Whether you went out with friends and had a few too many during happy hour or you partied too hard and got arrested for DUI charges, regardless of the reason, you are probably wondering what is going to happen next.
Administrative Hearings in South Carolina
The consequences of being convicted of driving under the influence can be severe, that’s why it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. One of the first things that will happen after your arrest is an administrative hearing. Your presence will not be required at this hearing if you have an attorney. The purpose of the hearing is to decide several things, including whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you and if they informed you of your consent rights.
As a general rule, you will win the hearing if the officer doesn’t appear at the hearing if the judge finds there was no probable cause for your arrest, or if the judge determines you were not informed of your consent rights. If this happens, you will get your driver’s license back, but will still be required to deal with the DUI ticket in court.
If you lose, however, you will have to pay a fee of $100 to the DMV, enroll in and complete an alcohol drug and safety action program, and apply for a route restricted driver’s license. This license will only allow you to drive to certain locations including home and work.
South Carolina Criminal Charges
After your administrative hearing, it will be time to deal with the criminal portion of your charges. Your appearance at this hearing is mandatory. The only exception is if your attorney obtains a continuance by the court. Failing to appear at a court hearing can result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.
If you are convicted of criminal charges for DUI, your punishment will be based on several factors including whether or not you have been convicted before and what your blood alcohol level was when you were arrested. The minimum jail sentence is 48 hours for a DUI conviction. In some cases, the minimum sentence may be suspended in lieu of community service.
In addition to jail time, community service, and attending a substance abuse program, you will also receive a fine. Fines will be based on what your blood alcohol level was as well as how many times you have been convicted of a DUI. The minimum fine is $400 plus court costs.
Offenders who had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or higher will also have to install an ignition interlock device for six months. In some situations, this may also require you to have an interlock restricted driver’s license.
Contact an Experienced Charleston, SC DUI Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need to ensure that you have experienced legal representation. The attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices will work to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.