Receiving a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be scary and overwhelming. It’s definitely not a good place to be, but it’s not a situation without hope. Being arrested doesn’t necessarily mean you will automatically be convicted of a DUI. An experienced lawyer can review your case and see if anything was overlooked or if mistakes were made by law enforcement personnel. Perhaps you were not read your Miranda rights, or maybe there was no probable cause to stop you in the first place. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will want to do everything within your power to defend yourself. Make sure you know the specifics of your state or get a lawyer who does. DUI consequences in South Carolina are strict.
What to Do If You Have Been Arrested for DUI in South Carolina
You will want to hire an attorney as soon as you can. The sooner you and your attorney can start looking at your case, the sooner you will be able to settle all of this and put it in the past. Acting quickly can also help you avoid some of the consequences of being charged with a DUI.
Refusing to take a breath test can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. You will have only 30 days to schedule a DMV administrative hearing where you can challenge your driver’s license suspension, and the DMV takes this time limit seriously. Law firms such as Deaton Law are a powerful asset in this situation. They can represent you at your hearing and help you stay in possession of your driver’s license.
Penalties for a DUI in South Carolina
If you are arrested for a DUI in South Carolina, both the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and the criminal court will take action to enforce penalties. Penalties increase with each offense. The DMV will suspend your driver’s license. The penalties imposed by a judge may include additional driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol or drug education, a monetary fine, community service, and/or jail time.
Your first DUI offense is treated as a Class B Misdemeanor. Your license will be suspended for 6 months, you can spend 2 days to one month serving jail time or performing community service, and you can be fined $400 to $1,000. For the second offense, you can spend five days to one year in jail and be fined $2,000 to $5,000. Your license will be suspended for one year. The third offense can lead to 2 months to 5 years in jail and a fine of $3,800 to $10,000. This time your license will be suspended for two years. A fourth offense will result in your license being suspended permanently. It is also accompanied by 1 to 7 years spent in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
The BAC in South Carolina for drivers over the age of 21 is set at 0.08 percent. In South Carolina, owning a driver’s license means you have given consent to be tested if law enforcement stops you while you’re driving. If you refuse to let your BAC be tested, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Reinstating Your License in South Carolina
Once the period of suspension is up, you will be able to reinstate your driver’s license. However, this is neither the quickest nor the cheapest process. You will have to pay $100 to have your driver’s license reinstated, and you will have to retake the driving test. You will also have to prove that you have successfully completed a program such as the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP). The program takes up to a year to complete, and you will have to pay a fee of $500. You may also be required to have an ignition interlock device for breathalyzer tests placed on any vehicle you drive.
Reinstating your license involves a lot of time and money, but you can fight to simply keep your license in the first place. If you hire an attorney to represent you at a DMV administrative hearing, you may be able to keep your driver’s license and avoid the hassle and expense of reinstating your driver’s license altogether.
Hiring A DUI Defense Attorney
Hire an attorney who concentrates on DUI cases. The legal system can be tricky to navigate on your own. Having a bit of help can make all the difference. An attorney can help you with court appearances, paperwork, and can advise you on which sort of plea to make. With so many different penalty options, it can also be hard to keep track of everything and to know which penalties you are facing. A lawyer can help you iron this all out and can inform you as to what to expect.
DUI law is constantly changing. It is essential to hire a DUI lawyer, such as Rad Deaton, who keeps up to date with the latest laws. Deaton Law provides a free consultation for your DUI case. They work hard to get you the best results. Their goal is to get your case dismissed or reduced to a lesser traffic violation, and they will fight to help you keep your driver’s license and find an alternative to jail time. It is your right to hire an attorney. DUI law is involved and can be confusing. In order to have the best outcome in your case, it is well worth it to hire a dedicated, experienced attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf to get you the most positive outcome possible.