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Does a Criminal Charge Affect My Driving Record?

Franklin criminal attorney explains how criminal traffic offenses can follow you

Most times, when you are pulled over by the police, it’s for speeding or another minor offense and you may get a ticket, possibly resulting in a fine and maybe a point or two on your driver’s license. You’ll end up paying more in insurance, but the whole affair is usually considered pretty mild. However, some traffic offenses result in criminal charges, such as driving under the influence (DUI) or vehicular manslaughter. Those criminal charges can further impact your driving record, resulting in a license suspension or revocation, higher insurance rates, and other penalties.

For example, if you are convicted of a DUI in Tennessee, you will lose your driving privileges for 11 months 29 days, spend 48 hours in jail, be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program, have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and be ordered to pay a fine between $350 and $1,500, and spend about a year on probation. If anyone was harmed as a result of your driving under the influence, you would also be ordered to pay restitution to those victims and have more severe penalties. The penalties get even worse if you are convicted of a DUI again.

Other traffic offenses that can result in criminal charges include accidents that result in a fatality, driving while your license is revoked or suspended, driving without a license, or refusing to take a chemical test such as the one designed to see if you are driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Traffic offenses that rise to the level of criminal offenses can have a serious impact on your driving record. You can lose your right to drive temporarily or permanently, or you could face restrictions on when and where you can drive. With an ignition interlock device, you would be restricted to driving only the car with the device, which is monitored to ensure that you are not driving while under the influence. And, of course, the charges will cost you dearly financially, not only in the fines and legal fees you have to pay, but also in the additional insurance rates you will be charged.

If you are a commercial driver, criminal charges can have a bigger impact. Even minor traffic charges can make it hard for you to get or keep a job as a commercial driver. A criminal charge is almost sure to result in your immediate dismissal, and you will find it very difficult to get a job as a commercial driver for years after such a conviction. Even a criminal charge that is not related to a traffic offense may make it hard for you to get a job as a commercial driver, as it would make it hard for you to get a job in most fields.

When you are facing criminal traffic charges, you need the help of an experienced Franklin criminal attorney like me, Judy A. Oxford. I fight to help clients just like you try to keep criminal charges off their driving records. Sometimes, that means getting the charges reduced to a minor offense, and sometimes it means getting the charges dismissed entirely or having them expunged from your record. I work to get evidence to fight the charges, and when that’s not possible, I negotiate to try to get the minimum penalty, or to get a reduced charge or lesser sentence. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 or use my secure online form to schedule a free consultation. Don’t let criminal charges follow you and make it harder for you to keep your driving privileges. I’m an experienced and dedicated criminal attorney ready to fight to help you protect your rights.