Practice Areas

3 Reasons To Hire A Lawyer After A DUI Arrest In South Carolina

Numerous people are arrested in Greenville, and throughout South Carolina, each year on suspicion of drunk driving. In fact, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported that there were 18,675 DUI arrests in 2012 alone. Particularly when it is their first arrest, many who are charged with driving under the influence choose to handle their legal troubles themselves. However, hiring an attorney may be vital to people achieving the best possible resolutions to their cases.

Familiarity with the state's DUI laws

There is more to South Carolina's drunk driving laws than just people's blood alcohol content levels at the time of their arrests. The state's DPS points out that motorists may be charged with DUI if they are physically or mentally impaired while operating a motor vehicle. This impairment may be due to alcohol consumption, as well as the use of illegal drugs, legal drugs or narcotics.

Navigating through the legalities of drunk driving arrests may be complicated for the average person. DUI attorneys, on the other hand, typically have a thorough understanding of the state's laws and procedures. As such, they are familiar with how best to establish a defense against the charges people are facing.

Dealing with the consequences

If people in South Carolina are convicted of driving under the influence, they could face potentially serious penalties. Under state law, those convicted on these charges may be subject to a $500 fine, as well as a minimum of 48 hours in jail, for a first-time offense. The law does, however, allow for lightened penalties. This may include performing community service in lieu of serving time in jail.

With few exceptions, attorneys are familiar with the sentencing standards for DUI convictions. Where those charged with DUI may not be aware of other options, legal representatives may know when it is appropriate to argue for a lesser sentence. This may help stave off some of the more severe consequences of drunk driving convictions, which may help protect people's futures.

Questioning the evidence

Often, driving under the influence arrests are based on people's performances in field sobriety tests and the results of breath tests. Consequently, they will have to defend against this evidence when fighting their DUI charges. Attorneys may offer alternative explanations for why people performed poorly in field sobriety tests. They may also call into question the accuracy of breath tests, or ask whether people's rights were violated during the traffic stops that led to their arrests. As such, this may help reduce the effectiveness of the evidence that is presented against their clients in court.

Protecting drivers' voices

When people in South Carolina, and elsewhere, are charged with suspicion of DUI, they may feel that they have no recourse. Even with field sobriety tests and breath tests results that may be held against them, however, those facing such charges do have options. Working with an attorney may help ensure that people who are arrested for drunk driving have the opportunity to present their side of the case in court. Legal representatives may help ensure their rights are upheld, as well as build a strong criminal defense.