If you’ve been charged with DUI in South Carolina, you’re facing some pretty serious penalties. Even if it’s your first offense, you’ll be facing possible jail time, fines, and a mandatory 6-month suspension of your driver’s license. In many cases, the evidence against you is rather overwhelming. However, that doesn’t mean you deserve to have your entire life unended. That’s why the best DUI defense lawyer in Spartanburg will try to get the prosecutor to agree to a DUI diversion program.
If you are approved for this program, it could be the answer you’ve been waiting for. Under South Carolina’s DUI diversion program, your sentence will be suspended for the time being. You’ll be entered into a program that works like probation. As long as you completed the requirements ordered by the judge, the charges will ultimately be dropped. If, however, you violate the terms of your program, you’ll be right back where you started, facing a conviction and a very harsh sentence.
Here, we will explain how the DUI diversion program works in South Carolina. We will also briefly discuss who may qualify for this program. If you still have questions or concerns about your DUI case, give our office a call. We can schedule a time for you to come in and discuss your case with one of our criminal defense attorneys in Spartanburg.
Not Everybody is Eligible for the Spartanburg DUI Diversion Program
The biggest stipulation for people looking to take advantage of the DUI diversion program in South Carolina has to do with your criminal history. The only people eligible for this program are people charged with DUI for the first time. If you’ve been convicted of DUI at any point in your life, you will not be allowed to participate in this program.
The reason for this is that the courts do believe that everybody deserves a second chance. If you were already convicted of DUI before, the courts assume you haven’t learned your lesson. They reserve the seats in this program for people who haven’t made the same mistake twice.
This means that, if you’ve been charged with DUI for the second time, you won’t be able to apply for the DUI diversion program. Keep in mind – if your criminal defense attorney in Spartanburg can prove that you were never convicted before, you may still qualify for the program.
How Does the DUI Diversion Program Work in South Carolina?
The DUI diversion program in South Carolina is very similar to those in other states. Many of the courts across the country operate diversion programs for all sorts of offenses. Many of them revolve around alcohol and drug crimes. With the drug epidemic being what it is, the courts realize that people may benefit from alcohol and drug treatment more than they would a jail sentence.
When you’re charged with DUI, one of the things your lawyer will discuss with the prosecutor is the idea of the DUI diversion program. If you’re approved, the judge will suspend any final sentence and allow you to enter the program. As long as you stay on the straight and narrow and fulfill the conditions of the program, you’ll be fine. Upon completion of the DUI diversion program, the judge will dismiss the charges against you. If you hire one of the best DUI defense lawyers in Spartanburg, they may be able to get the record expunged for you as well.
Your Criminal Defense Attorney in Spartanburg Understand How Strict the Program Is
If you’re approved for the DUI diversion program, you need to stick to the guidelines. You’ll be required to attend drug and alcohol classes as well as an alcohol treatment program. In addition, you’ll be required to perform a certain number of hours doing community service. You will perform these hours during the course of the DUI diversion program.
When you first apply for the program, the judge will make sure you understand that you are responsible for any costs involved. The costs of the program, including fines, can run anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500. If you know you won’t be able to pay this much, you can request a payment plan.
As long as you make your payments on time, things should work out swimmingly. However, the charges against you won’t be dismissed until you’ve paid the fee in total. Also, if you miss a payment, you could be discharged from the DUI diversion program. if this happens, you will find yourself right back in front of the judge. And, this time, they won’t be willing to entertain any sort of probation or DUI diversion program.
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Spartanburg About Your DUI Case
If you have recently been arrested and charged with DUI, you probably already know what is ahead of you. When you go to trial, the judge is going to decide whether they think you’re innocent or guilty. Of course, if we are to speak honestly, when the prosecutor decides to charge someone with DUI, it’s because there is evidence that speaks to them. If they didn’t think you were guilty of the offense, or if the evidence isn’t there, they wouldn’t move forward with charges.
Our criminal defense attorneys in Spartanburg have spent years handling these types of cases. Over the years, we have learned how beneficial South Carolina’s DUI diversion program can be. We have seen many success stories. For many people, the idea of a second chance is all they need to get their lives back on track.
Rather than face jail time, fines, or a license suspension, you may be eligible for a DUI diversion program. We have spelled out the qualifications for this program above. If you believe you are a good candidate for the program, give us a call today. We’ll have you sit down with one of the best DUI defense lawyers in Spartanburg, South Carolina.