Legal Question in DUI Law in Tennessee

my ex has 3 previous DUIs (all in different states) and just received his 4th. Is there any way to find out if they are all on a database or if they will be counted against him? We are now in TN the last DUI - 8 yrs ago - was in GA. Thank you

Asked on 5/14/13, 11:30 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

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Under Tennessee law, the prosecution can go back ten years for a prior DUI conviction. If they find one, they can go back ten years before that, and so on, but no more than 20 years from the most recent arrest.

So over time, DUI convictions "time out," and after 10 - 20 years the defendant is back as a first offender.

Yes, there is an interstate database, as a general rule all of the United States share DUI conviction history with each other.

But it is up to the prosecution in each case to plead and prove the required number of prior convictions needed to enhance punishment beyond "first offense."

In other words, the Defendant is not required to declare or admit his history, the District Attorney must plead it and prove it.

If he has behaved uprightly for eight years, depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the District Attorney might elect to reduce the charge even if technically it could be a second or later offense.

Obviously, talk to an attorney before making any decisions. 4th offense in Tennessee is a felony.

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5/14/13, 8:42 pm

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