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Memphis DUI Lawyer

The annual Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Crime in Tennessee report for 2020 reported a total of 18,167 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in the state in 2020. That translates to an average of almost 50 arrests per day. Hence, DUI remains a very common criminal offense, and people facing DUI charges need to quickly hire a Memphis DUI lawyer to help fight the charges.

DUI convictions can have many severe consequences for an alleged offender, so you will want to have legal representation for assistance in fighting to retain your freedom. Many people are confused about their rights during DUI stops and assume they are automatically guilty when there is an arrest for DUI. Still, the truth is that DUI charges can be dismissed for many reasons.

Types of DUI Offenses Our Memphis DUI Lawyer Handles

Our firm handles many kinds of DUI cases in the greater Memphis area, including:

  • First DUI
  • Second DUI
  • Third DUI
  • Fourth or subsequent DUI
  • Implied consent violations
  • Vehicular assault
  • Child endangerment
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated

Possible Criminal Penalties in Memphis

The Tennessee state drunk driving statute is Tennessee Code § 55-10-401, which establishes that it is illegal for any person to drive or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, intoxicant, marijuana, substance affecting the central nervous system, drug, or any combination impairing their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. By depriving them of the clearness of mind and control of oneself that a driver would otherwise possess; the alcohol concentration in the alleged offender’s blood or breath is eight-hundredths of one percent (0.08 percent) or more, or with a blood alcohol concentration of four-hundredths of one percent (0.04 percent) or more and the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle.

Tennessee Code § 55-10-415 further prohibits minors from driving under the influence, and underage driving while impaired (DWI) is a crime stating that a person under 21 years of age cannot drive or be in physical control of an automobile or other motor-driven vehicle while they are under the influence of any intoxicant, drug, marijuana, controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, substance affecting the central nervous system, or any combination impairing the alleged offender’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle by depriving the driver of the clearness of mind and self-control that a driver would otherwise possess; or the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is two-hundredths of one percent (0.02 percent) or more.

DUI offenses are typically punishable as follows:

  • First DUI – Punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a $1,500 fine, license revocation for one year, restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss, possible drug and alcohol treatment
  • Second DUI – Punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a $3,500 fine, license revocation for two years, restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss, possible drug and alcohol treatment, ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for six months after reinstatement at alleged offender’s expense when two DUI convictions within five years
  • Third DUI – Punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, a $10,000 fine, license revocation for six years, restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss, possible drug and alcohol treatment, ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for six months after reinstatement at alleged offender’s expense when two DUI convictions within five years
  • Fourth or subsequent DUI – Class E felony punishable by -up to six years in prison, a $15,000 fine, license revocation for eight years, restitution to any person suffering physical injury or personal loss, possible drug and alcohol treatment, ignition interlock device (IID) requirement for six months after reinstatement at alleged offender’s expense when two DUI convictions within five years
  • Implied consent violations – Revocation of license for one year for a first offense, revocation of license for two years for a second offense, revocation of license for two years if the crash resulted in bodily injury, revocation of license for five years if the crash resulted in death
  • Vehicular assault – Class D felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, license revocation for up to five years depending on the number of prior offenses with no restricted license
  • Child endangerment – Class D felony if a child suffers serious injury punishable by up to 12 years in prison, Class B felony if a child is killed punishable by up to 30 years in prison, license revocation
  • Vehicular homicide – Class B felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, license revocation for up to 10 years with no restricted license
  • Aggravated vehicular assault while driving intoxicated – Class A felony punishable by up to 60 years in prison

Memphis Courts

Many DUI cases in Memphis are handled in the General Sessions Criminal Courts, which are comprised of nine criminal courts. It is Divisions 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15 that handle misdemeanor cases, while one court handles felony cases each month.

The felony court will rotate among courts on a monthly basis, and no jury trials are held in General Sessions Criminal Courts. Criminal courts in the Memphis area include the following 15 courts and judges, all sharing the same location.

  • Judge Paula Skahan

Division 1
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 5th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge Glenn Wright

Division 2
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 5th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Judge Bobby Carter

Division 3
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 5th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge Carolyn Wade Blackett

Division 4
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 5th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3208

  • Judge James M. Lammey, Jr.

Division 5
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 6th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge John W. Campbell

Division 6
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 6th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Hon. Lee Coffee

Division 7
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 6th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3216

  • Judge Christopher B. Craft

Division 8
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 6th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge W. Mark Ward

Division 9
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 7th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge Jennifer Mitchell

Division 10
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., 7th Floor
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 222-3328

  • Judge Karen Massey

Division 11
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., Suite LL-56
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Judge S. Ronald Lucchesi

Division 12
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., Suite LL-56
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Judge Louis J. Montesi, Jr.

Division 13
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., Suite LL-56
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Judge Larry E. Potter

Division 14 (Environmental Court)
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., Suite LL-56
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Judge Loyce Lambert-Ryan

Division 15
Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar Ave., Suite LL-56
Memphis, TN 38103

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Memphis DUI Attorney

Are you now facing any kind of DUI charges in the Memphis area? It will be important for you to get in touch with Pickford Law so we can fight to make sure that you can achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your criminal case.

Our firm handles scores of DUI cases and knows how to help people earn reductions in or dismissals of criminal charges. You can call (901) 424-1920 or contact us online to receive a free consultation so we can sit down with you and go over your case details while answering every question you might have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I expunge or seal a DUI offense on my criminal record?

There is no expungement for DUI convictions in Tennessee unless there was a dismissal of the DUI charges or you did not receive a conviction.

What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI?

DUI is the general term used for the crime of driving under the influence, while DWI in Tennessee refers to the minor-related drunk driving offense of driving while impaired. DWI is also used in other jurisdictions for the offense of driving while intoxicated.

How do DUI offenses affect individuals with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs)?

Again, people operating commercial vehicles are held to a much higher standard in Tennessee and must have blood alcohol concentrations that are 0.04 percent, or only half as much as the legal limit for all other drivers. A DUI conviction in Tennessee can mean the loss of a CDL for one year. It is important that you can lose your CDL even if your arrest occurs while you are driving a traditional personal passenger vehicle.

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