4701 Oleander Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal throughout the United States, and each state upholds different statutes pertaining to this offense and associated penalties. In this state, prosecutors pursue convictions in DUI cases very aggressively, and the penalties for any DUI can negatively impact the defendant’s life in many ways. While most people are aware of the immediate penalties that typically follow a DUI conviction, many fail to consider the long-term implications of this kind of criminal offense.
If you were recently arrested for DUI, a DUI defense attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC, is one of the most important assets you can have on your side. The right defense team may be able to help you avoid conviction and the various long-term penalties you can face if convicted, some of which may not be immediately obvious. If conviction is unavoidable and you are clearly guilty of the DUI offense, having defense counsel on your side is still beneficial, as your attorney may be able to argue for you for lighter penalties and/or alternative punishments.
The typical DUI conviction is likely to lead to fines, court fees, additional penalty assessments, and driver’s license suspension. A defendant can also face incarceration in county jail at the misdemeanor level or state prison for a felony conviction. While the direct penalties assigned to a convicted defendant may be severe, the reality is that the long-term implications of a DUI on their record can cause more problems than the defendant may be prepared to face at first.
Some criminal records can qualify for expungement under certain conditions. Expunging a record prevents the record from appearing on background checks in the future, meaning it will no longer interfere with the defendant’s life. However, DUI convictions can never be expunged in South Carolina. If you are convicted of DUI, you must prepare for the record to appear on every background check conducted on you for the foreseeable future.
A DUI conviction will appear on background checks performed by prospective employers, and this record may very well influence their decision to hire someone. DUI records can also impact other areas of the defendant’s life, such as their ability to secure certain types of financing or qualify for social assistance programs.
Because it is not possible to have a DUI conviction removed from your record, the only way to avoid this problem is to avoid a conviction for DUI. If you have been arrested for suspected DUI, it is vital to take full advantage of your right to remain silent until you can take advantage of your right to legal counsel. Once you have an experienced criminal defense attorney working on your case, they will be able to identify all the room you may have to fight the charge against you, potentially preventing you from facing a DUI conviction on your record and the various long-term problems this can cause.
A: Yes, if you have a DUI conviction on your record, it will appear on a background check. Because there is no way to remove a DUI conviction from your record, this means that the DUI can negatively impact your employment opportunities and other aspects of your life for the foreseeable future. It’s imperative to have defense counsel you can trust if there is any hope of avoiding a conviction for a DUI and preventing the long-term effects of the conviction.
A: It is very likely that a conviction for DUI will lead to an increase in your insurance premiums. Auto insurance carriers base their premium rates on drivers’ perceived risk levels, and a DUI conviction is an indicator that the driver is at high risk for causing damage in the future. Some drivers see their auto insurance premiums increase by as much as nearly 60% in some cases, meaning they could pay thousands more for their auto insurance over the next several years following DUI conviction.
A: While you cannot remove a DUI from your record, it is possible to have three demerit points taken off of your driving record if you complete the state Point Reduction Course. It’s possible to do this one time within a three-year period and can potentially make the difference between keeping your license and facing automatic revocation if you hit the demerit point limit. Points added to your license will be reduced by half after two years otherwise.
A: South Carolina, like most other states, assigns penalties to DUI convictions based on whether the defendant has previous DUI convictions on their record and if they caused serious property damage, bodily harm, or death with a DUI accident. Penalties typically include fines, court fees, driver’s license suspension, and incarceration. The extent of these penalties will increase based on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s record of past DUIs.
A: If you are charged with DUI, it is vital to take full advantage of your constitutional right to legal counsel. Your defense attorney may find room to argue against your conviction and help you avoid a DUI on your record, and if conviction is unavoidable, they can potentially help mitigate your penalties. It is always worth investing in legal counsel you can trust for any type of criminal case.
The team at Axelrod & Associates, P.A., has successfully helped many past clients with a wide range of complex criminal defense cases, including those pertaining to DUI offenses. If you need defense representation you can trust for a recent DUI arrest, we are ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our team and learn what we can do to empower your defense.
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