Nashville DUI Lawyer

DUI Defense

Philip N. Clark, Esq.

A DUI arrest should not be taken lightly. You need an attorney who will work to provide you with an aggressive defense during this frightening and often embarrassing time.


Attorney Philip N. Clark understands the seriousness of a DUI charge and the immediate impact it can have on your life. Being arrested in Nashville is a pretty serious ordeal. He will provide professional representation to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. You can save a small fortune in fines, including the possibility of saving your license from automatic suspension by consulting with Philip N. Clark today.


If you’ve been charged with DUI, we encourage you to act fast and immediately give Nashville criminal defense lawyer, Philip N. Clark a call or request a consultation today.


Information About DUI Charges


In Tennessee, if you are driving under the influence it is known as a DUI. Other states often refer to this as DWI (driving while intoxicated). In Tennessee, DUI is a serious criminal offense with far reaching consequences.


In Tennessee, a person may be arrested for driving under the influence for any of the situations listed below:


  • If you are under the influence of alcohol, regardless of how many drinks you have consumed, you could potentially be charged with a DUI if your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired.


  • If your BAC (blood alcohol content) exceeds .08, which is measured by a blood test or breath test, you may be presumed to be driving under the influence.


  • It may be more difficult to detect if someone is under the influence of drugs. There currently isn’t a standard breath test for prescription or recreational drugs, but blood tests can be used to determine levels present in the driver’s system. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs can also result in a DUI charge.


  • A combination of drugs and alcohol in your bloodstream that impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle, may also result in a DUI charge.
driving under the influence
Connect with Philip Clark right away! (615) 785-2000

Frequently Asked DUI Questions

Can a first offense DUI be dismissed?

There are multiple reasons for why a DUI charge may be dismissed. If the accused was, in fact, not intoxicated, or if the arresting officers violated his or her rights regarding proper procedure and/or improper grounds for the initial stop, his or her attorney may encourage their client to plead not guilty, and to fight the charges at trial.

Learn more about dismissing a first offense DUI here.

Can a lawyer get you out of a DUI?

The facts of each DUI case vary from person to person. Regardless of the situation, everyone has the same rights. Depending on the facts of your case your lawyer may or may not be able to get you a complete dismissal of the charge.


If the arresting officer didn’t have the legal grounds to pull you over in the first place, if he or she didn’t follow standard procedure, or if your rights were violated in any way, a good lawyer will fight to ensure you are protected and your charges dismissed.


More information on if a lawyer can get you out of a DUI can be found here.

Can you expunge a DUI in Tennessee?

A DUI will stay on your record for life. A DUI conviction cannot be expunged off your record. If you were charged with a DUI, but the charge was dismissed or otherwise did not result in a conviction, your record can be expunged.


Additionally, if you were initially charged with a DUI but convicted of a lesser offense, often reckless driving or reckless endangerment, your record may be expunged. A DUI on your record for life can be devastating to your future.


Learn more about DUI expungement here.

Can you get your license back after 3 DUIs?

In Tennessee one is considered a multiple offender if no more than ten years have elapsed between the date of the present violation and the date of any preceding convictions for driving under the influence. If you are a multiple offender, you are subject to harsher penalties under the statute.


For a first-time offender it is a one-year loss of license. For a second-time offender it is a two-year loss of license. However, a third driving under the influence conviction is a six-year loss of license.


Get more info about 3rd offense DUI here.

Can you refuse a breathalyzer test in Tennessee?

It is important to know that part of the Tennessee driver’s license application is an agreement to abide by Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law. Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law states that by receiving a Tennessee driver’s license, you have agreed to consent to breathalyzer and chemical testing. Therefore, refusal to comply with officer’s request for a breathalyzer or chemical test, subjects you to additional punishment. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, you may have your license revoked for one year for the first offense, all the way up to five years, if the crash resulted in a death.


We’ve covered refusal of a breathalyzer here.

Can you still drive after a DUI?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence for the first time, your license will be revoked for one year. However, there is a possibility to receive a restricted license, if you meet certain criteria. A restricted license might be possible if there was no serious bodily harm or death involved in the DUI conviction. Granting a restricted license is up to the discretion of the court.


Learn more about driving after a DUI here.

Do you always lose your license after a DUI?

If convicted of a DUI, the state will revoke your license for a minimum of one year for a first offense, but you may be eligible for a restricted license. To obtain a restricted license, one must apply to the trial judge or a judge of any court in the person’s county of residence having jurisdiction to try charges for driving under the influence of a restricted driver license. If the judge approves the restricted license application, the judge may also order the person to install and keep an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation.


Find out more about losing your license after a DUI here.

Does a DUI count as a criminal conviction?

Yes, a charge of driving under the influence is a criminal conviction. A first-offense DUI conviction is a misdemeanor which requires a minimum of forty-eight hours in jail, hefty fines and a one-year license revocation.


A misdemeanor and a felony are distinguished by the amount of jail time the crime carries. A misdemeanor crime carries a jail sentence of less than a year, while a felony conviction carries a jail sentence of more than a year. While a first, second and third-offense DUI conviction are charged as misdemeanors, a fourth or subsequent driving under the influence conviction is a felony offense.


Learn more about how a DUI counts as a criminal conviction here.

Does DUI affect employment?

If you are charged with a DUI while you are currently employed, you may also face consequences in your own career. For some people, their employers are understanding, and a DUI charge or conviction has little to no affect on their employment. However, not all are so lucky. A DUI charge comes with jail time, court visits, lawyer visits, and this can lead to missed work. While some employers may be lenient and accommodating, some employers will not allow an employee to miss days of work, no matter the situation.


Get more information on how DUI affects employment here.

How do I get my license back after a DUI?

