Can DUI Charges Be Reduced in TN? What You Need to Know

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A DUI conviction can lead to jail time, license suspension, and a criminal record that follows you for years to come. It’s a devastating blow, not just to your personal life but to your professional life as well.

But here’s the thing: A DUI charge doesn’t always have to end in a conviction. In fact, with the right legal strategy and representation, it may be possible to have your charge reduced or even dismissed entirely.

As DUI defense attorneys, we’ve seen firsthand how a strategic approach can make all the difference in the outcome of a case. In this blog post, we’ll be sharing some insights into how a DUI charge can potentially be reduced in Tennessee, and what you need to know if you find yourself in this situation.

So, if you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge, don’t lose hope. Keep reading or contact us today to learn more about your options and how an experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate this difficult time.

Strategies for Fighting a DUI Charge

When facing a DUI charge, two primary outcomes are often targeted by defense attorneys: case dismissal and charge reduction.

Several factors can influence whether a DUI charge may be reduced to reckless driving, including:

  • The severity of the offense (e.g., blood alcohol content, any accidents or injuries)
  • Your prior criminal history
  • The strength of the evidence against you

It’s important to note that every case is unique, and the possibility of a charge reduction depends on the specific details of your situation.

Case Dismissal

A case dismissal is often the result of a lack of convincing evidence against you. This can include inconsistencies in your blood alcohol content (BAC) readings, flaws in field sobriety tests, or even procedural errors such as the arresting officer not having a valid reason (aka probable cause) for the initial stop.

Dismissal means you’re entirely cleared of the DUI charge and can move forward without a criminal record affecting your life.

Dismissal is also possible through convincing a jury of your peers that the State cannot prove all the elements of DUI beyond a reasonable doubt. However, taking a case to trial always involves some level of risk, as the outcome is ultimately in the hands of the jury.

Charge Reduction

Alternatively, charge reduction comes into play when complete dismissal seems unlikely, but there’s room for legal maneuvering. This usually involves negotiating your DUI charge down to a lesser offense like reckless driving.

In Tennessee, you may have the option of pleading to a “lesser included offense” known as standard reckless driving. This charge may be an option for some individuals facing DUI charges, depending on the specific circumstances of their case.

Reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in a manner that exhibits a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others or property. A reckless driving conviction as a reduced DUI charge may come with enhanced penalties that are more severe than standard reckless driving but less severe than a DUI, such as:

  • DUI school
  • Fines
  • Possible jail time (2-10 days), depending on the severity of the offense

While a reckless driving charge is still serious, it does offer some advantages compared to a DUI conviction, like:

  • You may be able to keep your driver’s license
  • You won’t be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • You may be eligible for having the charge erased from your record (expungement) after one year through a process called “diversion”

Ultimately, whether case dismissal or charge reduction is the best way forward will depend on the facts of your case. Our criminal defense attorneys can assess the prosecution’s case against you and help determine how to get you the most favorable outcome.

How a DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You

A criminal defense attorney may help reduce DUI charges to reckless driving by negotiating with the prosecutor or presenting evidence that challenges the prosecution’s case.

Here are some strategies that an experienced attorney might employ:

  • Challenging the evidence: Your lawyer could scrutinize the accuracy of breathalyzer tests, field sobriety tests, or other evidence presented by law enforcement.
  • Questioning probable cause: If there was no valid reason for stopping you in the first place, any evidence gathered by law enforcement could become inadmissible.
  • Presenting mitigating factors: By demonstrating circumstances like voluntary participation in alcohol treatment programs, your attorney may sway the court’s opinion in your favor.

Remember, every case is unique; therefore, it’s crucial to have a legal advocate fighting for you. Don’t leave anything to chance when facing a DUI charge – choose a competent attorney who focuses on this area of law and has demonstrated success defending clients like yourself.

Contact The Law Office of Sam Byrd to Get Your DUI Charges Reduced

Don’t wait to seek legal representation if you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI. The consequences of a conviction can be severe, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

At The Law Office of Sam Byrd, we understand the intricacies of Tennessee’s DUI laws and are committed to helping our clients achieve a favorable outcome for their cases.

Contact us today to schedule and learn how we can defend your rights and potentially get your charges reduced to reckless driving. Don’t face these charges alone – trust The Law Office of Sam Byrd to fight for you.

Author Bio

Sam Byrd is the owner and managing attorney at The Law Office of Sam Byrd. With hands-on experience in divorce, family law, criminal law, and DUI/DWI cases, Sam has been serving clients in Tennessee since 2012. He graduated with a J.D. from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 2012 and holds a B.S. in Legal Studies from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2009.

He began his legal career as a paralegal, working under his father’s guidance. Prior to that, Sam served in the United States Marine Corps as a member of the 2/7 Weapons Company stationed at 29 Palms, California.

Sam has received several accolades for his work, including being recognized as a Rising Star in Divorce & Family Law by Tennessee SuperLawyers in 2020, 2019, and 2018. He is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 under 40, an exclusive professional organization for top trial lawyers under the age of 40. Sam’s commitment to continuous learning and improvement is demonstrated by his certifications in Trial Skills from the National College of DUI Defense in 2019 and 2018.

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