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Will I Go to Jail for DUI in South Carolina? 2024

Will I Go to Jail for DUI in South Carolina? 2024
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

DUI laws are in place in South Carolina to discourage driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, with the ultimate goal of keeping the roads safe for other drivers and people on the go. However, DUI laws are extremely strict in this state and can have serious associated criminal penalties if the defendant is found guilty. Therefore, individuals recently charged with DUI crimes commonly ask, “Will I go to jail for DUI in South Carolina?”

By understanding their rights under local and state law, those charged with DUI crimes in the state can take concrete steps to protect themselves during the criminal defense process. Furthermore, by staying informed about the up-to-date penalties and consequences associated with a DUI crime, they can understand what to expect if convicted and how these rules and regulations may apply to their own situation.

Understanding the Likelihood of Going to Jail for a DUI Offense in South Carolina

There are various factors that can influence whether an individual charged with a DUI will likely go to jail or prison. Factors that commonly influence whether a DUI offense conviction will include a criminal penalty of time in jail or prison include the defendant’s criminal and driving history and whether there were aggravating factors.

Generally, those who have been charged with a first DUI offense may be sentenced to jail time ranging from 48 hours to 30 days. In certain cases, first-time DUI offenders may have the opportunity to complete 48 hours of community service instead of serving time in jail. Such offenses are also associated with a fine of up to $400 and a license suspension period of six months.

For those facing charges for a second DUI, the criminal penalties are more severe. Those convicted can expect to spend any time from five days to one year in jail, pay $2,100 to $5,100 in fines, and receive a license suspension of one year. Third DUI offense convictions are associated with 60 days to three years in jail, fines of up to $6,300, and a driver’s license suspension period of two to five years. Fourth or subsequent offenses have a sentence of one to five years.

Criminal penalties can be more severe for first, second, and third DUIs if aggravating factors are present. For example, individuals with higher blood alcohol concentration levels at the time of arrest can expect to receive harsher penalties. Furthermore, if the DUI resulted in a car accident that caused serious injuries or property damage, harsher penalties will be expected. Refusing a blood test or breathalyzer can also lead to enhanced penalties.

Working to Get Your DUI Charges Dropped or Minimized

For those who have been charged with a DUI offense in the state, there are legal options to pursue to work toward getting their charges dropped or minimized. An experienced DUI criminal defense lawyer can help challenge the evidence brought forward by the prosecution. For example, they can work to show the defendant’s rights were breached during an illegal search and, therefore, get the evidence suppressed.

Furthermore, any skilled criminal defense lawyer can work to question the quality of the technology and procedures taken to determine blood alcohol levels. If certain defense arguments are not feasible for a case, a dedicated DUI lawyer can help individuals negotiate an optimal plea deal with the prosecution, getting charges reduced. By working with an experienced South Carolina DUI lawyer, you can fight for an optimal case outcome.


Q: How Likely Is Jail Time for a First DUI in South Carolina?

A: While it is possible to go to jail for a first DUI offense in the state, it is not required. There are alternative options to jail for a first DUI, such as community service, which your lawyer can help you explore to avoid jail time. Key factors that can influence whether a person is sentenced to jail for a first DUI include their blood alcohol content and whether there were aggravating factors.

Q: How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?

A: The cost of a DUI lawyer in the state is dependent on a variety of factors, including the experience and reputation of the law firm, the location of the law firm, the complexity of your case, your criminal record, the severity of the charges, and other aspects. It’s important to work with a DUI lawyer who is upfront about their pricing and payment schedules so that you can budget your finances accordingly and avoid last-minute or sudden costs.

Q: Will You Lose Your License for a First DUI in SC?

A: Yes, first-time DUI offenders are required to lose their license for a period of six months, regardless of their blood alcohol concentration at the time of the stop and arrest. Furthermore, the individual may have to complete the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) before they can get their license back. To understand whether you may lose your license for your DUI charges, it is important to work with an experienced South Carolina DUI lawyer.

Q: Can a DUI Be Dismissed in SC?

A: Yes, it is possible for a DUI charge to be dismissed, depending on the exact details of the case. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you get your charges dropped by showing that the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to convict you of the crime. They can also question procedural steps taken by law enforcement, arguing that regulations were not adhered to or that your rights were violated, in addition to other key strategies.

Defend Your DUI Charges with an Experienced DUI Lawyer

Facing DUI charges in South Carolina can be devastating, as such charges are typically associated with negative consequences, including license suspension, hefty fines, and even incarceration. By working with an experienced and compassionate lawyer from Axelrod & Associates, P.A., we can help you fight your DUI charges and work to get you a positive case outcome. Contact a lawyer from our team today to get started building your defense strategy.

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