If you or someone you know has been charged with Driving Under the Influence in Charleston, the Shealey Law Firm is here to help. Our experienced Charleston criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly and diligently to find the best resolution for your case, while treating you with the respect and dignity you deserve.
Being arrested for a DUI doesn’t make you guilty. Let the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Shealey Law Firm, LLC, in Charleston work hard to drastically reduce your chances of a conviction.
About DUI Charges in Charleston, SC
In South Carolina, an individual may be charged with Driving Under the Influence if she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or any combination of the two, to the extent that her ability to operate the vehicle has been materially and considerably impaired. To be charged with Driving Under the Influence, an individual must have had the vehicle in motion at the time of intoxication; therefore, simply starting the vehicle may not amount to a charge of Driving Under the Influence.
If an individual has a Blood Alcohol Content (“BAC”) of 0.08 percent or higher, it will be inferred that she was driving under the influence of alcohol. If her BAC is greater than 0.05 percent but less than 0.08 percent, that level may be used along with other evidence to determine if she was driving under the influence.
A person charged with Driving Under the Influence, First Offense may face a fine up to $400, possible imprisonment up to 30 days, and a driver’s license suspension for six months. Subsequent Driving Under the Influence offenses will carry greater sentences, with the possibility of facing up to ten years imprisonment after a Fourth Offense.
Under South Carolina law, an individual may be charged with felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or any combination of the two, to the extent that her ability to operate the vehicle has been materially and considerably impaired.
The individual must have had the vehicle in motion at the time of intoxication; therefore, simply starting the vehicle may not amount to a charge of felony Driving Under the Influence. The individual must also have caused great bodily injury or death of another person while driving under the influence in order to be charged with felony DUI.
An individual who harms another person while driving under the influence may face up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of $5,000 to $10,000. If an individual causes the death of another person while driving under the influence, she faces anywhere from one to twenty-five years in prison and a fine of $10,100 to $25,000.
In addition to possible prison time and a hefty fine, a conviction of felony DUI also results in a restricted license as well as the installment of a device that requires the driver to take a breathalyzer test in order to operate her car.
Without professional legal assistance, maneuvering through the statutory provisions of South Carolina’s DUI law can be difficult. When you need a skilled DUI attorney in your corner, call Shealey Law Firm.
Consequences of a DUI Charge in Charleston
Pleading guilty to a DUI charge in court without assistance from a qualified attorney can lead to lasting professional and personal consequences, including:
- Losing your license
- Termination from employment
- Expense of maintaining SR-22 insurance
- Large fines which can double when you add court costs
- Possible jail time
The DUI defense attorneys at Shealey Law Firm in Charleston, SC will work hard to reduce your conviction chance by first questioning the legitimacy of your traffic stop. Because South Carolina has complex DUI laws that must be strictly adhered to by law enforcement, any mistake made by the arresting officer can be used to try and obtain a dismissal.
Potential Issues in a DUI Case
In South Carolina:
- The arresting officer’s video camera must begin videotaping as soon as the officer turns on the blue lights.
- Your Miranda rights must be read to you before you can be arrested at the incident scene.
- Prior to administering the breathalyzer test, the officer must have read and provided the implied consent rights stating the consequences of a refusal to submit to a blood test, urine test, or breath test.
- The arresting officer must provide you with affirmative assistance in transporting you to a facility of your choosing so that you can be offered an additional test to determine blood alcohol level upon your request.
- Roadside or field sobriety tests must have been properly administered for the result to be used in court. Inaccuracies with field sobriety tests are widespread and commonly challenged.
Whether you’re facing a DUI charge in a Charleston courtroom or you’ve already lost your license due to a DUI arrest, you’ll find the aggressive litigation you need to protect your freedom at Shealey Law Firm.