Do you know your rights when it comes to a DUI or a DUAC (Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration) charge?
You are always presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you are convicted of a DUI or DUAC, the penalties and punishments will vary depending on the state you live in, the aggravating circumstances of your case, and your cooperation with police authorities during an investigation and arrest. The following information is based on South Carolina law.
Will I face jail time if charged with a DUI or DUAC in South Carolina?
Sentencing ranges for a DUI or DUAC are contingent upon the reading from the Data Master machine (the breathalyzer machine), or if you refuse to blow. A first offense carries a sentencing range of 48 hours up to 90 days in jail. A second offense carries a sentencing range of 5 days up to 3 years. A third offense carries a sentencing range of 60 (mandatory minimum) days up to 5 years. A fourth or subsequent offense carries a sentencing range of 1 year (mandatory minimum) up to seven years. In addition, second, third, fourth or subsequent offenses are handled in General Sessions Circuit Court, which simply put, means big boy court.
Do I have to pay any fines?
In addition to jail time, the Judge can order you to pay a fine, which can range from hundreds of dollars all the way up to $10,000, depending on the specifics of your case.
Will I lose my driver’s license and driving privileges?
If you are found guilty of a DUI or DUAC, your license will be suspended for six months for a first offense, one year for a second offense, two years for a third offense, and permanently for a fourth offense in the state of South Carolina. If you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, you will have an automatic six month suspension and a fine regardless of whether you are found guilty or not guilty, although we can help you get a temporary alcohol license, depending on the circumstances of your case.
You may be required to have an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle. The device is designed to prevent you from driving your vehicle after consuming alcohol. It reads your breath alcohol concentration, much like the Data Master machine at the jail. Cameras are required as part of this device to ensure that the driver does not have someone else take the breath test for him.
If you are facing a DUI or DUAC charge, remember you are innocent until proven guilty, and you always have the right to remain silent, which means refusing field sobriety tests and refusing to blow into the Data Master machine after the arrest. With the benefit of having the former DUI prosecutor for Spartanburg County, the law offices of Anderson, Moore, Bailey, and Nowell have extensive experience in defending DUI and DUAC charges. We are here to help you. Please call us at 1-888-234-2483 or 864-641-6435 for a free consultation concerning your case. OR Message Us Now
This blog is intended for general informational purposes only, and is not intended to serve as a substitute for talking to a lawyer. In fact, the first step you can take towards resolving your problem is to have a face to face conversation with one of our lawyers. Our consultations are free, they are confidential, and we can almost always schedule you an appointment the same day we receive a call.