If you have been arrested and charged with the crime of DUI in the state of South Carolina, then you could face the significant penalties that come along with a conviction. A first conviction could result in license suspension for up to six months, up to $400 in fines, up to 30 in jail, and/or 48 hours of public service. Penalties will also depend on your BAC (blood alcohol content); for example, you will face these same penalties if you are convicted of DUI with a BAC of less than 0.10%, any higher and your penalties will dramatically increase.
Facing criminal charges of drinking and driving is a serious situation, and you need a lawyer on your side that understands the charges, and can work with you to pursue the results that you desire for your future. Our Law Firm is a firm that has been dedicated to serving the criminally accused residents of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for over fourteen years. Due to the severity of the penalties that you could face, you need the services of this firm in order to prepare a strong defense of your case and fight the charges against you in an effective manner.
There are a number of elements to each DUI charge, and it is important that you have representation on your side that can scrutinize each element in order to ensure that you are receiving a fair trial and your rights are being upheld, and that you are not wrongfully convicted of an offense that you did not commit. There are two main points that need to be addressed when fighting charges, the arrest process, and the evidence that is admitted to your case.
In order for a police officer to pull you over, they must have probable cause such as speeding, red light violations, or indications that you are driving drunk. After they pull you over, they must also have probable cause to make an arrest. This can be obtained through field sobriety tests in most cases, or through your own admission. This firm can work to show that the officer did not have probable cause when he/she arrested you, and thereby have the case dismissed. They can also work to show that the officer did not have probable cause when they pulled you over to pursue the same result.
Evidence submitted in a DUI case is often subject to interpretation, and can often be discredited. In many cases, DUI evidence will consist of chemical tests, evidence obtained through field sobriety tests, and the testimonies of other individuals. Chemical tests such as breath and blood tests may seem highly scientific, however they are not always clear indicators of intoxication. Attorney Lucas can capitalize on the possibility of contamination or the faulty reading of your chemical test. Field sobriety tests and testimonies can often be fought as they are often open to interpretation, and are sometimes subjective.
You need representation on your side that understands the legal process, and can fight to pursue the outcome that you desire for your DUI case.
One of your most valuable legal rights as contained in the Bill of Rights is listed under the Fourth Amendment. You have a right against “unreasonable search and seizure,” meaning that a police officer or state trooper cannot legally investigate you or arrest you for DUI without probable cause to suspect that you have broken the law. If the officer cannot demonstrate that you had committed a traffic violation, that you were driving erratically or that there was other evidence that you were driving under the influence, it may be possible to have the charges dismissed on the grounds that your rights were violated, which would make the evidence inadmissible in court.
The vast majority of law enforcement agencies throughout the United States employ the standardized field sobriety tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The One-Leg Stand, Walk-and-Turn and the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus are somewhat useful in determining whether a driver’s ability is impaired, but they are not perfect – alcohol is not the only thing that can cause a person to fail the test. If the suspect is significantly overweight, has a knee condition, is extremely nervous or is even wearing unstable shoes such as high heels, he or she may have a harder time passing. Similarly, the officer may have done a poor job of explaining the tests, or perhaps he even exercised bias in deciding that the person failed. One way to demonstrate errors with roadside tests is to subpoena the footage from the police car dashboard video camera.
When you submit to breath or blood chemical testing to determine whether or not you have alcohol in your system, you either pass or you fail, right? After all, the test is either positive or negative. The fact is that even these tests are not perfect when it comes to supplying the evidence which decides whether a person will be convicted in a court of law. By subpoenaing the maintenance and calibration records for the Datamaster machine, it is sometimes possible to show that the test results are not reliable.
It has also been demonstrated that radio frequency interference from equipment in the police station can interfere with the Datamaster. If there was any residual alcohol in your mouth at the time you blew your sample, the machine would register this even if your blood alcohol concentration was below the legal limit. Blood tests can sometimes be invalidated by pointing to gaps in the records of how the sample was stored, which opens the door to the possibility that the wrong sample was tested, or by pointing to evidence that the sample may have been contaminated.