Arrested for DUI? Know Your Options.
If you’ve been arrested for a Rock Hill DUI, you need to know what you are facing and what to expect. You have questions and want answers. You don’t want to be “pitched” or further told how serious a DUI
charge is. You know how much is at stake. Let’s get you some real information about the process. We will talk later about why you should hire the Rock Hill DUI firm of Robert J. Reeves P.C. For more immediate help, you can call Mr. Reeves directly on his mobile phone 803.554.4157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being Charged Is Not the Same as Being Convicted
First, let’s start with the fact that being arrested does NOT mean you are guilty or are going to be convicted. Arrest does not mean conviction. The State of South Carolina must prove you guilty on all counts beyond a reasonable doubt. DUI laws in South Carolina are tough but fair. To prove their case, the State has to show three (3) elements: (1) driving, (2) in the county where charged, and (3) a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater. In cases where there is no BAC level, you must be shown to be materially and appreciably impaired. That’s where our firm comes in. We are DUI defense attorneys here in Rock Hill SC. We tell you more about us further down the page. First, let’s look at how you got here.
How the Arrest Process Begins
Life can change quickly. One moment you out at dinner with friends. You have a few drinks or beers and get ready to head home. You feel fine to drive. You think you’re alright to get behind the wheel. Then, on the way home, you come up on a checkpoint or get stopped for turning too abruptly. You see the blue lights so you pull over to the curb. You’re a little nervous but still feel like everything will be ok. The officer walks up to your car and you put down your window. As soon as the police smell alcohol, a routine stop or checkpoint will then turn into a full blown DUI investigation. Next, the officer will ask you if you have had anything to drink and then direct you to exit the vehicle. Once outside, you will be requested to attempt to perform “field sobriety tests.” If you answer the questions, you are just incriminating yourself. If you refuse, you know what will happen. If you try to do these roadside tests, you will most likely fail as they are difficult no matter what. If you refuse, the same outcome is going to occur. Once stopped and you have alcohol on your breath, you are going to be arrested and placed in handcuffs whether you cooperate or refuse. It really does not matter at that point. But after you are released, it’s your turn, and the DUI defense process begins.
How We Defend DUI Cases
If you choose to retain our firm, here is what we will do. First, we request all of the State’s evidence including all video. In SC, video evidence is mandatory by law, and it must show the police stop, initial contact, performance of field sobriety tests, arrest, and reading of Miranda warnings. We also get to see in “effective real time” all interactions in the BAC breath testing room. Seeing is believing, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Many DUI cases “make or break” on what is seen on video. Next, we request a jury trial because we believe in the fairness of a jury. Of course, the decision of whether to go to trial or accept a plea offer is always yours. But, a good defense begins with a good offense. After we carefully evaluate all of the evidence, we will then sit down and go over your options and our suggestions. We will also review any plea offers and explain the pros and cons. In the end, after we have answered all of your questions and given you our best guidance, you will be in a position to decide how to proceed with your case. You make all of the decisions. You are always in charge.
What You Are Facing
If convicted or plead to a first offense DUI, you are subject to a $400.00 fine and up to 48 hours in jail or community service if your BAC is less than 0.10%. If greater than 0.10% but less than 0.16%, you can be ordered to pay a $500.00 fine and up to 72 hours jail or community service. If your BAC is greater than 0.16%, the fine increases to $1000.00 fine and up to 30 days in jail. In addition, you will be required to obtain SR-22 insurance for three (3) years, even if you do not own a vehicle. And, to qualify for a restricted license, you must enroll in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) and pay a $100.00 license reinstatement fee. Finally, if you refuse breath testing or have a BAC greater than 0.16%, the DMV will also require the installation of ignition interlock into your vehicle. Of course, any subsequent DUI convictions will result in even harsher penalties and fees.
Choosing a Rock Hill DUI Lawyer
When looking for any attorney, you will find lots of potential choices. We encourage potential clients to do their research. Everyone “knows” a “good lawyer,” but it is better to find out as much as you can on your own. The internet is a great resource on a lawyer’s actual credentials and experience. We also suggest that you actually interview several firms and meet with lawyers in person. This is a critical decision. It is worth taking the time. In the end, after you have critically evaluated several lawyers, you should go with the best attorney who gives you the most confidence and who also puts you at ease.
Robert J. Reeves (email@example.com) 803.554.4157
Attorney Robert Reeves has been a practicing trial lawyer in both civil and criminal courts for the past 25 years. He now applies his considerable litigation skills to defending those persons arrested for DUI and DUAC. In addition to being a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and National College for DUI Defense, Mr. Reeves has earned certificates from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for DWI Investigation, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, and Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). These courses are the same training that police officers undergo. The first certificate allows Mr. Reeves to challenge the procedure used in conducting roadside testing. If the officer does not administer the tests as required, the results are deemed to be invalid and can be a challenge to whether an arrest was proper. The ARIDE course deals with drug based impairment, whether by prescription, illegal or other drugs that can affect the ability to drive safely. This training involves significant anatomy and physiology. As Mr. Reeves is a former Registered Nurse (RN), he is able to fully appreciate and argue whether particular drugs will cause impairment and what should be present on testing. Mr. Reeves is a member of the National College for DUI Defense.
Thomas W. Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Holland is a former SC prosecutor with over 20 years litigation experience. He is licensed in both South Carolina and Virginia. He has served as an Assistant Solicitor with the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit (Union County), as a violent crime prosecutor with the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and as Lancaster City Solicitor. Mr. Holland has also been appointed to be a Special Assistant United States Attorney and was General Counsel for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to his private practice, he also teaches at the University of South Carolina (Lancaster campus) as an Adjunct Instructor in Criminal Justice courses such as Criminal Procedure and Policing/Criminal Courts. From his years as a criminal prosecutor, he now applies his litigation skills to defend individuals facing DUI charges here in York County.
License Suspension. How to get your license back?
By driving on South Carolina roads, you “impliedly consent” to breath testing. However, under your 5th Amendment criminal rights, you can refuse to submit a breath sample or “refuse to blow.” That refusal will stand in your criminal case, but there are immediate consequences on the civil or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) side of your case. The immediate punishment, even if you are subsequently acquitted in the criminal case, is loss of license (SC resident) or driving privileges (out of state resident) for six (6) months. Also, if you submit to breath testing but your reported blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.15% or greater, the same suspension for six (6) months will apply. The six (6) month suspension if for a first offense DUI charge. Subsequent arrests for DUI will result in greater initial suspensions and can result in permanent revocation. Here is the good news. You can challenge your suspension by filing an appeal within thirty (30) days of arrest.
We would like an opportunity to personally meet and be interviewed to handle your case. Call 803-554-4157 or email Robert@RJRlaw.com today for a private consultation. We look forward to helping you and your family. Call us now and let’s get started.