DUI Lawyer Aiken SC

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It is illegal to drive any type of motor vehicle after taking drugs or drinking in Aiken, South Carolina. So, if you are caught driving with illicit drugs or too much alcohol in your system, you could face serious consequences, such as license suspense, hefty fines, and jail time.

We recommend hiring the best DUI lawyer Aiken SC. Why? Your DUI attorney will help investigate your case, collect strong evidence to support you, advise and guide you throughout the legal process, protect your rights, and fiercely represent you in court. However, you need to hire an attorney who you are comfortable with.

Looking for an experienced and reputable DUI lawyer in Aiken, SC? Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, & Staggs, Attorneys, P.A. (JJWLS) understands the ramifications of a charge of DUI. That is why we are ready to build a strong defense on your behalf. We employ sophisticated strategies and leverage our experience in DUI cases like yours.

Contact us at (803) 649-5338 to schedule your FREE consultation with our DUI lawyer in Aiken, SC.

Table of Contents

What is Considered a DWI in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Therefore, South Carolina considers a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher or any illegal substance to be driving while impaired (DWI). The penalties for a DWI will depend on the circumstance of the arrest.

What is the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) Limit in South Carolina?

It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher in South Carolina. So, if you operate a motor vehicle with 0.08 percent or higher, you could face serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, and jail time.

Is DUI a Criminal Offense in South Carolina?

Yes, DUI is a criminal offense in South Carolina. In fact, a DUI charge carries serious penalties, such as license suspensions, fines, incarceration, and many more. That is why if you have a high BAC, we highly encourage you to hire a DUI lawyer to help you fight your DUI charge.

At JJWLS, we can help outline a strong defense strategy. We will work hard to achieve the best possible resolution for your DUI case.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, the penalties for a DUI will depend on your BAC and how many times you have been convicted for DUI in the past.

First DUI Offense

  • BAC of 0.08 percent or lower – A fine up to $400 or 48 hours to 30 days of incarceration
  • BAC of 0.10 percent to 0.16 percent – A fine of $500 or 72 hours to 30 days incarceration
  • BAC of 0.16 percent or higher – A $1,000 fine or 30 to 90 days incarceration

Second DUI Offense

  • BAC of 0.08 percent or lower – A fine of $2,100 up to $5,100 or 5 days to 1 year incarceration
  • BAC of 0.10 percent to less than 0.16 percent – A fine of $2,500 to $5,500 or 30 days to 2 years incarceration
  • BAC of 0.16 percent or higher – A fine of $3,500 up to $6,500 or 90 days to 3 years of incarceration

Third DUI Offense

  • BAC of 0.08 percent or lower – A fine of $3,800 up to $6,3000 or 60 days up to 3 years incarceration
  • BAC of 0.10 percent to less than 0.16 percent – A fine of $5,000 up to $7,500 or a minimum of 90 days up to 4 years incarceration
  • BAC of 0.16 percent or higher – A fine of $7,500 up to $10,000 or a minimum of 180 days up to 4 years of incarceration

Fourth DUI Offense or Greater

  • BAC of 0.08 percent or lower – A minimum of 1 year up to 5 years of incarceration
  • BAC of 0.10 percent to less than 0.16 percent – A minimum of 2 years up to 6 years of incarceration
  • BAC of 0.16 percent or higher – A minimum of 3 years up to 7 years of incarceration

Will I Lose My Driver’s License If I Am Convicted of a DWI?

Yes, you will lose your driver’s license if you are convicted of a DWI. If you are charged and convicted of a DWI in South Carolina, you will face license suspension. That is why if you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your driving license will be revoked.

Remember, if your driving license is revoked, you will temporarily lose your driving privileges. So, if you do not want to lose your driving privileges in Aiken, we recommend working with a skilled DUI lawyer in Aiken SC. Your lawyer will work hard to prevent a DUI conviction. In our opinion, it is much better to prevent a DWI conviction entirely.

