Many people make the decision to simply plead guilty—particularly if this is their first DUI arrest—because they believe it will make the entire thing go away more quickly. Unfortunately, this is simply NOT TRUE. When you plead guilty to DUI charges, you have set in motion consequences which cannot be reversed. Some of these consequences include:
- Time spent behind bars;
- Extremely high fines and fees;
- The loss of your driver’s license for a specific amount of time;
- Potentially having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle;
- The potential loss of your job, or an inability to find employment;
- Insurance premiums which become so high as to be unaffordable in some cases;
- An inability to secure a government college loan or to join the military, and
- A permanent blot on your criminal record.
It is virtually always a better idea to fight your DUI charges. In some cases, you may find your DUI charges dismissed completely because of lack of evidence or police mistakes. At the very least, your Orangeburg DUI defense attorney may be able to have your charges reduced or to get you into a diversionary program as an alternative to jail. Remember these two important facts:
- The most important thing you can do to lessen the negative consequences of your DUI charges is to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Remember, the prosecution is required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state is unable to prove an element of your DUI offense, or if the police officer improperly conducted your stop, your field sobriety tests, or your chemical tests, then it could be difficult to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- A failed field sobriety test or chemical test does not automatically mean you cannot win your DUI case.
The state of South Carolina has fairly harsh DUI costs and penalties, as well as strict DUI laws. As such, it is advisable never to plead guilty to DUI charges before you have consulted a skilled Orangeburg DUI defense attorney who can thoroughly examine the details of your DUI arrest. You may have some preconceived notions regarding your DUI charges which can harm you in the long run. Some of the most common “myths” about DUI include:
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Penalties for a DUI in the State of South Carolina
If you refuse a chemical test or receive a DUI, you may receive the following penalties:
- First offense: $400 fine, 6-month suspension, minimum 48 hours in jail, ignition interlock device, or a maximum of 30 days in jail and/or 48 hours of community service.
- Second offense: $2,100 to $5,100 fine, indefinite driver’s license suspension, minimum five days in jail or up to a maximum of one year in jail.
- Third offense: $3,800 to $6,300 fine, indefinite driver’s license suspension, minimum of 60 days in jail or up to a maximum of 3 years in jail.
- Fourth offense: fine and suspension to be determined by a court, a minimum of 1 year in jail or a maximum of 5 years in jail.
Note that a blood alcohol level of over .16% will result in higher fines and/or jail time. Speak to your drunk driving lawyer for more information about jail time, fines and license suspensions for DUI charges.
If you are underage and charged with a DUI, be sure to contact DUI Attorneys in Orangeburg, SC who can review your case to determine what your next steps should be and what penalties you may face.
If you refuse a chemical test in the state of South Carolina, you will face a minimum of a 6-month license suspension.
When you have been arrested for a DUI, the long-term effects of a potential conviction may not be your first priority, however it is important to consider these consequences carefully. When you call an experienced Orangeburg, SC DUI attorney, you have a vastly increased chance of minimizing those consequences, and being able to move on with your life. Your DUI attorney has the experience, knowledge and skill to level the playing field on your behalf, fighting to help you overcome your DUI charges.
If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with DUI in Orangeburg or anywhere in the State of North Carolina, it important to discuss your case with an experienced Orangeburg DUI defense lawyer immediately. Orangeburg DUI defense lawyer will investigate all angles of your arrest and help you build a solid defense that is designed to protect your future. Swift and aggressive legal representation is the first step towards avoiding serious and lifelong consequences. Call Orangeburg DUI defense lawyer today at (803) 937-1419 or fill out our confidential contact form to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.
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