Whenever you are facing misdemeanor DUI charges in Clemson, South Carolina, you are likely to have a lot of questions. It may be your very first run in with the law, your very first (and hopefully last) DUI charge, or your first DUI charge in South Carolina. Or you may be contending with a subsequent DUI offense. Whatever the case, you’re going to need these important questions answered.
What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Clemson, South Carolina?
If you are dealing with your very first DUI charge, or simply your first DUI charge in South Carolina, you might be
wondering about the difference between a DUI and DWI. DUI stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence (of drugs or alcohol).’ DWI stands for ‘Driving While Intoxicated (by drugs or alcohol).’ The only difference between the two is the terminology that is used in different states. In South Carolina, we use the term DUI instead of DWI. However, if you have faced DWI charges in another state, you were facing pretty much the same charge and you can expect the case to be handled somewhat similarly. In any event, if you are facing a DUI charge in South Carolina or a DWI somewhere else, you are accused of being under the influence or intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
Will You Face Further Jail Time Beyond Your Arrest for a Misdemeanor DUI Charge in Clemson, South Carolina?
When you are arrested for a misdemeanor DUI charge in Clemson, South Carolina, you will be taken to jail. However, this is not the jail sentence that is going to be associated with a conviction. Rather, you will have a specific jail sentence ordered as a consequence of the DUI if you are convicted. If you are not convicted, then you will not face subsequent jail time. In some cases, a Clemson DUI defense attorney will be able to negotiate for a lighter jail sentence, for probation, or a diversion program before you go to trial. It is possible for an experienced DUI attorney to resolve the case with a plea bargain, meaning you may plead guilty to a lesser charge or with a lesser punishment. It is also possible that you could resolve the case without having to plead guilty, depending on the situation and whether you have prior convictions. To determine the best possible situation for the specifics of your case, consult the DUI attorneys at Bateman Law Firm in Clemson, SC.
Is Your DUI Charge a Misdemeanor or a Felony in Clemson, South Carolina?
Whether or not your DUI charge is a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on how many prior convictions you have. If you are facing your first, second, or third DUI, then it should be a misdemeanor. If you are facing your fourth DUI or beyond your fourth DUI, it is a felony. For a misdemeanor charge, you can expect to spend up to five years in jail on a third and subsequent or as little as 48 hours on a first offense. You can also be made to pay fines between $400 and $10,000. Finally, your license will be suspended for anywhere between six months and five years. For a felony charge, you will spend as much as seven years in jail and you may lose your license permanently.
How is Your Auto Insurance Policy Affected if You are Convicted of a DUI in Clemson, South Carolina?
Whether or not your auto insurance policy is going to be affected by a DUI charge depends on whether or not you are convicted. If you are not convicted, then it should not be affected at all. If you are convicted, then your premiums will go up and you may have to prove that you have liability coverage with an SR-22 form with the DMV. If your attorney can get you out of the situation with a lesser charge, the impact on your auto insurance policy will depend on the charge.
Is Your DUI Charge Going to Be Visible to Future Employers or the Public in Clemson, South Carolina?
Unfortunately, DUI charges are considered public record and they are visible to anyone who wishes to look, even if you are not convicted. However, if you are not convicted, you can get your record expunged so that it no longer appears on your record. If you are convicted, then expungement will not be an option, and your conviction will remain a matter of public record.
What Are Your Options for Reducing or Dismissing Your DUI Charges in Clemson, SC?
You may be able to get your misdemeanor DUI charges reduced or dismissed in Clemson, South Carolina, though will need the help of an attorney. For example, many misdemeanor DUI cases are resolved by getting the charges reduced to something like reckless driving. In other cases, your South Carolina DUI defense attorney may be able to get your misdemeanor charges dismissed altogether. This is particularly likely in cases where your attorney is able to argue that some evidence should be dismissed or suppressed. It may be that the breathalyzer or blood test that was administered to you was not reliable because it wasn’t well maintained. It may be that the police did not follow procedures. It may be that nobody can even prove that you were driving the vehicle. There are many different possibilities that you’ll want to discuss with an experienced Clemson DUI defense lawyer.
Contact a Clemson DUI Defense Attorney at the Bateman Law Firm
The best thing that you can do for yourself when you are facing DUI charges in Clemson, South Carolina, is to contact a skilled DUI defense attorney. The Bateman Law Firm is prepared to answer all of your questions and work towards achieving the best possible outcome in your case. We will investigate the circumstances of your arrest and whether or not the charges can be reduced or dismissed. Call today to learn more about your options for defense.