There is no doubt that getting a DUI for the first time is scary. You don’t know what happens next, what consequences you may be facing, or how it will affect your future. We’ve put together some information about what you can expect to take place after an arrest and some tips for what you should do to help your case.
First-Offense DUI in South Carolina
Driving under the influence occurs when you operate a motor vehicle while inhibited by alcohol or drugs. The legal limit is .08% BAC (blood alcohol content). If you are evaluated by an officer and found to be above the legal limit, you will most likely be arrested for DUI.
Even a first offense DUI comes with multiple potential penalties.
- 48 hours to 30 days in jail
- A $400 fine
- Completion of the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
- Six-month license suspension
These penalties become even more severe if there were any aggravating factors at the time of the arrest.
Child In The Car
If you are arrested for DUI while there a minor under 16 years old in the car will lead to enhanced penalties. This will lead to an increase in jail time and fines. You may also face an additional criminal charge for child endangerment.
A standard DUI is given when your BAC is .08% or higher. However, if your BAC is significantly higher than the legal limit, you are facing aggravated charges.
- A BAC of .1-.16% may lead to an increased minimum sentence of 7 days in jail.
- A BAC of .16% or higher can result in up to 90 days, and no less than $1,000 in fines.
DUI Causing Injury
Even if it was your first offense, a DUI causing injury is a felony. If the victim suffered severe bodily harm, you could get up to 15 years in prison.
DUI Causing Death
If the DUI resulted in someone’s death, the penalty is increased to up to 30 years in prison.
Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, even a first-offense DUI can result in severe legal consequences.
Steps To Take After Your Arrest
Your mind will likely be racing after your arrest. As soon as you can, take a second and write down everything you can about the arrest. The small details may not seem important, but you never know what could actually end up helping your case.
Important things to note include:
- What reason did the officer give for stopping you?
- What tests did the officers use to evaluate you?
- Did the police give you the choice to participate in tests, or did they order you to?
- What were you doing prior to being arrested?
Don’t Talk About It Online
Many people turn to social media as an emotional outlet. You may be feeling angry, guilty, sad, or other feelings after your arrest. Refrain from talking about it online. Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.
If you were with people prior to being pulled over, they may be able to help. Bartenders or friends could vouch for the fact that you were not intoxicated when you got in the car to drive or that you didn’t have much to drink to begin with.
Find an Attorney
In the best-case scenario, your DUI charge will be dismissed, or you’ll be found not guilty. Having a DUI lawyer defend you is crucial in order to get the best possible outcome for your case.
An attorney understands the complexities of the law, the science behind DUI, and will fight for your best interests.
Serving Mt. Pleasant and Charleston with Skilled DUI Defense
For the last 13 years, Attorney Joe Good has focused solely on providing DUI defense. He will investigate all aspects of your DUI to ensure you are being treated fairly under the law. To get started on your case, call today at 843-412-1401 to set up a free consultation.