Although DUIs are among the most common criminal charges in Charleston, cases are not always simple, nor are they similar. Rather than try to defend against a DUI charge on your own, you could gain from the help of an experienced attorney. The benefits of a Charleston DUI lawyer include significant experience, knowledge of the case process, and strong connections with judges and prosecutors. If you are facing a driving under the influence charge, reach out to a dedicated DUI attorney today.
Preparing for a Charleston DUI Case
The actual courtroom process is often the most confusing aspect of a DUI case for a first-time defendant. The benefits of a Charleston DUI lawyer begin even before the courtroom. After gathering the facts of the case, an attorney could begin crafting a defense and looking at what the defendant’s best options are.
Conducting an Investigation
The first thing a DUI lawyer may do for a defendant thoroughly investigate the case for evidence. An attorney may visit the scene where the defendant was arrested to determine the environmental conditions at the time of the arrest. They may also look for potential evidence around the scene such as surveillance video from nearby businesses to decide whether they have all the available information to use to their advantage. An attorney could also see if there were any constitutional issues with the case that may be favorable to the defendant’s case.
Understanding Case Law
Another way an experienced attorney could help with a DUI case is that they will understand the applicable case law and draw distinctions between the facts in one case to the facts of prior DUI cases. The lawyer could use those distinctions or parallels to persuade a prosecutor or judge to dismiss a case or suppress evidence.
Looking Into the Background of the Defendant
One of the benefits of a Charleston DUI attorney is that they could look into the defendant’s history and evaluate their current physical and mental health condition. The lawyer will want to know if the defendant was taking prescribed medication at the time of their arrest. If so, how long have they been taking the medication? Does the defendant’s physical limitations, age, prior surgeries, and disabilities impact their ability to perform field sobriety tests? Understanding a defendant’s medical history and background could uncover critical evidence that may strengthen a defense.
A DUI Attorney’s Role in Court
While the benefits of a DUI attorney extend far outside the courtroom, there are also key strategies that an attorney may employ once a trial begins. In particular, a lawyer may file motions with a judge to dismiss specific evidence or an entire case based on certain statutes and precedents.
Dismissing a Case
In a DUI case in South Carolina, as with any criminal case, the criminal defendant has the right to ask the court to dismiss a case if the circumstances warrant. A DUI attorney might review the case closely and, based on applicable case law, file motions with the court to request a dismissal of a case if the arresting officer did not provide the evidence required under South Carolina law.
The same thing is true for a challenge to the accuracy or constitutionality of evidence. The rules of evidence in South Carolina dictate the type of evidence that is admissible. One thing that may be contested, for example, is a person’s blood alcohol content reading from a breathalyzer machine. The government has the burden of proving that the blood alcohol content (BAC) is sufficiently reliable and therefore admissible in court before a jury.
An experienced DUI attorney in South Carolina may know that the breathalyzer machines used by South Carolina law enforcement are not always reliable and accurate. As with any other machine, there may be errors that affect the scientific reliability of the specific test result. A DUI defense attorney could identify these problems and use them to the defendant’s advantage to get the very best possible result in their case.
Reach Out to a Knowledgeable DUI Lawyer
If you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated, you may want to reach out to an accomplished defense attorney. The benefits of a Charleston DUI lawyer are numerous. Call today to learn more about how a legal professional could help you with your case.