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in South Carolina?

Yes, you can refuse a breathalyzer test in South Carolina. Keep in mind that you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. In fact, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, you may not suffer any consequences. However, if you were driving recklessly, such as speeding, you can still be arrested.

What Are the Implied Consent Laws in South Carolina?

The state of South Carolina has implied consent laws. This means if you decide to operate a motor vehicle in South Carolina, then you have legally consented to provide a breath, urine, or blood to determine DUI. So, if you refuse to submit to alcohol or drug testing, your driver’s license may be suspended for 90 days.

Here are the consequences for refusing to test:

Positive Consequences

  • If you do not take the blood test, there will be no evidence of your BAC level.
  • If you request an implied consent hearing, your DUI attorney can help you get a temporary driver’s license.
  • If you refuse to take a breath test, you will not be charged separately.

Negative Consequences

  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months.
  • You will not have proof of BAC level in court.
  • Your refusal to submit to testing may color the jury’s or judge’s perceptions of your actions.
  • You might get hit with heavier charges.

What is a Felony DUI in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, felony DUI refers to the driving of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both which results in bodily injury or even death of an individual who is not the driver.

To be charged with felony DUI, the prosecutor must prove that you were driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both and that you caused bodily injury or death to another person who was not the driver.

Remember, if the person was drinking with you, you can still be charged with a felony DUI.

What Are Some of the Common Defenses in DUI Cases?

If you are accused of driving under the influence in South Carolina, you still have certain rights. And your rights must be respected. Luckily, hiring a good DUI lawyer from JJWLS can help you understand your rights and defenses that apply to your DUI case.

Here are some of the common defenses in DUI cases:

Failure to Record Your Breath Test and Traffic Stop

In South Carolina, police officers are legally required to record videos of all DUI traffic stops. Once they turn on their strobe lights, they must begin recording. And they must record everything.

That is why they need to record themselves while administering the breathalyzer test. If the police officer does not record your traffic stop or fails to record your breath test, you might win your DUI case.

In some cases, however, the officer is not required to record a traffic stop. For instance, if it is physically impossible to record the traffic stop, the police officers will not have to record it.

However, the exemptions do not apply in most DUI cases. So, you will need to talk to your DUI lawyer. Your DUI lawyer will help you get a copy of your arrest video. If, however, the video is not available, the prosecutor and the police officers will have to justify why they do not have the arrest video.

Invalid Breathalyzer Test Results

If the police officer records your breathalyzer test, the tests could still be invalid. For example, the device was not calibrated properly, the arresting officer was not trained properly, or the arresting officer failed to follow the proper procedures for administering the breathalyzer tests.

In addition, recent use of mouthwash, recent consumption of cold medication, breath mints, or kinds of foods, or certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can lead to false positives in your BAC levels. These are the things you need to consider.

This is because if you can prove that the breathalyzer tests are invalid, you can win your DUI case.

Invalid Field Sobriety Testing

According to implied consent law, you are legally required to submit to a breath test. It does not, however, apply to field sobriety testing. You can still submit to the field sobriety test. Keep in mind that if you submit to the field sobriety testing, the results will be used against you in court.

The arresting officer must perform the field sobriety test properly and accurately interpret the performance of the suspect. If the arresting officer does not perform the tests properly, the results will be invalid. If there is no evidence and the results are not reliable, then you are more likely to win your DUI case.

Inadequate Evidence of Impairment

If you have a 0.08 percent BAC or higher, then you can face a DUI charge in South Carolina. However, if your BAC is less than 0.08 percent and the prosecutor shows that your faculties were impaired, then you can still be charged with DUI.

It is, therefore, crucial to argue against the allegations of impairment. If the prosecution does not have adequate evidence of impairment, then you might not be convicted. That is why we recommend working with our DUI lawyer. We will check the evidence and move to suppress illegal evidence.

