If you’re arrested for DUI in South Carolina, you’ll be facing some serious penalties. Not only can a DUI conviction impact you in the short term. It can also have long-term impacts on your life. You could lose your job or your professional license. You may end up with incredibly high insurance rates because of a DUI conviction. If you can find a way to get the charges reduced or dismissed, it can change your life. That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to a DUI lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina.
In order to get your charges dismissed, your DUI attorney needs to be able to poke holes in the State’s case. Ordinarily, this means you’ll need to raise a valid defense. Your Greenville DUI defense lawyer will work hard to prove that one of these defenses apply to your case.
Here, we’ll talk about some of the most common defenses to a DUI charge in South Carolina. We’ll also talk about the reasons why you should retain an experienced DUI lawyer before your first hearing.
Did the Police Have Probable Cause for the Traffic Stop?
In order for the State to use any of the evidence they have against you in your DUI case, they must show probable cause. This means they need probable cause for both the traffic stop and the DUI arrest. Unfortunately for DUI defendants, it’s not hard for the State to prove either of these things.
In order to show probable cause for a traffic stop, the police only have to show that there was a traffic violation. This can include any of the following:
- You ran a red light or didn’t stop at a stop sign
- Your lights or indicators are not working properly
- Your registration or inspection is expired
- You were speeding or driving recklessly
- You were texting and driving
If the police can show any of these things, then your traffic stop will be considered valid. As for showing that they had probable cause for the DUI arrest, the police simply need to demonstrate some or all of the following:
- Slurred speech
- Red or bloodshot eyes
- The smell of alcohol or marijuana
- Open container
- Drugs or paraphernalia are visible in the vehicle or on your person
If they notice any of these things, they have the right to demand you submit to a breathalyzer test. If you blow over the legal limit of .08, you can be arrested for DUI.
Did the Officer Videotape Your Traffic Stop and Breathalyzer?
In South Carolina, the police are required to videotape your arrest. They must start the tape rolling as soon as they turn their lights on. They must let the recording continue until the entire arrest process is over. If they don’t this, there’s a good chance the charges will be dismissed. Your Greenville DUI lawyer will check to see if there is a copy of this recording. If there is, they’ll check to see if the arrest was carried out properly. If there is no recording, they’ll demand that your charges be dismissed or reduced.
How Does Having a DUI Lawyer in Greenville Help Your Case?
If you have a DUI attorney by your side, they can help look for possible defenses. It’s a lot easier for a skilled lawyer to do this than a defendant. You may have no idea what to look for. Your lawyer knows how to punch holes in the prosecutor’s case. They’ve handled cases like yours before. They also have a history with the prosecutor. They know what the State will be willing to do when it comes to a plea bargain.
If you try to handle your case on your own, you may be at a disadvantage. If you don’t have an attorney, you will only get to talk to the prosecutor for a few minutes. You may not get to talk to them at all. And if you do talk to them, you won’t really know what to say. You’re much better off having an attorney by your side. The prosecutor will take them a lot more seriously than they will a criminal defendant.
Contact a Skilled DUI Attorney in Greenville, South Carolina
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Greenville, you need to contact our office right away. Let one of our experienced DUI lawyers review your case and give you an idea of what you’re up against. There is too much at stake to try to handle this on your own.