Sumter DUI Lawyer

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Sumter, SC DUI Attorney

Being accused of driving under the influence can be an extremely upsetting experience. First-time offenders are often met with the risk of license suspension in addition to fines and the possibility of a short time spent in prison. For repeat offenders, these consequences increase in intensity to try and deter the behavior from continuing to persist in the future. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need a Sumter DUI lawyer to protect your rights.

At Charles T. Brooks, we have spent years defending those who have been charged and arrested with a DUI in Sumter, SC. Our criminal defense team has seen first-hand how distressing these cases can be, but also how much value we can add to the process. Whether you are looking for reduced DUI charges or want to plead completely innocent of the allegations, we would be honored to take on your case and pursue your interests to the end.

What Is the Legal Limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration in South Carolina?

It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.08% in South Carolina. If the results of a breathalyzer deem you to have violated this rule, an officer will accuse you of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and take legal action.

If you drive commercial trucks for a living, it’s important to note that the legal limit is reduced to 0.04%. This is because the composition of these vehicles is much larger and poses an even greater risk to others on the road if they were to lose control and cause an accident. There is a zero-tolerance policy for any truck drivers who disregard this limit.

What Are Some Common Strategies to Defend Against a DUI Accusation?

Not every accusation of driving under the influence is valid. Having a criminal defense lawyer assess the merits of your case can point them toward a specific defense strategy they believe is the most advantageous for a charge reduction or dismissal.

Some of the most common defense strategies include:

Challenging the BAC Test’s Accuracy

If there is any evidence to suggest the results of a BAC test were not accurate, this could destroy the prosecution’s case. Some common scenarios that impact these tests’ accuracy are when the device is not properly calibrated, is incorrectly administered, or does not perform properly due to neglected maintenance of the device.

Challenging the Legality of the Traffic Stop

Police officers need a valid reason to pull someone over. If it can be proven they did not have any indication that a driver was breaking the law, it could make any evidence they collected during the interaction inadmissible in court. This would include the results of a breathalyzer test, which is often the largest piece of evidence the prosecution relies on in these cases.

Investigating the Chain of Custody and Handling of Evidence

Any suspicious lapse in time when officers are handling evidence could be used to raise doubts that a defendant is guilty as charged. This can include how blood samples or the results of a sobriety test were collected, stored, and analyzed. In addition to this suspicion, a defense attorney can complement this position with additional evidence to suggest an officer acted either intentionally or negligently to make their client seem more guilty than they are.

The Alleged Driver Was Not Driving

Depending on the circumstances, a defendant could claim they were not driving when approached by officers. This could be a valid defense in cases where an officer approached a car that was running, but their body cam footage shows the defendant in the passenger seat rather than at the wheel.

To secure the most advantageous defense that will protect your rights and establish your position through litigation, connect with a Sumter DUI attorney as soon as you can.

FAQs About Sumter, SC DUI Laws

Q: How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in South Carolina?

 

A: The largest factors that determine how much DUI lawyer services cost depend on the complexity of the case and how much experience the attorney has. As an attorney builds up a track record of success, their refined skills and strategies can come at a premium cost. Additional costs will increase the more time is needed to collect evidence, negotiate, and engage in trials to reach a conclusion.

Q: Is There a Statute of Limitations on DUIs in South Carolina?

 

A: There isn’t a true “statute of limitations” for DUIs in South Carolina as it is considered a traffic offense rather than a criminal offense. Once a DUI has been issued by a law enforcement officer, there is no required time frame the state must adhere to. However, the state recognizes that the quality of evidence can diminish over time, so these cases are generally not extended for a long period.

Q: Am I Able to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in South Carolina?

 

A: If someone declines to take a breathalyzer test after being pulled over in South Carolina, it can automatically trigger certain DUI penalties to be enforced. Because it raises suspicion of guilt, the individual declining the test may have their license suspended for up to six months. The act of refusal can also be used by the state in court as supporting evidence to suggest a defendant is guilty as charged.

Q: What Other Punishments Are There for DUIs Other Than Jail?

 

A: Not everyone who is found guilty of a DUI will be issued a prison sentence, especially if you are someone who has never been accused of driving under the influence before. Common alternatives to jail time include probation, community service, or even certain therapy programs focused on alcoholism. The more a defendant shows remorse for their actions and a willingness to improve on their condition, the more likely a judge will issue these alternative penalties.

Contact Charles T. Brooks Today

If you have been charged with DUI in South Carolina, contact the DUI lawyers of Charles T. Brooks as soon as you can. We have spent years defending those who have been accused of drunk driving and have a history of cases that can guide us to a solution for you. Call us today and see why others in the Sumter community have already trusted us to handle this delicate legal matter to protect their rights and interests.

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