When you decide to drink and drive, you have to be ready to accept the consequences. Once those red and blue lights appear in your rearview mirror, your life will change forever. If you’re pulled over for a traffic stop or for reckless driving, and you’re intoxicated, you will be arrested. You’ll also be charged for DUI in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Some people think that, if they hire an expensive DUI defense lawyer in South Carolina, they’re guaranteed to get their charges reduced. Sadly, this isn’t the case. It is true that you’ll have a better chance for a positive income if you’re represented by a lawyer. However, there’s never any guarantee that your charges will be reduced or dismissed. This always depends on the facts of your case. It also depends on the prosecutor.
If you are fortunate enough to get your DUI charges reduced, you’ll likely have to accept a plea for reckless driving. In some states, there is something called a “wet reckless.” This is just a reckless driving charge that involves alcohol. In South Carolina, there’s no such thing as a wet reckless. The only option for a reduced DUI charge is an ordinary reckless driving charge. Thankfully, you don’t need to handle this yourself. You can call and meet with an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Spartanburg right away.
What are the Advantages of Pleading Guilty to Reckless Driving?
Most people charged with DUI would jump at the chance to have their charges reduced. They’ll do almost anything to avoid having a conviction for DUI on their criminal record. There are several reasons for this. First, the fines are a lot lower for a reckless driving conviction. That doesn’t mean they’re cheap. In South Carolina, even if your Spartanburg DUI defense attorney can get your charges reduced, you’ll still have to pay $440 in fines.
You’re also going to see your insurance rates increase. However, they won’t increase by as much as they would have you been convicted of DUI. There’s also the matter of not having a DUI conviction on your record. If someone does a background check for school or employment, a DUI can hurt you. The same isn’t true for a reckless driving charge.
The other thing is that, if you’re convicted of a first DUI, the penalties increase exponentially for a later charge. DUI cases typically result in possible jail time, heavy fines and a suspension of your driver’s license. The penalties for a reckless driving charge are much lower. This is why your Spartanburg DUI lawyer will work hard with the prosecutor to negotiate a deal.
There are Some Consequences to a Reckless Driving Conviction in South Carolina
While you may be able to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction, that doesn’t mean a reckless driving charge is ideal. There are still penalties associated with this kind of charge. For example, as mentioned above, you will have to pay several dollars in fines. You will also have to deal with 6 points with the DMV. This will lead to higher insurance rates as well. In addition, if you receive two reckless driving convictions within 5 years, your driver’s license will be suspended for ninety (90) days. However, this is a lot better than dealing with a mandatory suspension of up to a year with a DUI conviction.
If you happen to receive three (3) reckless driving convictions in South Carolina, you’ll be labeled as a habitual offender. This will result in a suspension of your driver’s license for several years. You’ll also be ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines. It could also impact your job if you do any commercial driving for a living.
Contact an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Spartanburg Right Away
If you’ve been charged with DUI in South Carolina, you should talk to an experienced DUI lawyer right away. There is too much at stake to try to handle this on your own. Call the Bateman Firm as soon as possible after your arrest. You’ll have to attend your first hearing within a matter of days. You’ll want to give your Spartanburg DUI lawyer time to prepare for this hearing. Having a skilled attorney can make the difference between getting your charges reduced or dismissed. While there is no guarantee that this will happen, it’s a good idea to have someone by your side throughout the legal process. Plus, the prosecutor will take you more seriously if you have a lawyer.