Fort Mill DUI Attorney
A driving under the influence charge can have criminal and civil consequences – defendants face the prospect of fines, jail time, and revocation of driving privileges. Defendants facing DUI charges in South Carolina need an experienced Fort Mill criminal defense attorney to fight the charges against them and reduce the impact a DUI will have on their daily lives. If you’re standing accused of a DUI in South Carolina, contact Fort Mill DUI attorney David W. Martin to schedule a review of your legal options.
South Carolina Drunk Driving Laws
South Carolina law considers drinking and driving a serious offense. Sentences typically include hefty fines, possible jail time, and loss of driver’s license. Penalties may be administrative or criminal in nature, depending on the circumstances of the charge and a defendant’s criminal history.
Under South Carolina law, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08%. For commercial drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license, this concentration is even lower, at .04%. Minors can face a DUI charge with a BAC of .02%.
South Carolina, as many other states, has an implied consent law that holds any person who drives a vehicle must submit to chemical testing at the request of a law enforcement officer. Those who refuse chemical testing may face additional penalties and charges.
Possible Penalties for DUI in South Carolina
A person facing DUI charges in South Carolina may face a variety of criminal and administrative penalties, depending on the severity of the BAC and whether he or she has previous DUIs on record.
Examples of Administrative Penalties
Administrative, or civil, penalties are separate from criminal charges and generally involve payment of fines and revocation of license. For the first offense, a person who commits a DUI loses his or her license for six months. After the first offense, a person may lose his or her license indefinitely – the time limit may be up to the judge who hears the case.
Defendants must also pay a reinstatement fee of $100 to regain driving privileges. Finally, they will have to carry SR 22, a special type of insurance, for three years after reinstatement.
Examples of Criminal Penalties
A defendant will not only face civil penalties, he or she will also answer to criminal charges. These charges may include jail time, additional fines, or both. For example, the first offense for DUI and a BAC of more than 0.16% involves a fine of $400 and a minimum of 48 hours in county jail. Subsequent offenses carry longer jail sentences and heftier fines – up to five years in prison for multiple offenses.
Options for Legal Recourse Following a DUI
DUIs can have serious penalties, but defendants do have options. With good legal representation, a defendant may be able to plead to a lesser charge or opt for substance abuse programs or community service in lieu of jail time. A person’s options will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and prior criminal history.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Many people try to handle DUI proceedings on their own. However, a Fort Mill DUI lawyer is essential to protecting a defendant’s rights established by state and federal law. David W. Martin helps clients understand the legal process and advocates for reduced sentencing whenever possible.
David W. Martin, Attorney at Law, LLC, operates out of Fort Mill and proudly serves the greater community, including York and Lancaster counties. If you’re facing DUI charges in Newport, Rock Hill, or Pineville, contact our office today and schedule a review of your legal options. Let us help you understand your options and protect your rights during this difficult time.