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If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving you may not know where to turn. Many people may think having an attorney is too expensive and they should either accept their charge or can negotiate a plea on their own, especially for first-time offenders. What many do not know, however, is that attorneys' fees are often much less than what they may assume and a fraction of the long-term financial toll a DUI can have.
While the cost may be a significant factor for many, there are many benefits of hiring an experienced attorney to help you through a DUI.
Our lawyers understand the DUI laws in South Carolina, the deadlines you must meet, and what to expect during court procedures. Instead of struggling to understand the legal process, you can count on an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process, explain what to expect along the way, and potential likely outcomes from your case.
Another benefit of hiring a Greenville DUI lawyer is that you can rely on a legal advocate, someone with years of experience with DUI cases, to speak on your behalf. After being arrested, many DUI offenders want to tell their stories, explain to prosecutors and others why they're innocent. The problem is that speaking on your own can inadvertently hurt your case rather than help it. At Touma Law Group, we recommend you say as little as possible about your case to anyone before having legal representation.
A lawyer experienced in DUI law will meet with you to review all of the details of your case and then start building the best defense strategy given the information provided to help ensure you get a favorable outcome. At Touma Law Group, we have helped many DUI offenders beat their criminal charges and we can help you, too. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Greenville DUI criminal defense law firm today at 864-618-2323.
Vigorous Defense After A Drunk Driving Arrest
Whatever the circumstances, at Touma Law Group, our Greenville DUI criminal defense attorneys know how to craft the strongest defense strategy for those charged with a criminal offense. We have years of experience handling:
- First-time arrest for drunk driving charges
- DUI offenses with aggravating factors, such as high blood alcohol content, a child in the car, personal injury, or even death.
- Subsequent DUI charges
- Underage drunk driving involving college or high school students
- Refusal to take a breath test
- Arrests at DUI traffic checkpoints
- Alcohol or drug-related motor vehicle accidents.
After a DUI arrest, there are several drunk driving defenses. Our legal team has successfully challenged drunk driving charges based on reasonable suspicion at the traffic stop, how the Breathalyzer test was performed, and the legitimacy of field sobriety tests. Our drunk driving defense team will scrutinize the evidence in your DUI case to find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.
Every intoxicated driving charge has two components: the civil case and the criminal charge. Your civil case, before the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), will determine whether your driver's license will be suspended. You can request a hearing before the DMV within 30 days after your DUI arrest. If successful, our team can help you maintain a clean driving record and keep your driving privileges. This hearing also offers an excellent opportunity to get a look at the prosecutor’s case against you.
Call our experienced Greenville DUI lawyers today to schedule a free no-obligation consultation. Based in Greenville, our legal team represents clients in Anderson, Spartanburg, across the Upstate region, and throughout South Carolina.
What is the Criminal Penalty for DUI in Greenville, South Carolina?
In South Carolina, it's unlawful to drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated to the extent that your ability to operate the vehicle is materially and appreciably impaired. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, it's presumed that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have a blood alcohol level that is at least 0.05% but less than 0.08%, the prosecution can consider your blood alcohol content together with other evidence, such as a failed field sobriety test.
South Carolina DUI law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.02%. According to South Carolina's "zero tolerance" law, a driver under 21 who drives with a blood alcohol content above 0.02% is subject to automatic license suspension for three months or six months if there's a previous DUI conviction or driver's license suspension in the last five years.
If an underage driver refuses to consent to BAC testing, their driver's license will be suspended for six months, or one year if there's a previous drunk driving conviction or license suspension in the past five years.
Besides any administrative penalties, South Carolina DUI convictions can result in the following additional penalties:
First-time DUI offense
In South Carolina, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a $400 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and 6-month license revocation for DUI offense with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $500 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and 6-month driver's license revocation for those with a BAC ranging between 0.10 and 0.16%, and with a $1,000 fine, up to 90 days in jail, and 6-month license revocation for those with a BAC above 0.16%
Second-time DUI offense
This is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by a $5,100 fine, up to 1 year in jail, and 1-year license revocation for repeat DUI offenders with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $5,500 fine, up to 2 years in jail, and 1-year license revocation for defendants with a BAC of 0.10-0.16%, or by $6,500 fine, up to 3 years in jail, and 1-year driver's license revocation for defendants with a BAC above 0.16%.
Third DUI offense
This is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a 6,300 fine, up to 3 years in jail, and 2- or 4-year license revocation for those with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $7,500 fine, up to 4 years in jail, and 2- to 4-year driver's license revocation for those with a BAC ranging between 0.10-0.16%, or by a $10,000 fine, up to 5 years in jail, and 2- to 4-year license revocation period for those with a BAC above 0.16%.
Fourth or subsequent DUI offense
This is a felony offense, punishable by lifetime license revocation and up to 5 years in jail for defendants with a BAC under 0.10%, or by permanent license revocation and up to 6 years in jail for DUI offenders with a BAC ranging between 0.10and 0.16%, or by lifetime license revocation and up to 7 years in jail for defendants with a BAC above 0.16%.
Along with the above criminal penalties, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device may be required once a driver's license suspension period lapses.
Contact a Greenville DUI Lawyer Today for Legal Advice!
Every DUI case has unique legal consequences and potential outcomes, and any kind of DUI conviction—whether for a misdemeanor offense, felony offense, or unclassified offense—can have a long-lasting impact on your future. It's a bad idea to go into any kind of legal battle without legal guidance from a legal professional who has handled similar cases successfully in the past.
A skilled Greenville criminal defense lawyer could be your most tenacious, most knowledgeable, and most essential ally in the legal battle to contest the accusations made against you. To schedule a no-cost and confidential consultation, contact our law offices in Greenville today.