Free Consultation For DUI Charges In Tennessee
If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can advise you of your rights and raise a vigorous defense on your behalf. A DUI is a serious matter that can result in a criminal record, driver’s license suspension, jail time and other serious criminal penalties.
What Charges Are You Facing?
At the law firm of Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers, we provide a vigorous defense against all DUI and related charges, including:
- First-time DUI — Even if this is your first DUI charge, you still face stiff consequences for conviction. We will protect your rights and seek a favorable resolution on your behalf.
- Felony DUI — If someone was injured or killed in an accident related to your DUI, or you had a child with you, prosecutors could bring felony charges. Our attorneys offer a strong defense at this critical time.
- Underage DUI — Your future is at stake when you’re up against allegations of underage DUI. Our law firm can take your side and guide you to an effective response.
- Repeat DUI — Second and subsequent offenses generally carry enhanced penalties. We can help you make a strong defense against charges of a repeat DUI.
In all types of DUI cases, we work proactively to protect or regain your driving privileges. This includes skilled representation at driver’s license suspension hearings.
Pushing Back Against Your Charges
Since DUI law is very technical, it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our firm has decades of criminal law experience. We aggressively challenge the prosecution’s evidence, including the validity of the vehicle stop, field sobriety tests, arrest, Breathalyzer or blood tests, and the officer’s account of events.
It is important to retain an attorney very early in a case in order to file the necessary motions for preservation of blood samples and preservation of any video recordings or radio traffic recordings of your stop.
There are multiple stages of a DUI arrest which should be examined closely by an experienced DUI attorney. The first stage is the reason for the initial stop or initial contact by law enforcement officers. We will look at whether an officer had a reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop or contact and if the officer relied on any of the 24 cues for impaired driving listed in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual.
The second stage involves the initial contact between the officer and the driver. We will look at any reported observations of the officer and any requests or demands made by the officer.
The third stage involves the standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs). Police officers are trained to conduct SFSTs according to the NHTSA manual. The determination of how one performs on these field sobriety tests is based on the subjective belief of the officer. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the video of the SFSTs to analyze and challenge the officer’s subjective determination that SFSTs indicated impairment.
REMEMBER: YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE SFSTs UNDER TENNESSEE LAW. POLITELY TELL THE OFFICER THAT YOU REFUSE TO ATTEMPT THEM AND THEN DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ELSE — AS YOU ARE PROBABLY BEING VIDEOTAPED.
What Does The Implied Consent Law Require?
Once a driver is placed under arrest for DUI, the implied consent law requires a driver to consent to a blood or breath test or the driver can lose his or her license. If a driver chooses to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test, the reliability of those tests should not be assumed. There are many factors than can affect the validity of a chemical test, including operator error, unique characteristics of the driver, reliability of the equipment and machines used, and preservation and handling of the samples themselves.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, the law requires a forced blood draw for every DUI stop involving one of the following factors: (1) if the driver has a previous conviction for DUI, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide, (2) if the driver has been involved in an accident causing injury or death to another, or (3) if a passenger in the car is under 16 years old. No consent is necessary, and the law requires the officer to force a blood test of the driver.
DUIs are not simple cases. Having a criminal defense attorney experienced in the field of DUI defense is important to the ultimate outcome of your case. People who retain our firm can be confident that their case will be handled with care. We have been providing high-quality criminal defense representation to clients since the establishment of our firm in 1969. Our office enjoys a very high reputation throughout the community as a result of our history of success, dedication to clients and professionalism.
If retained to handle your DUI case, we have the ability to handle all aspects of your defense, including all criminal charges and all civil DUI license suspension hearings. Our objective is to protect your license, your record and your future.
Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and flexible appointment times are available. To contact our firm about a drunk driving charge, call 423-933-2738, or contact us by email.