Many people who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Knox County and the surrounding areas have never encountered the legal system before, much less the criminal justice system. Chief among their concerns when they come to our office is whether or not they will go to jail.
As with most criminal charges, there is no one-size-fits-all sentence for DUIs. If or how much time you spend in jail depends on numerous factors, not the least of which is whether you hire an experienced lawyer to help you defend your case.
In defending your DUI case, a lawyer will work to refute the evidence against you, examining issues like the following:
- Did police have probable cause? Police officers must have a reasonable suspicion that you were not safe behind the wheel in order to pull you over. You attorney will examine the police report, test results, video surveillance tapes and perhaps witness statements, if available, to determine whether this burden was met. If not, your charges could be reduced or dropped.
- Were sobriety tests accurately and properly administered? Your lawyer should question whether field sobriety tests or chemical BAC testing was administered under proper conditions, during the lawfully-allowed time period, and on well-calibrated machines in good working order. If you refused to take a chemical test such as a Breathalyzer or blood test, you will automatically have your license temporarily revoked but it doesn't automatically mean you will receive jail time.
- Does video surveillance or eyewitness testimony support the prosecution's case or yours? In the last year, Knox County sheriff's deputies have begun wearing body cameras. Many squad cars also include cameras on the dashboard. Your lawyer can request this evidence, as well as any eyewitness testimony from a bystander or passenger in the car with you to determine whether all the proper protocols were followed.
- Do you have previous DUI offenses? Mandatory minimum jail sentences apply to those with previous DUI convictions. If you have a prior DUI conviction on your record, having a strong defense lawyer on your side is more important than ever.
No one can predict the future, so whether or not you will go to jail cannot be answered definitively until the chips fall. That being said, an experienced defense lawyer can review the facts of your case, give you sound advice on your DUI defense options, and aggressively defend your rights and freedom.