A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in South Carolina has a major impact on every area of your life. In addition to fines and court costs, you face the loss of your driver’s license and could end up with a jail sentence. This impacts your work, school, and personal life, while preventing you from providing for family members. To avoid these penalties, you need a strong DUI defense. The following are four strategies that could help you avoid a DUI conviction.
1. Disputing the reason for your traffic stop.
Under the South Carolina Code, the police must have probable cause for making a traffic stop or an arrest. However, law enforcement does have the right to pull you over for even minor infractions, such as having a headlight out or weaving on the road. They also have the right to conduct DUI traffic checkpoints, in areas where DUIs or drunk driving accidents often occur. Careful review of the circumstances surrounding your case will determine if this is an effective defense in your case.
2. Disputing the procedures surrounding your arrest.
This is a common and effective way of avoiding a DUI conviction. Law enforcement is required to follow specific procedures during traffic stops, in conducting DUI testing, and when making arrests. Even a minor error can result in your case being dismissed.
An August 2018 report by Greenville Online highlights a case in which an officer failed to point the video camera at the suspect during a DUI roadside test and while reading the driver his rights. Even though there was an audio recording, the DUI charges were dismissed as a result. According to the report, roughly half of all DUI charges fail to end up in a conviction as the result of these types of procedural errors.
3. Disputing DUI test results.
There is some controversy over whether you should submit to a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over under suspicion for a DUI. While not doing so can rob the prosecution of important evidence in your case, it can also result in an automatic license suspension.
Even if you do consent to breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) testing, our DUI defense attorney can help you dispute the results. The test itself may not have been properly administered, or the machine may have been defective or not calibrated correctly.
4. Arguing for reduced charges.
In the event the previous three DUI defenses do not apply in your case, we may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to get your charges reduced. The longer a case draws out, the more likely it is they will accept a plea to a lesser charge. You may still be required to pay a fine but will avoid more severe penalties and having a DUI on your record.
Contact Us Today for Help
When facing DUI charges, you need an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side to help you avoid the possibility of a conviction. Contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC today, and request a consultation to see how we can help you.