It is a difficult situation to be charged with a DUI in South Carolina. The laws regarding this are strict and, if convicted, your standing in society itself would be lost, let alone heavy fines and the possibility of jail time. So, if you are charged with a DUI, it is best to hire an attorney, or considering the case should at least be the first thing on your mind.
An attorney can help you deal with several issues related to your case and guide you through the whole process. Unlike you, an attorney would have several such cases under their belt and know what to do in what situation and how to do it.
Although depending on an attorney can be a great idea, it would be in your best interest to have at least some knowledge of your rights and processes involved with the charging of a DUI in South Carolina.
South Carolina DUI Laws
The laws of South Carolina impose hefty fines, community service, jail time, and even a suspended driving license for those charged with a DUI in South Carolina. For each subsequent charge, the punishment simply becomes even more severe. A person can be arrested for a DUI in South Carolina if they are found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher.
However, not every arrest goes on to become a conviction. Some several procedures and protocols are meant to be followed by law enforcement to get a conviction successfully. Thus, by ensuring your legal rights, there is a good chance that your arrest can be suspended and you will be let go.
What Should You Do After You’re Arrested for a DUI in South Carolina?
Once you’re arrested for a DUI, you will likely be spending the night in jail until your charges are being processed. Once they are, you will be let out on bail. However, you must take the time to sit and consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney would ensure that your rights are in no way infringed upon and you get the fairest trial to the fullest extent.
Should You Be Talking to the Police Officer at the Stop?
If a police officer stops you, it is your legal obligation to provide them with your license and registration to verify your identity. Anything beyond this is not an obligation whatsoever. Usually, the police will be looking for signs like red and watery eyes, slurred speech or lack of coordination, or even the odor of alcohol on your breathing.
They will use it to justify a DUI search and arrest on you. If they can’t find any of them, they’ll ask questions like, “where are you coming from?” or “where are you going?” or “can I have consent to search your vehicle?” or any other questions that could possibly help them gather more time to gain evidence on you.
You do not have to entertain any of this and can simply say that you would not like to speak anything without your attorney present.
Should You Participate in Any Field Sobriety Tests?
Once an officer asks you to participate in any such tests, you should understand that they already suspect you of being driving under the influence, and the test is merely to gather more evidence against you. Showing poor performance on these tests can be attributed to many factors and not just drinking alcohol. It isn’t in your best interest to voluntarily give consent to have a sobriety test done on you.
Also, by denying the test, you would withhold any information that the prosecution can use against you as evidence.
What Are Some Defences Against a DUI Charge?
Several defenses can be played against a DUI charge. However, hiring an attorney would work in your favor and make the most of your rights.
One of the tests the police can ask you to undergo is the breathalyzer test. It shows how much alcohol content is present in your body. While you can be arrested if the reading is 0.08% and above, the device itself should be appropriately calibrated. Otherwise, it can be overturned.
There can be several other reasons why a breathalyzer cannot be accepted as evidence in your case. There are other factors regarding the arrest that an attorney would know best to overturn.
So, if you need an attorney to take care of your DUI in South Carolina, we are here to help you out. Contact us today to learn more.