Violations of Your Constitutional Rights

If you can assert your constitutional rights, you can avoid a DUI conviction. For example, the arresting officers may violate your constitutional rights. If your constitutional rights were violated, your DUI case could be dismissed.

However, you probably do not know your constitutional rights. So, here are some common constitutional violations you can use as defenses in your DUI case:

  • Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • Right to the assistance of counsel
  • Privilege against self-incrimination
  • Protection against double jeopardy
  • Right to a speedy and public trial

How Can a DWI Defense Attorney Help ME?

You probably do not have any experience handling DUI cases. Highly skilled and experienced DWI defense attorneys, on the other hand, have successfully handled DWI cases in the past. Therefore, your DWI defense attorney will protect your rights and help you obtain a favorable outcome in your DUI case.

We highly recommend working with attorneys that you are comfortable with. That is why you need to book an initial consultation before hiring an attorney. At JJWLS, we offer FREE initial consultations. You can talk with our DUI attorney by calling (803) 649-5338. Our dedicated attorneys will answer all the questions you may have regarding your DUI case.

Here is how a DWI defense attorney can help you:

Negotiation With Prosecutors

The DWI defense lawyers have several years of experience working with prosecutors. So, they understand the justice system. If you do not want to spend time in jail, then you may need to accept a plea bargain.

A plea bargain can reduce costs and stress for you. Your lawyer will, therefore, negotiate with prosecutors. If you do not have a lawyer, you might not even get a plea bargain.

Additionally, you do not have experience in negotiating plea bargains. You might not get the best outcome if you are handling everything on your own. Your lawyer will fight for your rights and advocate for your best interest.

It is in your best interest to let your lawyer negotiate a plea deal on your behalf.

Get Your DUI Case Dismissed

You can get your DUI case dismissed. Thankfully, the best lawyers have the knowledge and skills to get DUI cases dismissed. So, your lawyer will review your case, collect evidence, and file strategic motions. If the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence, your lawyer can request the dismissal of your DUI case.

If you can get your DUI case dismissed, you will never have to worry about a DUI conviction on your criminal record. You will not lose your job and you will pay high insurance rates. If you are, however, convicted, it can have a negative impact on your life.

Get Your DUI Case Expunged

A DUI conviction can ruin your reputation. In fact, if you are convicted, you might lose your job. And it will be difficult to find another job. Also, you will find it difficult to find good housing because of your DUI conviction.

Fortunately, your DWI defense attorney can get your DUI conviction expunged from your record. You will, therefore, get more job opportunities.

Remember, potential employers and landlords will check your criminal history. If you can get your DUI conviction expunged, you will never have a problem finding a good job or good housing.

It is, however, very difficult to get your conviction expunged. That is why you need to work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Our lawyers will protect your rights and guide you throughout the legal process.

Contact Johnson, Johnson, Whittle & Lancer, Attorneys, P.A. to Help You

A DUI conviction will stay on your record for years. In fact, if you are convicted, you may lose your professional license and driver’s license, pay hefty fines, spend time in jail, pay higher insurance rates, and many more.

You are more likely to spend more time and money fighting a DUI charge on your own. Your loved ones will suffer. Why? If you are convicted and you lose your job, you will not have the money to take care of your family.

It is, therefore, very important to fight a DUI charge. The best way to do so is by hiring a good DUI lawyer Aiken SC.

Hiring a reliable DUI lawyer can reduce your stress, save you time and money, and increase your chance of getting a favorable outcome in your DUI case. Your lawyer can get your charges reduced, dismissed, or dropped. Do not let a DUI conviction interfere with your life, your family members, and your future.

You need to look for a reputable DUI lawyer to help you handle your DUI charge. At JJWLS, we have extensive knowledge of DUI laws and defenses in South Carolina. Our team of skilled DUI lawyers is dedicated to protecting your rights and freedom. We will review your case, gather evidence, and answer your questions.

If you need immediate help, call (803) 649-5338 to book your FREE initial appointment with our DUI lawyer Aiken SC.