A person convicted of a DUI which ended with a license revocation has the ability to request a restricted license. In order to do this one must apply to the trial judge or a judge of any court in the person’s county of residence having jurisdiction to try charges for driving under the influence for a restricted driver license. If the judge approves the restricted license application, the judge may also order the person to install and keep an ignition interlock device as a condition of probation depending on the individual factors of the particular case such as: blood alcohol concentration at time of arrest, presence of minors during time of arrest, if there was a traffic accident caused by the accused, violation of the implied consent law, etc.


Find out more about getting your license back after a DUI here.

How long do you have to sit in jail for a DUI?

Once arrested for driving under the influence, the time you will remain in jail initially will vary depending on many factors. Once you are booked you may have the option to post bail, or you may be released on your own recognizance. If you are released on your own recognizance this means the judge has waived your bail and you are free to leave without payment.


Get the full article on how long you stay in jail here.

How long does a DUI stay on your record in TN?

Certain misdemeanors will stay on your criminal record for life and DUI is one of them. Having a criminal record for life means that employers, landlords, and others will be able to see that you have a DUI on your record.


Because a DUI stays on your record for life, pleading guilty to a DUI may have negative impacts on your employment, housing, your reputation, and other aspects of life. Employers often run background checks that will show your criminal history.


Get more info on how long a DUI stays on you record here.

How much is bail for a DUI in TN?

After being arrested for A DUI, the amount of time you remain in jail will vary on how you are to be released. In some instances, a person arrested could receive a pre-trial release, post no bond and be released in just a few hours. If your bond is set at an amount too high for you to post, you could sit in jail for days.


Bond will vary depending on the individual and the circumstances regarding your arrest. Often, there will be bond conditions placed on a person and strict compliance with these conditions is essential to ensure that your freedom is not compromised.


Find more details on how much bail is for a DUI in Tennessee here.

Is a DUI a felony or misdemeanor in TN?

The main difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the amount of jail time that a specific charge carries. A misdemeanor carries a punishment of less than one year in jail; the offender will generally serve the required sentence in the county jail. A felony is characterized by incarceration of one year or more. Whether a person serves that time in a county jail or a state prison will depend on the length of the sentence.


A DUI is a misdemeanor in Tennessee, specifically a class A misdemeanor; however, the fourth DUI conviction, is a class E felony. The first three DUI convictions will have a maximum amount of jail time of eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail. The minimum amount in jail time will continue to increase for each conviction.


Learn more about the different types of DUI offenses here.

What happens after a 2nd DUI?

A DUI charge is very serious, and the severity of the punishment for a conviction of a driving under the influence conviction increases depending on how many DUIs a person has received in the past. A first-offense DUI is treated differently than a second or third-offense DUI.

In Tennessee one is considered a multiple offender if no more than ten years have elapsed between the date of the present violation and the date of any preceding convictions for driving under the influence. If you are a multiple offender, you are subject to harsher penalties under the statute.


Get more details on what happens after a 2nd DUI here.

What is considered a DUI in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, operating a motor vehicle or being in physical control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher is considered driving under the influence, commonly referred to as DUI. The language of the DUI Statute in Tennessee makes it so that a person only has to be in physical control of a vehicle and not necessarily driving a car. The language of the statute means that it is possible to receive a DUI even though you were not driving the car.


Find out more about what is considered a DUI in Tennessee here.

What is the penalty for a first time DUI?

A DUI is a class A misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are severe charges and can have a substantial impact on your life. A class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days in jail.


Tennessee requires mandatory minimum jail time for all of those convicted of a DUI, including a first time DUI charge. The minimum sentence for a person convicted of a first time DUI is forty-eight hours in the county jail or workhouse. If the court determined that your blood-alcohol content was .20 or above, then there is a mandatory minimum of seven days in jail. However, after your first DUI charge, the minimum amount of jail time will continue to increase.


Get more details on the penalties for a first time DUI here.

What should you do if you get pulled over for a DUI?

When you see the flashing lights of a police car behind you, you should immediately pull over. It is always a good idea to be polite and comply with the arresting officer, however, it is also important to understand your rights.

Hand over your license and registration when asked, and be polite to the officer to avoid any unnecessary escalation of the incident. If you are asked to get out of the car to perform a field sobriety test it is important to inform the arresting officer of any physical impairments that may prevent you from performing well on the tests. It is also a good idea to ask the officer if he is using a body cam or a dash cam and to know if your test will be recorded.


Get more information on what to do if you get pulled over for a DUI here.

Nashville DUI Defense Lawyer

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Affordable criminal defense representation in Nashville, TN.

Knowledge and Experience

Areas of Focus

Criminal Defense

Attorney Philip N. Clark is dedicated to provide you with the best representation possible, regardless of your criminal charges. He will strive keep you informed, prepared, and as stress-free as possible from the start to the finish of your case.

DUI Defense

Attorney Philip N. Clark understands how serious DUI charges are and how they can impact you and your loved ones. He will strive to provide you the best representation possible and help you achieve the best outcome for your case.

Domestic Violence Law
Attorney Philip N. Clark understands that domestic violence charges are a sensitive matter to all those involved. During your free case evaluation, he will listen to the facts and details of your case and provide you with honest and straight forward advice on your rights and options in moving forward with your case.
Drug Charges

There are many benefits of hiring Attorney Philip N. Clark to represent you in drug charge cases. With over twenty years of law enforcement experience, including service as a police officer and probation and parole officer, he understands how to approach each and every aspect of your case.

Theft Charges

Attorney Philip N. Clark recognizes the severity of theft charges. Although a theft charge might seem like something minor, a theft conviction can really take a toll on your reputation and your employment opportunities. A theft charge is no light matter. Attorney Philip N. Clark has the experience and knowledge to lay out the options available to you during this tough time.

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