Driver’s license suspensions often accompany penalties for DUI convictions. This is arguably one of the most devastating penalties for a DUI due to the loss of independence it occasions and the cost of reinstating the license. However, it is avoidable, but only if you act fast and hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer who knows how Spartanburg SC DUI laws operate and how to get around them.
Any person who drives in South Carolina with a BAC of 0.08% (0.02% for underage drinkers and 0.04% for commercial drivers) or higher is guilty of the offense of driving under the influence. At the point of his arrest, the officer will take away his license and issue a “notice of suspension.” An offender then has 7 days to apply to the DMV for an administrative hearing; if he is successful, his license would be reinstated, if he isn’t, his case would be treated as if he’d never requested for an administrative hearing.
A license suspension or revocation doesn’t only affect your ability to drive; it also affects your insurance. To get your license reinstated by the South Carolina DMV following the end of the suspension term, you must file an SR22 form and keep your SR22 insurance for 3 years. An SR22 form would notify your insurer of your DUI conviction, and they may increase your premium or stop insuring you. Due to the risks involved, many insurance companies do not offer SR22 insurance and the ones that do impose expensive premiums.
If you love your independence, losing your license is out of the question, and your only option is to avoid a DUI conviction at all cost. You can do this by winning the case or entering a plea bargain to get a reduced charge. An expert DUI defense attorney will advise you on the best option.
Your DUI Lawyer Can Help You Keep Your License
There are multiple ways to avoid losing your license when you’re charged with DUI. Your DUI lawyer can enter a plea bargain for a reduced charge, you can apply to the DMV for an administrative license, or your lawyer can present your case favorably and win the trial.
A good DUI defense lawyer, after evaluating your chances of winning and the prosecution’s chances of securing a conviction may advise you to enter a plea bargain to get a reduced charge. If the plea bargain is successful, you stand to keep your license and keep a DUI conviction off your criminal records. Plea bargains are all about negotiation, so if this is an option you’d like to explore, you need to hire a DUI defense lawyer who is highly skilled at negotiation. Talk to your DUI attorney about this option and if you’re not convinced about his negotiation skills, hire a different lawyer.
A good DUI defense lawyer should be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to get you a reduced charge; if he succeeds, your DUI charge may be reduced to Reckless Driving Without Alcohol (also known as Dry Reckless), Public Intoxication, or any other traffic violation that is not equivalent to a DUI charge.
As mentioned above, one way to avoid losing your license is to file for an administrative hearing at the DMV within 7 days after your DUI arrest. Contacting a DUI defense lawyer can be the difference between losing your legal right to drive and saving your license.
Another way a DUI attorney can help you avoid driver’s license suspension is by winning the trial and avoiding a DUI conviction. If your DUI lawyer is conversant with Spartanburg SC DUI laws, he would be able to apply the available defenses correctly to help you avoid a DUI conviction and keep your license. Some defenses your DUI lawyer may bring up are:
- The officer stopped you randomly and with no probable cause.
- You were not intoxicated or impaired at the time of the arrest.
- You did poorly on the field sobriety test due to an illness, prescription meds, or confusing orders from the officer.
- The officer failed to adhere to SLED rules during the arrest.
When to Contact a Spartanburg SC DUI Attorney
If saving your license from suspension by the DMV is your priority, it is imperative that you contact a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. You have only seven days to save your license, so it’s best to hire an expert DUI defense attorney at The Bateman Firm quickly to go over your case and prepare your defense.