A drunk driving charge is a serious criminal charge, no matter if it is your first offense or you have multiple DUIs already on your criminal record. There are several factors, however, that could elevate a DUI to a felony charge and result in life-altering penalties.
If you are facing drunk driving charges of any kind in Tennessee, you would be wise to learn about the defense options available to you. No matter the details of your individual case, there are ways that you can confront these charges and fight back against some the potential penalties that can come with a conviction.
Serious charges related to drunk driving
In certain circumstances, a drunk driving offense can become a felony charge. The penalties for a conviction of this type of crime are more severe and have a significant, long-term impact on a defendant. Some of these drunk driving-related charges include the following:
- Child endangerment: If you have a person under the age of 18 in your car at the time of your DUI arrest, you will face child endangerment charges. This is a class D felony charge and includes the following penalties:
- Revocation of license from one to five years
- Jail time of two to 12 years
- Not eligible for a restricted license
- Expensive fines and other various penalties
- Vehicular homicide: If you cause a fatal accident while driving drunk, you will face a class B felony charge. Some of the penalties associated with this type of charge include:
- Revocation of driver's license for three to 10 years
- Restricted license not available
- Vehicular assault: If you cause a drunk driving car accident that results in injury to another person, you will face this class D felony charge. The penalties associated with this charge include:
- License revocation for one to five years
- Jail time for two to 12 years
- No restricted license available
- Other fines and court fees
If facing any of the above charges, you have no time to lose in knowing how you can protect your rights and interests.
Can you fight back?
You may feel hopeless after an arrest or charge for drunk driving, especially if it is a felony charge, but you always have the right to fight back. In fact, it may be possible to challenge the case against you or mitigate some of the penalties that could negatively affect your life. Building a strong defense is time-sensitive, and it is prudent to take quick action as soon as possible after an arrest.