If you find yourself in need to employ an experienced and aggressive Tennessee DUI/DUI lawyer, you are in the right office. More likely than not, you have never been through this ordeal before and do not know who to call. You probably don’t even know what questions to ask a lawyer. Chances are you are scared to death. Some folks experience post arrest headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and other physical symptoms as a result of a recent arrest. You may be tearful often and much. Read on: help can be on the way if you are wise in your choice of defense lawyers. Many people know a lawyer from their neighborhood, religious place of worship, community, other places. Feel free to ask about our office and the quality of our work. Those lawyers do not enter the disciple of study in DUI defense. Many may practice real estate, divorce or other fields of law unrelated to the complexities of defending a person charged with DUI or vehicular homicide. If you have been through the arrest process before, you know how important it is to hire an experienced defense lawyer; one who can challenge the police or the accuracy of a chemical test result. If arrested, despite your history with the courts, you will need a lawyer who views a “guilty plea” only when there are no alternatives; not one who talks you in to pleading guilty when you believe in your innocence. Finding a lawyer who is experienced in handling DUI cases should be your top priority. DUI laws are constantly changing and the consequences of a conviction are becoming harsher and harsher, not to mention the negative impact of being labeled “drunk driver” for the rest of your life.
One aspect of your arrest is often present in our interviews: the person about to go court does not think about the collateral consequences of a conviction. You should be aware there are many collateral demons out there that are not written within the DUI statute. For example, international travel may be restricted. Your insurance rate may increase or your credit scores could be affected. Finally, we have heard of instances where spouses have sought divorce or won custody cases over DUI convictions. You may feel like you have the traditional scarlet letter hanging over your head.
It is extremely important to find an experienced, competent DUI lawyer who knows how to fully and completely investigate your case for factual and legal defences, interview witnesses, suppress evidence, compel discovery of offense reports and breath test, maintenance records of scientific instruments, negotiate for a dismissal or reduction in charges, obtain expert witnesses for trial, and/or attempt to save your driving privileges. The lawyer who knows how to win the “difficult” cases are the ones that bring the best prepared case to the courtroom. This is the office you need to be acting as your lawyer.
How Do I Choose A DUI Lawyer?
Don’t even think about proceeding without a lawyer. A person who represents himself or herself in court is a candidate for prosecutorial cannibalism. The judge will lecture you on your need to find a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer.
We believe that experience counts. Not every lawyer on television has the jury trial experience with DUI or vehicular homicide cases this office has had. Not every lawyer who advertises him or herself as “having your best interest” is a skilled lawyer. Ask the lawyer who knows who the good lawyers are and the best skilled lawyers around.
Even if you believe that you're guilty of something, you're still legally presumed innocent. A good lawyer can evaluate the strength of the proof against you in ways that you cannot do yourself. You no more can evaluate the strength of your case that a lawyer could make a medical diagnosis.
A major issue in every case is whether the police overstepped their bounds and unlawfully stopped, arrested, tested and charged you. A good lawyer will evaluate whether you were treated within the bounds of the law. If your rights were violated, there may be no case against you, or a reduced value to the prosecution’s case.
Tennessee evidence in your case may include a breath test machine or your blood sample or your urine to chemically test your blood alcohol content. One thing you may not know is that urine tests are not reliable for alcohol content at the time of driving. If charged with a drug violation while operating an automobile the police may have you evaluated by a Drug Recognition Officer. A DUI lawyer is trained to challenge the admissibility of these results to ensure that your legal rights have been protected. Often the prosecution’s case is wholly based entirely on the admission or exclusion of these tests into evidence.
Finally, the assistance of a good lawyer is critical in limiting the damage that a DUI/DUI case or conviction can have on your family, your life and your livelihood. A good lawyer will direct you to the help and counseling that you may need to mitigate the damage of alcohol a DUI/DUI/DRUG case. If convicted a good lawyer can argue for minimum revocation, fines, jail, or reduced or amended charges.
If you do not have a sense of comfort and confidence after meeting with a lawyer about your case, you should continue to look. After meeting with the lawyer, the following should be evident:
- The attorney has extensive experience in litigating and trying DUI cases.
- The attorney has a reputation for going to trial (not for pleading clients guilty)
- The attorney has won difficult cases (they are not all talk).
- You feel comfortable in the manner in which the lawyer communicated with you.
- The attorney listened to you.
- The attorney was genuinely interested in you and your case.
- The financial agreement was clearly defined.
- You have a strong sense of confidence in their ability to professionally and competently handle your case.
Our lead attorney James A. H. Bell has more than forty years of experience handling DUI cases throughout Tennessee. Mr. Bell handles drunk driving offenses and drug offenses statewide including municipalities in:
- Knox County
- Sevier County
- Blount County
- Union County
- Loudon County
- Campbell County
- Claiborne County
- Anderson County
- Jefferson County