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At Hagar and Phillips, we understand that every case is unique, and we approach each one with the seriousness and diligence it deserves. Trust us to provide you with the robust defense necessary to protect your rights and your future.
Tennessee’s implied consent law provides that drivers are deemed to have given their implied consent to a breath test or a blood test when the police pull them over suspecting them of possibly operating a vehicle under the influence. Tennessee’s implied consent law provides: “The operator of a motor vehicle in this state is deemed to have given implied consent to breath tests, blood tests, or both tests, to determine the alcohol or drug content of that operator’s blood.” The law further provides that an officer must inform you that refusal to take said tests will result in suspending driving privileges and the ability to drive only with an ignition interlock device.
They certainly can be, as the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or some other controlled substance. When the police pull you over and suspect that you may be operating your vehicle under the influence, the police could ask you to exit the vehicle and perform such tests. The tests purportedly help the police determine whether you are under the influence. For example, if a person cannot walk in a straight line and is unsteady on his or her feet, that may signify impairment. There are several types of field sobriety tests, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test; the Walk and Turn Test; and the One Leg Stand Test. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test requires you to follow a shining light. The Walk and Turn Test requires you to walk down a straight line and then turn back and do it again. Meanwhile, the One Leg Stand Test is what it sounds like — you must stand on one leg. But there may be legitimate or innocent reasons why a person performs poorly on a field sobriety test. Someone could have a physical impairment, or be very tired, or have an eye condition. The tests also may not be performed properly. An effective criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge the officer successfully who performed these tests. For example, the attorney may be able to show that the officer did not consider other relevant factors, such as the type of shoes a defendant wore, the defendant’s lack of sleep, or other conditions.
The penalties for a second DUI are much greater than those for a first-time offender. A second offense carries more imprisonment, increased fines, a longer loss of driving privileges, and possible vehicle seizure. The minimum time of imprisonment for a second DUI is 45 days in jail, as compared to only 48 hours for a first DUI. The fines for a second DUI conviction are between $600.00 and $3,500.00. Furthermore, a person can lose their driver’s license for up to two years on a second DUI as opposed to one year for a first offense. Even worse, there is a possibility under Tennessee law for a person to have their vehicle seized after a second DUI conviction.
A first offense DUI carries a sentence from 48 hours in jail to a sentence of up to eleven (11) months and 29 days. It is far more common for someone convicted of a first-time DUI to serve 48 hours in jail. However, if you are extremely intoxicated — which Tennessee law defines as someone with a BAC of .20% or more, then the potential sentence is more severe —- there is a minimum sentence of seven days in jail. The penalty is even worse if you are convicted of a DUI where a minor is in the car. The penalty for a DUI with a minor in the vehicle includes a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail. Additional penalties for any DUI include fines and mandatory attendance at a substance abuse program. For a first DUI offense, the fine ranges between $350.00 to $1,500.00. You also can lose your ability to drive for up to a year. The law also requires you to pay restitution to any person who may have been injured or suffered property damage as a result of your drunk driving. Additionally, the Tennessee DUI law also gives the judge the option of ordering a defendant to a drug and alcohol treatment program as a form of probation.
Driving under the influence is a crime under Tennessee law. It involves driving or being in “physical control” of a vehicle on any street or road with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% percent or more. It applies to someone who is not only under the influence of alcohol but also to someone who operates a motor vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, stimulant, controlled substance, or other substance that impacts the central nervous system to the extent that she or he cannot operate the vehicle safely.
There is a lesser included offense to burglary called criminal trespass. Tennessee law defines criminal trespass as entering or remaining on the property of another without the consent of the owner. The key difference between burglary and criminal trespass is that a defendant who commits burglary has the intent to enter a building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault. The person who commits criminal trespass does not have that same intent. Tennessee law provides that it is a defense to the crime of criminal trespass if the defendant reasonably believed that she had the consent of the property owner or if the defendant left the property immediately upon request.
Tennessee law elevates the burglary offense when a person unlawfully enters a building or habitation with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault and a victim suffers serious bodily injury. This crime is called “especially aggravated burglary.” This crime carries even more punishment, as it is classified as a Class B felony. The idea behind this elevated burglary offense is that the law should punish this more because a victim suffered serious bodily injury.
Tennessee law punishes the burglary of a home or habitation more severely. Such conduct constitutes aggravated burglary rather than burglary. In other words, if a person enters a building intending to steal or commit a felony, the person has committed the crime of burglary. But, if that same person instead enters a home with the same intent, the crime becomes aggravated burglary. Aggravated burglary carries a punishment of a Class C felony.
Tennessee’s burglary law defines entering as the “intrusion of any part of the body” or “intrusion of any object in physical contact with the body or any object controlled by remote control, electronic or otherwise.” Thus, if a person physically walks into a building, a person has entered. Technically, a person has entered a building if the person sticks his arm through an open building window.
Tennessee law defines burglary in four different ways. First, burglary involves entering a building other than a habitation or place where persons reside with the intent to commit a “felony, theft, or assault.” Second, burglary also includes the related conduct of remaining concealed inside such a building with the intent of committing such a felony, theft, or assault. Third, burglary involves the conduct of entering a building and committing a felony, theft, or assault. Fourth and finally, burglary involves the entering of “any freight or passenger car, automobile, truck, trailer, boat, airplane, or other motor vehicle” with the intent to commit felony, theft, or assault. Thus, the essence of the crime of burglary is entering a building – or vehicle – with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault. Burglary is generally classified as a Class D felony. However, if the person burglarizes a car or other vehicle, that type of burglary is classified as a Class E felony. A key aspect of this crime is intent. The defendant must enter the building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault. Oftentimes, the state attempts to prove intent under the burglary laws but focuses on the manner in which the defendant entered the building. For example, if a defendant breaks a window and enters the building, there is a good argument that the defendant entered with intent to commit a crime. However, if a defendant simply walks through an open door, there is an argument that the defendant did not enter with the required intent to commit a felony.