Are There Any Affirmative Defenses to DUI in South Carolina?

When somebody is arrested for DUI in South Carolina, they do not have a lot of time to determine which way they will plea. The defenses to DUI that your lawyer chooses are important in whether you get convicted or not. Within days of your arrest, your Orangeburg DUI lawyer we’ll need to let the State know whether you’re pleading guilty or not guilty to the charges. They will also need to know early on what defenses to DUI you plan on raising.

There are two types of defenses that you may claim in your case. The first type of defenses to DUI are traditional defenses including an inaccurate breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test that was not administered properly. The second type of defense is called an affirmative defense. Affirmative defenses to DUI could range from necessity to dress.

Here, we will discuss the various defenses that your Orangeburg DUI lawyer can raise in your case. We will also explain which defenses are more likely to work as compared to others. It’s a good idea to reach out to one of our Orangeburg DUI lawyers as soon as possible.

The more time they have to prepare your case, the better the odds are of the charges being reduced or even dropped. If you still have questions about your own case, we suggest you call our office so you can schedule a date and time to come in and sit down with one of our seasoned attorneys.

What Exactly Is an Affirmative Defense?

An affirmative defense is a lot different than other, more traditional defenses in criminal cases. With a regular defense, such as self-defense, your main argument is that you did not commit the crime in question.

For example, if you were charged with assault, your attorney may raise the defense that you were in another place at the time of the incident. In other words, they would establish an alibi and that would serve as your defense. Things are quite different when it comes to affirmative defenses to DUI.

With an affirmative defense, your attorney is not arguing that you didn’t commit the crime that you have been charged with. Instead, they’re arguing that there was a good reason or justification for why you did what you did.

With a DUI arrest, your Orangeburg DUI lawyer may argue that you were, in fact, drinking and driving, but that there was a very good reason for doing so. We will discuss the various types of affirmative defenses to DUI in the following sections.

One of the More Common Affirmative Defenses to DUI is Necessity

One affirmative defense to DUI that your Orangeburg DUI lawyer may raise is that of necessity. This defense is usually referred to as the “lesser of two evils defense.” Imagine that you were out with three of your friends at a party. The four of you came together in the same car. None of you have your cell phones with you. The party is late and there is no way to contact someone to come pick you up.

Of the four of you, you are the only one anywhere near sober. Rather than one of the other three people getting behind the wheel and possibly killing somebody, you felt it was in your best interest to drive them home.

affirmative defenses to DUI concept image, police cars

If the police pull you over, you may very well blow higher than a .08 on the breathalyzer test. What you would do is explain to the police that of the four of you, you were the only one who you felt could safely drive everybody home.

Now, there is no guarantee that your Orangeburg DUI lawyer will be able to get the charges against you dropped or reduced based on this affirmative defense. However, it is a very common defense raised, especially in first-offense DUI cases.

Your Orangeburg DUI Lawyer May Be Able to Prove Duress

Another common affirmative defense to DUI is called duress. Your Orangeburg DUI lawyer may raise this defense if somebody forced you to drive after you had been drinking. Perhaps you are in an abusive relationship then your partner demands that you drive them home after a long night out. In a situation like this, your Orangeburg DIY lawyer would argue that you would never have driven home after drinking if it were not for your significant other threatening harm.

Many People Think It Is Easy to Prove Entrapment

When we meet with a new clients, they often ask us if they can claim entrapment as a defense to DUI. What most people don’t realize is that it is very difficult to prove entrapment. You would have to convince the court that the police did something to induce you to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel.

You would also have to demonstrate that you would never have done this had you not been encouraged to do so by the police. In the experience of our Orangeburg DUI lawyers, entrapment almost never works. In fact, what it typically does is infuriate the prosecutor as well as the state police. They can often do more harm than good.

Reach Out to Our Orangeburg DUI Lawyers on the Same Day as Your Arrest

Many people don’t realize just how quickly things move when you’re arrested for DUI. Our Orangeburg DUI lawyers typically try to meet with a new client within hours of their arrest. This gives us a chance to see what the charges are.

It also helps us prepare for your initial appearance. This is where you’ll have to enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. Without having time to prepare, your Orangeburg DUI lawyer won’t know how strong the State’s case is. They also won’t know what types of defenses, traditional or affirmative, will be available to them.

We suggest that you use your one phone call to contact our office. If this isn’t possible, you should contact a friend or family member and ask them to get in touch with one of our Orangeburg DUI lawyers. Your attorney will help ensure that you are released promptly and prepare you for your first court appearance.

If your charges are still pending, you can reach out to our office and schedule a time to meet with one of our staff. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what the next steps will be and you will also find out what your best defense may be.