Understanding the Fines and Sentencing of a First Offense DUI in Tennessee

the bowlin firm

Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-402 and Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-403 prescribes the term and means of the sentences and fines related to a DUI offense.

If you are charged with DUI, First Offense, you are subjected to a sentence of incarceration of not less than forth-eight (48) hours and no more than eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days. What does this mean? This means that if you are convicted or enter a Plea of Guilty to a charge of DUI First Offense you will be required to serve a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours (unless your Blood Alcohol Content is .20 or more, this topic to be discussed later in a Blog on "Enhancements for DUI Offenses"). These forty-eight (48) hours must be served consecutively (all at once) and cannot be broken up into segments. In other words you cannot serve four (4) hours per weekend over the course of twelve (12) weekends. Keep in mind this is the "minimum" sentence. You are also subjected to a maximum sentence of eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days. Therefore, the court has a sentence "range" of at least forty-eight (48) hours, and no more than eleven (11) months and twenty nine (29) days.

For example, if you were ultimately convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) first offense, the judge may sentence you to a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours or may sentence you to a sentence of eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days or anywhere in between this range. Keep in mind this simply the range however the Judge has discretion as to the amount of the sentence beyond the required minimum of forty-eight (48) hours.

You are also subjected to a fine of not less than three hundred fifty dollars and no cents ($350.00) and no more than one thousand five hundred dollars and no cents ($1,500.00). Again, this is the range the Court must consider when imposing a fine. Fines generally can be paid over an extended period of time. However, should you request the Court to issue a restricted license (look for later Blog posting on "Driving Privilege's and DUI Offenses") these fines may be required by the Court to be paid in full prior to the Court issuing and approving a restricted license application.

The Bowlin Law Firm has had exceptional results for clients charged with a DUI offense in Morristown. If you have been charged with a DUI in Tennessee please contact a Legal Team Member at The Bowlin Law Firm to schedule a consultation. Time is of the essence when mounting a DUI defense.