Legal Help for those arrested for DUI in South Carolina
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you aren’t alone. Each year, adults across the country are arrested for driving while under the influence. Whether you have a clean record or you’ve been arrested before, the consequences of a DUI can be difficult to deal with. The right attorney can make an incredible difference when it comes to dealing with a DUI; however, there are a few important things you need to know.
South Carolina DUI Law
Before you drink and drive, make sure you understand the laws specific to South Carolina. It’s important to know exactly what the legal limits are for your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. Knowing this can help you reduce your chances of experiencing a DUI. For example, in South Carolina, it is illegal for drivers to have a BAC of 0.08% or above. Drivers under the age of 21 have an even tighter restriction: 0.02% or above.
If you’re pulled over and taken into custody for driving under the influence, you may be asked to take a test to clarify the level of alcohol in your blood. There are three types of test: blood, breath, or urine. Note that in South Carolina, there is an “implied consent” law that states when you drive, you inherently give your consent to be tested for alcohol. While you may choose to refuse to participate in one of these tests, the consequences may be even more extreme. Additionally, if you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, you may be required to surrender your license for a period of time in addition to facing other legal consequences. In South Carolina, you’ll lose your license for a minimum of six months for refusing a chemical test.
When you’re arrested for a DUI, there will be legal consequences. The type of punishment will vary whether this is your first, second, or third offense. Additionally, the amount of alcohol in your system plays a role in the legal punishment you receive. First-time DUI offenses carry a jail time of 48 hours to 30 days. In some cases, you may be able to serve community service in lieu of jail time. You’ll also need to pay a fine, as well as associated court costs. You may have to attend a court-mandated alcohol abuse program. Second offenses carry jail time, community service, fines, as well as court-mandated substance abuse treatment. You will need to have an interlock installed on your car when you have a second DUI. This will be required for two years. Note that if you have three or more DUIs, your punishment will be upgraded to a felony charge. Additionally, you may lose your license for life, pay higher fines and court costs, and service longer jail sentences than earlier offenses.
Lifestyle, Employment, and Social Consequences
It’s important to realize that when you get a DUI, the consequences can be quite difficult to deal with. Depending on the situation surrounding your DUI, including your previous conviction record and the amount of alcohol in your system, you may face jail time, community service, and fines. In some cases, you’ll lose your license, which can make traveling, getting to work, or visiting friends and loved ones quite difficult. While you may believe you were wrongly convicted or that there was a misunderstanding involved in your DUI, keep in mind that these offenses are treated quite seriously and the impacts can be long-lasting.
If you receive three or more DUIs, for example, you will be charged with a felony crime. This can impact your ability to get a job in the future, which can make living the life you want a bit more tricky. Although your first or second offense may be considered a misdemeanor, you may still struggle to find a job you like when you have a criminal record. This is one of the biggest impacts that a DUI will have on your life.
Additionally, many defendants find that the social ramifications of a DUI can be difficult to deal with. If you lose your license, you may not be able to attend social functions with your friends or loved ones. If you damaged your vehicle in an accident related to your DUI, you may struggle to afford a new mode of transportation. Receiving a DUI also does tend to carry a social stigma, so make sure you understand that friends and loved ones may react unpredictably when they find out about the recent charges you have experienced.
How We Can Help
Whether this is your first DUI or you have a history of driving while under the influence, a good attorney is a vital resource when you’re dealing with any type of criminal charges. Understand that when you are arrested, you may be confused, especially if you have been drinking. You may struggle to understand what is happening or what the charges against you are. A good attorney can help explain the situation to you and help you understand exactly what is happening. You do not have to speak with law enforcement on your own. Our team can help represent you, explain what is happening, and let you know which questions you should or should not answer. We’ll help you avoid incriminating yourself when talking with law enforcement and let you know exactly what your rights are when it comes to interrogations.
Additionally, because the consequences of a DUI can be so long-lasting and extreme, it’s vital that you consult with a good lawyer about how you should move forward. You must complete the right paperwork, understand how to plea, and develop an understanding of the possible outcome of any hearing you may need to attend. Your attorney will be able to explain the process to you in a way that you can understand. If you have never dealt with the law before, you may be especially confused or find it quite difficult to talk with law enforcement officers or even a judge, which makes it even more important to consult with an attorney who can help guide you through the process.
Our team can help you understand your legal rights, obligations, and potential consequences. In addition to preparing you for appearing in court, we can help you to understand what to expect. We’ll work to minimize the long-term effects of the DUI on your life and help you move forward in a healthy way. If there is a way to minimize the sentence you receive, we’ll help by representing you in court and defending you during the legal process.
Don’t wait to reach out for a consultation. Our team is ready to answer your questions about your DUI and to help you start moving forward with your life one day at a time.