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.
A DUI conviction is very serious and can affect your life in many ways including your ability to drive, your finances, and your employment. A DUI conviction stays on your record for ten years. If you are charged with a subsequent DUI, any prior DUI charges on your record will warrant harsher punishments.
A DUI charge can cause stress, anxiety and uncertainty. Therefore, it is important that you hire an attorney you can trust to help you navigate the Tennessee criminal justice system. Philip Clark is an experienced DUI attorney, and he will look into the circumstances surrounding why you were stopped and will help craft a DUI defense and answer the many questions you will likely have.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to also take a look at “Can a lawyer get you out of a DUI?” for more information.