A simple error in judgement after a night out with friends can end up resulting in charges of DUI (driving under the influence). In addition to fines and other criminal penalties, a conviction could impact your job, your reputation in the community, and your ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones. The following answers frequently asked questions about DUIs in Aiken.
Do I Have To Submit To Field Sobriety Testing?
If you are pulled over and suspected of being under the influence, the police will likely ask you to submit to field sobriety testing. While it is important to remain calm and polite with the officers, you do have the right to refuse.
There are no penalties for declining field sobriety tests, but this will likely cause the officer to request blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) testing instead. Under the South Carolina Code, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for six months if you refuse. However, as your refusal robs prosecutors of important evidence in your case, it may be worth it to take this risk.
Will I Automatically Be Arrested For DUI?
If you are charged with DUI, you will be placed under arrest. A bond hearing will likely be held the next day, though it could take longer on weekends or holidays. If it is your first offense, you will likely be released either on your own recognizance or after paying bail. If you face other charges in addition to your DUI, you could be held until trial.
Can I Drive While Waiting For My Case To Go To Trial?
When charged with a DUI, you are automatically required to surrender your driver’s licenses. Our Aiken DUI defense attorney may be able to negotiate a provisional license for you, allowing you to drive to and from work or perform important errands in the months before your case goes to trial.
What Are Penalties For DUI In South Carolina?
The South Carolina Department of Safety (SCDPS) takes a tough stance against DUI, and penalties are severe. In addition to heavy fines, court costs, and mandatory community service, you may be facing:
For a first offense: A jail sentence of up to 30 days and a six months driver’s license suspension
For a second offense: Up to one year in jail after which your license is suspended an additional year
For a third offense: Up to three years in prison and a two year license suspension
For a fourth of subsequent offense: Complete revocation of your driving privileges and up to a five year prison sentence
Can I Get My DUI Expunged?
A DUI can be expunged if you are found not guilty or your charges get dropped. Once you are convicted, it becomes part of a permanent criminal record.
Contact Us Today for Help
It’s important to know the answers to these frequently asked questions about DUIs in Aiken. If you are facing DUI charges, get the Surasky Law Firm on your side immediately. We can take the swift legal actions needed to help you avoid a conviction. Contact our Aiken DUI defense attorney and request a consultation today.