Police and prosecutor enforcement of state DUI laws can be aggressive. An allegation could lead to severe and lasting consequences, including incarceration and loss of driving privileges. You do not have to face these accusations alone, however. A Goose Creek DUI lawyer could fight to clear your name of the criminal charges with a minimum of impact on your life.
DUI cases can be challenging, but with an experienced criminal lawyer, you could have a better chance of avoiding or minimizing the potential consequences of a conviction. Getting legal advice allows you to craft the defense strategy that is most likely to be effective in your case.
Charges for DUI and DUAC in Goose Creek
Under South Carolina Code § 56-5-2930, driving under the influence applies if an individual operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs to the extent that their ability to drive is materially and appreciably impaired.
A similar criminal offense is driving with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration (DUAC) under S.C. Code § 56-5-2933. This offense, which some call “DUI per se,” occurs when individuals drive with a BAC of .08 percent or more. A prosecutor could seek a DUAC conviction based solely on BAC results, even if the driver exhibits no evidence of impairment to their driving abilities.
Individuals cannot be convicted of both DUI and DUAC from the same incident. Although DUI is still more commonly charged by law enforcement than DUAC, sometimes a prosecutor will amend a charge before trial from DUI to DUAC, depending on the facts of the case. Contacting a lawyer in Goose Creek when facing either DUI or DUAC charges could be beneficial when dealing with either allegation.
Administrative License Suspension Proceedings
When arrested for DUI or DUAC, an automatic license suspension could ensue, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a person refused a breathalyzer test at the request of police, they are violating the state implied consent law, which triggers a six-month license suspension. Fortunately, with the help of a legal representative in Goose Creek, individuals could ask for an administrative hearing to challenge the DUI licenses suspension, such that the suspended driver is back on the road driving legally in a matter of days.
Individuals facing automatic license suspension as a result of an alcohol or drug-related driving offense only have 30 days to ask for a hearing. Through this process, the accused may challenge the suspension or request temporary driving privileges. Administrative license suspensions are entirely separate from the court-imposed suspensions that may arise from DUI or DUAC convictions.
Penalties for Goose Creek DUI and DUAC Convictions
Individuals can face harsh penalties if they are convicted of DUI or DUAC. For a first-time conviction, individuals can face a $400 fine or a jail sentence ranging from two to 30 days, for example. In some cases, a judge may order individuals to perform 48 hours of community service. For a second offense, the potential fines increase sharply, ranging from $2,100 to $5,100, as do the possible jail sentences, which could range from a mandatory minimum of five days up to one year.
Other repercussions of a DUI or DUAC conviction could include completing an alcohol or drug education program, a suspended driver’s license, or mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. A DUI or DUAC conviction could also affect the potential to work at some jobs or pursue specific careers. These consequences could be quite costly and challenging.
As individuals accumulate DUI convictions, the possible sanctions increase. Felony charges, prison sentences, and lengthy license suspensions could result when a person has a criminal history of DUI or DUAC convictions. For individuals who are accused of repeat offenses, getting advice from a DUI attorney in Goose Creek could be crucial to protecting their rights.
Talk to a Goose Creek DUI Attorney Today
A DUI or DUAC arrest calls for immediate action to avoid the adverse consequences a conviction could bring. An experienced DUI or DUAC attorney can help you weigh the costs associated with a DUI or DUAC conviction, and in the end, particularly concerning insurance premiums, it may be more beneficial financially to fight the allegation rather than just plead guilty. Since DUI cases move through the criminal justice system quickly, contacting a Goose Creek DUI lawyer at the outset of your case could improve your chances. Waiting too long to get advice could make defending against the charges more challenging. Call today to speak with an attorney.