How To Beat A DUI In SC
You get pulled over, you blow into a breath tester, the police officer slaps the cuffs on and hauls you to jail. Game over. Right?
DUI charges in South Carolina can be beat. It’s not easy. It takes perseverance, skill and knowledge, but it can be done. If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you need the help of a proven DUI attorney to make sure a DUI conviction doesn’t become part of your life’s story.
At Drennan Law Firm, we are the Charleston-area firm that beats tough DUI cases, including those involving high breath test results, failed field sobriety tests and even felony DUI charges. We know that good people can find themselves on the wrong side of DUI charges and need a strong defense. You are innocent until you are proven guilty, and we will fight to protect your freedom, your finances, your reputation and, most importantly, your future.
Your DUI charges can result in an acquittal, dismissal or a reduction; they don’t have to result in a conviction. The first step is making sure you have a proven defense lawyer working on your behalf. Call us anytime at 843-352-4149 for a free consultation.
South Carolina DUI Laws And Penalties
It is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle in South Carolina with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Doing so will result in being charged with DUI (DUI can also be charged if a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs). It is also possible to be charged with DUI while having a BAC under .08 if there is evidence of being impaired, like driving the wrong way, swerving or crossing the center line.
The criminal penalties for a DUI are no laughing matter. The penalties often begin with a night in jail, affectionately known as the “drunk tank.” Of course, that’s after you go through the indignity of being booked and having a mugshot taken.
If you are convicted of DUI, you could spend anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days in jail. Your bank account will take a hit too, as you’ll pay a fine as high as $1,000. Perhaps the most damaging criminal penalty is the record of your arrest and conviction itself; having a criminal record can create complications for the rest of your life. Everything from getting approved for an apartment to passing an employment background check is jeopardized by having a criminal conviction on your record.
There are administrative penalties above and beyond the criminal penalties DUI charges expose you to. If you refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test, your license will be automatically suspended. Getting it reinstated will take attending a hearing and likely having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Installation, maintenance and other fees associated with an ignition interlock device can cost well over $1,000.
It’s not an exaggeration when many people say a DUI will cost you $10,000. In addition to the criminal penalties and administrative penalties, there are collateral consequences such as having to pay increased rates for auto insurance after a DUI. DUI is the gift that keeps on giving, except it’s giving you higher costs, a damaged reputation and a terrible burden.
Dealing With A DUI Charge In South Carolina
It’s best to stick to the facts and deal with the reality on the ground after being charged with DUI. Step one is getting an experienced DUI attorney who can handle the process for you. You have much to lose and nothing to gain by attempting to talk your way out of a DUI conviction or going it alone in your defense.
There’s no question that a DUI arrest can leave someone feeling scared, confused, angry and a host of other emotions. Unfortunately, indulging in those emotions will do nothing to help lessen the legal difficulties and damage you face as a result of criminal charges. The best way to deal with a DUI charge is to enlist the help of an experienced DUI defense lawyer who can dig into the facts of your case and build the strongest possible defense.
For the most part this involves dissecting your case and calling all the evidence against you into question. For example, was there probable cause to pull you over? If you were arrested for DUI at a roadblock, did the police have a permit approved by a judge before setting up the checkpoint? Were you informed of your rights prior to being arrested? Was proper police procedure followed in the course of your traffic stop? Any evidence that was obtained in the course of your rights being violated should not be allowed in the case against you. Our attorneys will make sure your rights are not violated a second time.
How To Win Your South Carolina DUI Case
Remember, you don’t have to prove your innocence. The prosecution needs to prove your guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. The best way to win a South Carolina DUI case is to build your case around circumstances that create reasonable doubt.
Although many people think otherwise, it is not against the law to drink and drive in South Carolina. It’s against the law to drink too much and drive. Determining how much alcohol is in your system during a traffic stop is typically accomplished via Breathalyzer test. Breath test devices are notoriously inaccurate, often inflating BAC readings due to improper calibration or shoddy operation. If the test used during your traffic stop wasn’t calibrated properly or wasn’t operated properly by an officer, it does not prove that you were intoxicated. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding any tests you took and make a motion to suppress any unreliable evidence.
Start Your Defense Today With Our Help And Protect Your Rights
Our proven Charleston DUI defense attorneys are ready to evaluate your case and provide you with options for your defense. Contact us anytime for a free, no-obligation consultation.