- If you are stopped by the police and an officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are materially and appreciably impaired, you could be arrested for Driving Under the Influence. You could be charged with the criminal offense of drunk driving, and could lose your license and even end up in jail. A Charleston DUI attorney can help you fight to avoid these undesirable outcomes, and can assist in negotiating a plea agreement to try to reduce the penalties that you face.Howell and Christmas, LLC represents clients accused of crimes, including drunk driving. We understand the science, as well as the law, behind DUI cases, and we will work hard to help you throughout your case.
Drunk Driving Charges in Charleston, SC
South Carolina’s implied consent laws impose penalties for refusing to submit to a test of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if you have been arrested for driving under the influence. You do not have to submit to field sobriety tests, and can politely decline to do so, but those are different from testing your BAC. If you refuse to submit to a BAC test, your refusal can be used as evidence against you in your DUI case and lead to the suspension of your license.
If you take a breath, blood, or urine test, and your BAC is .15 or greater, you face an automatic 6-month suspension of your license for a first offense. You can request a hearing to challenge this suspension, but you must act quickly as you have only 30 days to try to fight for your license. If you do not try to stop the administrative suspension, or if the suspension is upheld at your hearing, you may be required to complete a South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program to get your license back. This is true whether you are found innocent or guilty of DUI in your criminal case because the automatic license suspension is administered through the DMV.
When you proceed to a court hearing for your drunk driving charges, depending upon your BAC and past criminal record, if you are found guilty of drunk driving, any or all of the following may be part of your sentence:
- jail time
- drug and alcohol counseling
- community service
- license suspension
How Can a Charleston DUI Attorney Help
A drunk driving defense lawyer can help you respond to both DUI criminal charges, as well as to your administrative license suspension.
The right approach to your DUI charges depends upon the specifics of your case. Our DUI lawyers in Charleston have represented many clients who faced drunk driving charges. We’ll put our legal experience to work to help you make strategic choices throughout your case. At every step, we will work hard to defend you. Call today at (844) 334-0057 or contact us to learn more.