Like every other state, South Carolina is very strict when it comes to drunk driving. If you’re charged and convicted of DUI, you’ll be facing very serious penalties. This is the case even if it’s your first offense. One of the hardest parts of a conviction is that your driver’s license will be suspended. It is nearly impossible for somebody to maintain a job or school if they don’t have their license. Whatever your DUI defense attorney in Orangeburg can do to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed will make a big difference. There’s too much at stake to try to handle this sort of thing on your own. That’s why we recommend you call and speak with an Orangeburg DUI lawyer right away. You want to give your lawyer as much time as possible to prepare your defense.
Here, we will talk about what happens to your driver’s license if you are convicted of DUI in Greenville, South Carolina. We will also explain what your DUI defense attorney in Orangeburg will do to try to keep this from happening. What you need to do is call and make an appointment with one of our attorneys.
Your Driver’s License Could Be Suspended at the Traffic Stop and Arrest
Even if you had a good chance of fighting the DUI charges in court, your license can still be suspended. Most people tell us they know they have the right to not take the breathalyzer test. However, very few of them realize what can happen if they do that. Our Orangeburg DUI lawyers have met with several clients who had no idea their driver’s license would be suspended if they refused to take this test. In fact, the arresting officer will take your physical license from you at the scene. While you will have a short window in which you can try to get your license back, there’s no guarantee that will happen.
If you refuse to take the breathalyzer test and your license is suspended, your DUI defense attorney in Orangeburg will do what they can to get it back. This will have nothing to do with whether you’re convicted of DUI. It is an administrative suspension that the Department of Motor Vehicles can either enforce or lift. They have total discretion. Even if they do agree to lift the suspension, you’ll have to pay at least a couple of hundred dollars to get it reinstated.
If You’re Convicted, Your License Will Be Suspended
Of course, if you are convicted of DUI in South Carolina, your license will be suspended. There may not be a state in this country that doesn’t have this penalty embedded in first offense convictions. A lot of our clients complain that this isn’t fair. Some of them are young and still in college or they are at their first job out of school. They cannot afford to lose their license, be it for a year or even a month. That’s why our Orangeburg DUI lawyers work so hard to get the charges reduced or dismissed. Our main concern is getting the best possible outcome for our clients.
Why Do They Suspend Your Driver’s License?
The whole point of having DUI laws is to make the roads safe for all motorists and pedestrians. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you choose to do that, you will ultimately pay the consequences. The courts understand, however, that some people make mistakes. That is why they suspend your license for a first offense DUI, but they won’t revoke it. In fact, the laws are forgiving enough that the courts won’t revoke it unless you repeatedly get arrested and charged with DUI.
The way the courts see it, the less time a drunk driver has their license, the safer the public may be. They also hope that a suspension for six months or a year will be a strong enough deterrent for future drunk drivers. They believe the penalties themselves are a strong deterrent for the actual defendant.
At Some Point, Your License Can Be Revoked
There are some people that the state categorizes as habitual offenders. If you start to rack up multiple DUI convictions, you may lose your license at some point. It is one thing to get caught driving under the influence once. Perhaps if you have two DUI convictions but they are eight or nine years apart, the prosecutor may still have enough compassion to offer a plea deal. However, it gets to the point where the prosecutor and the judge have had enough. If they think you are a perpetual danger to society, they will take your license away. They can make this revocation permanent. When you think about this, it may make a 6-month suspension seem like a cakewalk.
Your Orangeburg DUI Lawyer Will Do Their Best to Get the Charges Reduced or Dismissed
The reason you hire an Orangeburg DUI lawyer is so you can fight the charges that have been filed against you. You aren’t legally required to hire an attorney. You do it because you understand that a seasoned DUI defense attorney in Orangeburg may be able to prepare a good defense. An experienced lawyer can look for mistakes the police made at the time of the arrest. They can also hire experts to examine the dashcam video running during your traffic stop. Your attorney also knows how to question witnesses for the State and try to poke holes in their case.
There are times, however, when the evidence against a client is so strong, our best hope is to get the minimum penalties. In this sort of situation, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. At least then your Orangeburg DUI lawyer will have some leverage to keep your suspension to a minimum. They can also help you petition the court for a provisional or conditional license in a couple of months.