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Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
DUIs happen every day in South Carolina, and it’s one of the most common crimes defense attorneys see in their offices. Though the crime is ubiquitous, it isn’t something to take lightly if you find yourself facing a DUI charge. Even a first offense can lead to harsh penalties, and a DUI can stick around and cause you trouble down the line. If you or someone you know is facing prosecution for a DUI, you need to contact a Marion DUI Lawyer.
At Axelrod & Associates, we have plenty of experience dealing with DUI cases. We can fight for you and attempt to get you an outcome that carries the lowest long-term risks. You must be proactive for any DUI, even one that may seem minor at first glance.
At Axelrod & Associates, our team has over 100 years of combined experience working in the legal field. We’ve helped countless clients with their DUI cases and can tirelessly advocate for you in court or with any pre-trial motions. We can also work with you to craft your defense in Marion, SC and come up with a plan to clearly demonstrate your side of the story and help you avoid the most severe penalties.
You can find the state’s laws about DUIs in SC Code Section 56-5-2930. To save you the trouble of sorting through some complicated legal jargon, we’ll break down some of the crucial elements of what constitutes a DUI.
First, you must be driving a vehicle. This part may seem obvious, but it differs from state to state. Some states make it a crime for an intoxicated person to just be in the driver’s seat, regardless of whether the car is moving or not. In South Carolina, the intoxicated person must be driving the vehicle to run afoul of a DUI charge.
Second, you must be impaired to the point where your faculties won’t allow you to drive properly. South Carolina makes it a crime to drive when you are impaired and have a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 percent.
If law enforcement has probable cause to believe you are driving while intoxicated, they will attempt to pull you over for questioning. Probable cause for an officer, in this case, can be noticing your car or vehicle drifting over the center line or observing you not following the rules of the road, such as coming to a complete stop or using turn signals.
The officers will then interview anyone suspected of DUI and may conduct a field sobriety test. The test will seek to give officers sufficient evidence to arrest the driver for a blood test. The field sobriety test may include using a breathalyzer to get an estimate of the driver’s blood alcohol content.
The blood test will then give law enforcement a more accurate reading of the blood alcohol content of the suspect and allow them to formally charge the individual with a DUI. The state’s implied consent means that you cannot refuse any testing without consequences, but blood tests can only be conducted in valid circumstances.
DUI charges are mostly misdemeanors in South Carolina. Even repeat DUIs can carry the misdemeanor tag instead of a felony. However, there are a few circumstances where a DUI rises to the level of a felony.
Anytime there is an accident from a DUI, there is a risk of death or severe injury to someone. If driving under the influence causes you to seriously injure or kill someone, you will face a felony DUI rather than a misdemeanor.
Felonies carry harsher penalties and more long-term consequences. You may lose out on some of your civil rights if the court finds you guilty of a felony, and the conviction will have an impact on acquiring future housing or jobs.
Additionally, anything past your third DUI will run the risk of a felony charge from the police. You should actively fight against any DUI charge, but a felony DUI requires extra attention and care.
Each subsequent DUI you receive will add to the potential penalties a judge can sentence you to. Additionally, the level of intoxication you displayed will also affect the potential punishment. As such, it is difficult to provide an accurate description of the penalties for any individual crime. The most effective way to understand what you run the risk of from the court is to speak with your attorney and get an idea of what they believe is the most likely outcome.
Having said that, we can at least give you a general idea of what you can expect in punishment and the cost of a DUI.
The court will only consider DUIs from the past ten years when determining punishments. You also cannot get the court to expunge a DUI from your record, and it will remain on your criminal and driving record.
Yes, you should hire an attorney. People sometimes get the idea that DUIs aren’t a big deal, especially if it is just your first one. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even a first-time offense carries the risk of jail time and has other consequences you may not consider at the moment. You need to hire an attorney who will fight for you and work to avoid a conviction.
Many of the primary defenses for DUIs look at technical parts of the law and rely on an intricate knowledge of criminal procedures and civil rights. It can be difficult to refute the results of a blood draw, as that is hard evidence. The key to fighting a DUI conviction is to look and see if there were improper procedures on the part of the police.
Finding these improper procedures is difficult for a layperson and may result in you being unable to properly articulate your case. Having an attorney on your side who has likely used similar defenses before will give you a better chance of securing a deal or avoiding a conviction.
A DUI conviction can hang around and cause you trouble down the line. A DUI conviction will be on your permanent criminal record and may lead to you facing additional charges for a different offense. If you hire an experienced attorney, you may be able to avoid having this crime hang above your head.
A: Yes, a lawyer is enormously beneficial. Any of the defenses for DUIs are technical and require someone with an intricate understanding of the law. Additionally, even if they can’t get you a not-guilty verdict, your attorney can work to help you avoid the harshest penalties and jail time. You should always hire an attorney to assist you with any legal matter, and DUIs are no exception.
A: Some DUI attorneys will set a flat fee, while others will charge you hourly. There is no set fee, and each lawyer will charge something different depending on their level of skill, years of experience, and where they are in South Carolina. In general, you should spend about $2,000 to $5,000 on your case.
A: Yes, jail time is a possibility. Even a first-time offense may carry jail time if the judge deems it necessary. This risk of jail time is why you need to always take a DUI charge seriously, as even a first-time offense has the chance to radically change your life and cause issues down the road.
A: It is possible to have a DUI dismissed. Judges will hear arguments from the attorneys on both sides before a case starts to determine if the trial should proceed. If your attorney can showcase sufficient evidence for why the prosecution does not have a case or why their evidence is inadmissible, you can have the judge dismiss your case.
DUIs are a serious crime, and you need an experienced Marion DUI lawyer. At Axelrod & Associates, we have served many defendants in DUI cases. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
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