It can be difficult to know what to expect following a DUI arrest in Charleston. The exact booking process may differ depending on the circumstances and the location of the arrest.
If an automobile accident has occurred, for example, an arrestee may first be brought to a hospital for a medical examination prior to finishing the booking process. If there is no crash, they may move directly to a blood alcohol test at a police station. No matter the specific process, a DUI lawyer could help a defendant navigate the criminal justice system and avoid significant penalties.
Refusing a Blood Alcohol Content Test
A person can refuse to take a blood alcohol content test anytime they have been arrested, but there will be consequences under South Carolina’s implied consent law that results in an immediate suspension of the driver’s license. According to state law, anyone who drives with a license in South Carolina is giving implicit consent to a blood alcohol test. Still, refusing a blood alcohol test may still be advisable, particularly if a driver has previous DUI convictions.
When to Contact an Attorney
An individual should contact an attorney for a DUI case as soon as possible after they have been arrested. A driver even has the right to ask a law enforcement officer if they can contact their attorney during a DUI stop before an arrest is made, but the chances of the officer allowing them to do so is very slim.
The Supreme Court has recognized that a traffic stop investigation, even for a DUI situation, is not one that triggers a Sixth Amendment right to counsel so there is no guaranteed right under the Constitution to be able to talk with an attorney during the DUI stop.
Steps to Take After an Arrest
During the ten days following a DUI arrest, preferably as soon as possible once a person is released from jail, they need to schedule an appointment with a Charleston DUI attorney to review the circumstances surrounding their case. Depending on what those circumstances are, an experienced DUI attorney will know that there may be additional investigation that needs to be done or maybe follow-up medical treatment. All of that should take place within a couple of days, not necessarily just 10 days, because much of that information is very time-sensitive.
Hiring an Attorney After a DUI Arrest in Charleston
If you are unsure of what to expect following a DUI arrest in Charleston, consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In the days following a DUI arrest, an attorney could help the client appeal any driver’s license suspension that has been imposed by the arresting officer for either refusing the Breathalyzer test or blowing a 0.16 or greater.
A lawyer could also begin an investigation and speak people who have knowledge and information regarding the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Contact an attorney today to begin building an effective defense to your charges.