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What happens if I'm in an accident while driving intoxicated?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause you big problems in Tennessee, and the problems can be worse if you are in an accident with injuries or a death. In fact, a DUI that would have been a misdemeanor can suddenly become a felony.

If you were driving under the influence and cause a serious injury to another person, you could be charged with the Class D felony vehicular assault. The penalties for vehicular assault include

• Sentences ranging between 2 and 12 years requiring mandatory minimums in jail as follows:

o First Offense - Minimum of 48 hours up to maximum sentence within range

o Second Alcohol Related Offense - Minimum of 45 days up to maximum

o Third Alcohol Related Offense - Minimum of 120 days up to maximum

o Fourth or More Alcohol Related Offense - Minimum of 150 days up to maximum

• A fine of up to $5,000

• Depending on your whether you have prior DUI offenses, a license revocation of between 1 and 5 years

• Fees and court costs

• Possible restitution to your victim

• Possible drug and alcohol treatment

• Possible ignition interlock requirement

Vehicular homicide is even more serious. If you were under the influence and cause a fatal crash, you could be charged with a Class B felony. That could result in:

• Between 8 and 30 years' imprisonment - with minimum sentences required depending on prior alcohol related offenses

• A fine of up to $25,000

• License revocation for between 3 and 10 years

• Fees and court costs

• Possible restitution to your victim

• Possible drug and alcohol treatment

• Possible ignition interlock requirement

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide - If you have two or more prior DUI convictions or vehicular assault convictions, one of each, or a prior vehicular homicide conviction, you could also be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide while driving intoxicated. You can also be charged with this offense if you had a blood alcohol content of 0.20% or greater and have a prior vehicular assault or DUI conviction. Aggravated vehicular homicide while driving intoxicated is a Class A felony carrying penalties such as:

•· Between 15 and 60 years in prison

•· A fine of up to $50,000

•· License revocation with no restricted license available

•· Fees and court costs

•· Possible restitution to your victim

•· Possible drug and alcohol treatment

You can't afford a vehicular assault or homicide conviction

If you injured or killed someone while driving intoxicated, you're already suffering. This event will change your life forever.

Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself to talk to an experienced DUI defense attorney about your rights and legal options.

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Chattanooga, TN 37402-2913

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