Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that can have severe consequences on your life. If you are facing this kind of charge in South Carolina, it’s essential to understand the factors that can increase your DUI penalties. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a repeat offender, various circumstances can impact the severity of your punishment.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into some of these factors and explore how they could affect your case. So buckle up and get ready to learn more about DUI penalties in South Carolina with insights from an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney!
1. Your BAC Level Was above 0.10
One of the most crucial factors that can increase your DUI penalties in South Carolina is having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level above 0.10. This means that you were driving with a BAC level higher than the legal limit of 0.08, which can result in severe consequences.
If law enforcement officers pull you over and suspect that you’re under the influence, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test to determine your BAC level. If your test results show a high BAC level, it could be used as evidence against you in court and lead to harsher penalties.
Having a high BAC level shows that you were significantly impaired while driving, putting yourself and others at risk. It also suggests reckless behavior on your part, indicating that you will likely pose a danger on future occasions if allowed back on the road without proper punishment.
Therefore, if your BAC is above 0.10 in South Carolina when arrested for DUI charges, consult an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney immediately so they can help defend against these severe allegations effectively
2. You Are a Repeat Offender
Being arrested for DUI once can be a scary and life-changing experience. But if you’ve been arrested for DUI before, the penalties can be much more severe.
In South Carolina, if you are a repeat offender, the consequences of a second or subsequent DUI conviction are much harsher. You may face longer jail time, larger fines, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
Additionally, having a prior DUI conviction on your record can impact sentencing even if it wasn’t within the past 10 years. The judge will take this into consideration when determining your sentence.
If you have been convicted of DUI before, it is important to understand that another conviction could have serious consequences. It’s essential to hire an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney who can help defend against these charges and protect your rights in court.
Remember: driving under the influence not only endangers yourself but also other people on the road. It’s crucial to make responsible choices behind the wheel to avoid facing lifelong consequences from repeated offenses.
3. You Are Charged With Felony DUI
If you are charged with felony DUI in South Carolina, it means that the circumstances surrounding your drunk driving incident were severe enough to warrant a more serious penalty. In general, a felony DUI charge is reserved for individuals whose actions resulted in bodily harm or death to another person.
The penalties for felony DUI can be quite severe and include fines, license revocation, community service, and even jail time. The exact nature of the punishment will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and any aggravating factors such as prior convictions or excessive speeding.
In addition to criminal penalties, being charged with felony DUI can have other lasting consequences as well. You may find it difficult to obtain employment in certain fields or to secure housing due to your criminal record.
If you are facing a charge of felony DUI in South Carolina, seek legal representation from an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney as soon as possible. Years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the law allow us to evaluate the facts of your case and work toward minimizing the potential consequences you face.
4. You Refused the Breathalyzer Test
It is important to note that South Carolina has an implied consent law (South Carolina Code of Laws 56-5-2950), which means that by obtaining a driver’s license, you have given consent to a breathalyzer test if requested by law enforcement. Refusing the breathalyzer test can result in increased DUI penalties.
If you refuse the breathalyzer test during a DUI stop in South Carolina, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for six months. This suspension is separate from any criminal charges and occurs regardless of whether or not you are convicted of DUI.
In addition to the automatic suspension of your license, refusing the breathalyzer test may also lead to other consequences such as increased fines and even jail time. Without evidence from a breathalyzer test, prosecutors may rely on other forms of evidence such as field sobriety tests or witness testimony.
Make sure to consult with an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney if you have refused a breathalyzer test during a DUI stop in South Carolina. A skilled lawyer can help protect your rights and work towards minimizing potential penalties.
5. You Had a Minor Passenger in Your Car
Driving under the influence with a minor passenger in the car is a serious offense. It can result in increased DUI penalties in South Carolina. This is because minors are considered vulnerable individuals who require extra care and protection.
Driving under the influence with a minor passenger can lead to child endangerment charges, which carry severe consequences such as fines, imprisonment, and loss of custody rights. It also shows reckless behavior on the part of the driver, putting not only themselves but others at risk.
South Carolina law imposes harsher penalties for DUI offenses involving minor passengers as it reflects negatively on their character and parenting skills. The court may consider this an aggravating factor when determining sentencing for a DUI conviction.
It’s essential to understand that having a minor passenger with you while intoxicated has far-reaching consequences that go beyond legal implications; there could be lasting emotional damage to both you and your child if involved in an accident or arrested by authorities.
6. You Had an Open Container in Your Car
If a police officer pulls you over and finds an open container with an alcoholic drink in your car, you face supplementary DUI penalties:
- $100 fine
- An additional 30 days in jail.
In this situation, it is essential to disclose the fact to your Orangeburg DUI attorney. Having an open container in a car is a very serious matter in South Carolina and may determine the judge to give you a harsher conviction of DUI, apart from the additional penalties.
Let an Experienced Orangeburg DUI Attorney Help You Mitigate DUI Penalties
In South Carolina, DUI penalties are severe and can have a significant impact on your life. If you find yourself facing DUI charges or any of the factors that could increase your penalties, it’s essential to hire an experienced Orangeburg DUI attorney who can help you navigate through the legal process.
Over the years, we helped many clients get reduced DUI penalties and mitigate the negative implications of such a conviction on their lives. We know that you are in a difficult situation after being charged with DUI, so we offer you a free initial consultation to evaluate your case.
Don’t wait until your case gets to court. Call us to schedule your free case review as soon as possible after your DUI charge!