A DUI arrest can be an intimidating and frightening experience. This is especially true for those who have never been under arrest before. You will likely have many questions and concerns as to how such an arrest will affect your future and your wallet. DUI consequences can be severe and a conviction will lead to a permanent criminal record that can negatively affect many areas of your life afterward.
Getting experienced legal representation in the face of a DUI is strongly advised. Just because you were arrested does not mean you will automatically be convicted. Many potential challenges can be made in DUI cases based on the various aspects of the incident, from probable cause to the technical aspects of chemical tests and how they were administered and more. At Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, our Greenville DUI lawyer can investigate all of the factors that went into your DUI charge in search of weaknesses and flaws in the state’s cases against you. As a former prosecutor, our attorney is well-versed in how DUI evidence can be challenged.
DUI Laws in Greenville
In South Carolina, you can be arrested and charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .08 percent or more. You can also be arrested with a BAC less than this if you show signs of being impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
When arrested, if you refuse to submit to a chemical test as requested by the arresting officer, your license will be suspended for at least six months. Your current license will be confiscated by the officer at the time of your arrest and you will have 30 days to request an administrative hearing regarding your license suspension. For the best possible result at a DUI hearing, you should be represented by an experienced local attorney.
Potential Penalties for a DUI
The consequences of a DUI conviction depend on a number of factors, including the existence of prior offenses. A first offense DUI carries the following penalties:
- Depending on your BAC level, you will face from 48 hours up to 90 days in jail. A first offense with a BAC level of .16 percent or higher will result in the longest jail term.
- You may be granted community service in lieu of jail time which will vary depending on your BAC level.
- Fines based on your BAC level can range from $400 to $1,000 plus court costs.
- Required attendance and completion of a state-approved substance abuse program.
- A license suspension of six months.
- An ignition interlock device for six months if your BAC measured .15 percent or higher.
- Increased auto insurance premiums.
Second, third, and subsequent offenses will result in harsher penalties. Third and subsequent offenses within a 10-year period will be charged as felonies. The consequences of a third DUI can lead to up to three years in prison and fines of up to $12,000. A skilled Greenville attorney could help you better understand the potential consequences you are facing after a DUI arrest.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record?
In South Carolina, a DUI will stay on your record forever. Also, a DUI cannot be expunged in SC. The only way for a DUI to be expunged is if it did not lead to a conviction.
Let a Dedicated Greenville DUI Attorney Fight for You
A DUI conviction can impact every aspect of your life. You could be facing imprisonment, heavy fines, a loss of your license, and damage to your personal and professional reputation. In light of these penalties, you owe it to yourself to seek experienced legal help.
At Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, we have successfully challenged and reversed the outcomes for many DUI cases throughout Greenville County and upstate South Carolina. We will do everything possible to prevent your license from being taken away and to limit your penalties (if any). Contact a Greenville DUI lawyer today to get started.