminal law, your criminal record will reflect the offense. This can have additional significant consequences, including:

  • Impaired driving privileges. Suppose you have an impaired driving conviction on your criminal record. In that case, you may not be able to operate a motor vehicle with a driver’s license or permit. This includes owning or operating a motor vehicle as a passenger. In addition, you may be required to submit to periodic testing for alcohol or drug use.
  • Higher insurance rates. Your insurance rates will likely increase if you have been convicted of DUI multiple times. This is because insurers consider DUI convictions substantially more severe than other traffic violations.
  • Hardship licenses. Suppose you are required to hold a hardship license due to your prior DUI conviction. In that case, this will also count as a violation of your criminal record and could lead to further penalties, such as suspension of your driver’s license or refusal to issue a new license.

Laws from state to state will vary, but in Tennessee, multiple DUI offenses can lead to very harsh penalties. Aggravating circumstances can also elevate misdemeanor charges to felonies.

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