South Carolina does not hold back when prosecuting and penalizing drivers accused of driving under the influence (DUI). With just a first-offense DUI conviction, you could be sentenced by up to 90 days behind bars and up to $2,500 in fines. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for six months, you will need to complete an Alcohol & Drug Safety Action Program, and you will need to purchase expensive SR-22 Insurance for three years. Further, you could potentially be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device for up to 6 months. In summary, there is much on the line when you are charged with a DUI. The legal road ahead to defend yourself is not one you should walk alone.
Every Charge Can Be Challenged
No matter how adamant the prosecution and regardless of the potential evidence collected against you, there is always an opportunity to challenge your charges. However, in many cases, an in-depth understanding of DUI law is required to successfully challenge a DUI charge. By retaining the services of a Myrtle Beach area criminal defense attorney from Joye, Nappier, Risher, & Hardin LLC, you can gain immediate access to years of legal knowledge, insight, and experience. After all, your DUI lawyer can act on your behalf in and out of court.
Technical Evidence Requires Knowledgeable Defense
In some cases, the prosecution relies on blood alcohol content (BAC) evidence to try to secure a conviction. After being arrested for a DUI, it is likely you will be taken to a police station and offered a breath test. The result of this test will create the BAC evidence to be used against you later. You have a right to refuse such a test, however, it will result in the immediate suspension of your driving privileges in the State of South Carolina under South Carolina’s Implied Consent law. You are entitled to challenge the suspension at a hearing on the Implied Consent Suspension and you are likely eligible for a Temporary Alcohol License pending the hearing and its outcome that allows you to drive day or night anywhere in South Carolina.
Challenging BAC evidence is not an impossible, task, though. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know multiple avenues that may be helpful to invalidate the results of breath test evidence.
Reducing Penalties In Extremely Difficult Cases
Law enforcement officers and investigators sometimes do collect strong, legally-valid evidence to use against a DUI defendant, which empowers the prosecutors. When it seems unlikely that an acquittal is possible in a DUI case, it could still be possible to negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges and consequently reduce the potential sentencing requirements. Typically, this is achieved with a plea deal.
In a successful plea deal, the defendant will plead “no contest” in exchange for reduced penalties, such as no jail time, only probation. A no-contest plea effectively states that you accept criminal punishment and a conviction, but you do not actually admit to guilt. The difference might be technical, but it is crucial for your future wellbeing, as it looks much better on criminal records than a guilty plea and conviction.
Why would the opposition accept a plea deal if they would otherwise be certain to land a conviction? Plea deals are advantageous to the state because they save everyone's time, money, and energy. Furthermore, they promote the idea of using the criminal justice system to rehabilitate offenders rather than immediately slamming them with harsh penalties. Convincing the opposition that a plea deal would be fair and worthwhile in your case, though, most likely requires the advocacy of a DUI attorney.
Call Our Myrtle Beach Area DUI Attorneys at (843) 357-6454
When everything is considered, defending your DUI charge on your own is like navigating a jungle without a guide. Yes, it can be done, but, no, it is not likely to be successful or safe.
To keep yourself out of serious trouble, come to Joye, Nappier, Risher, & Hardin LLC and talk to our Myrtle Beach area DUI defense lawyers about your case. We will act as your guide down the road ahead, as well as your legal protectors. It is our goal to secure for you the best possible case result — be it an acquittal, case dismissal, or charge reduction — when you are faced with serious DUI charges in South Carolina. Contact us today.