DUI (Driving Under the Influence), also referred to as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), is a serious offense in the state of South Carolina. If you have been charged with a DUI, you should seek legal help from an attorney experienced in handling DUI charges at once.
Each year, South Carolina enacts stronger DUI laws and that can have a significant effect upon you, your family, your employability and your insurability. You could lose your driver's license, be placed in jail and fined substantially. Your car insurance rates may rise and you could end up with a criminal conviction on your record that could impact your future and your employment opportunities. Persons driving under the influence with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle can be charged with Child Endangerment in addition the regular drunk driving charge.
A first offense South Carolina DUI conviction carries a possible confinement of up to 30 days for the lowest level, and between 30 and 90 days in jail for a first offense with an alcohol level of 0.15% or greater. A Second offense exposes those convicted to a possible sentence of up a year in jail. A third offense can carry a sentence of up to 3 years in jail. A fourth offense can carry a sentence of up to 5 years in jail. In addition to the jail time, all South Carolina DUI sentences include mandatory, court-ordered drug or alcohol abuse treatment programs.
If a driver is under the influence and causes an injury or death of another person, the sentences range up to 15 to 25 years in prison, plus a 5 year license suspension after the prison terms is concluded. For people convicted of child endangerment in addition to DUI, the time behind bars can be increased by 50-percent, and the drivers license suspension extended for an additional 60 days.
The difference in the outcome of a case is why using an attorney who focuses on DUI defense is important. A criminal defense lawyer who regularly practices in the area of DUI defense will be familiar with the DUI laws and their potential consequence in South Carolina and an experienced DUI lawyer may be able to help you get your drunk driving charge reduced or even dismissed and save your driver's license. Further, there are administrative consequences to a charge and or conviction for Drunk Driving and those accused of drunk driving may need assistance in understanding Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) practices and policies on license revocation or suspensions.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has asked law enforcement officers to seize the drivers' licenses of those accused of drunk driving immediately upon arrest so it is important for people charged to commence the process of obtaining the return of their licenses as soon as possible. The process requires an individual to quickly obtain an SR-22 form (SR22) from their auto insurance company, agent or broker and file this "Proof of Financial Responsibility" form with the DMV or DPS. The DUI attorneys at Weidner, Wegmann & Harper, LLC, can assist you with quickly getting back on the road again.
Inevitably, those charged with DUI will have many questions regarding going to court and the possible outcomes to their case. As each case is unique, it is important to seek the advice and assistance of an experienced DUI attorney such as those found at Weidner, Wegmann & Harper, LLC as soon as possible. Once we have had the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the specifics of your particular case, we will be in a position to advise you meaningfully as to the consequences and options available to you for defending your case.
Call Weidner, Wegmann & Harper, LLC at 843-521-0004.