Law

Handling A DUI In South Carolina

Being arrested for a DUI can happen to anyone. Not only is the arrest traumatic and shameful, to you and your family, but the state of South Carolina has stringent zero tolerance laws for DUI, and the consequences of an arrest can be disastrous. 

Without an experienced DUI attorney Greenville SC can impose loss of driving privileges, which in some cases are permanent, and you’ll incur many other financial losses including, fines, court costs, alcohol and drug evaluation expenses, counseling expenses, or a breathalyzer device connected to your car ignition. The arrests will also cause an increase in your insurance policy. The first thing you should do is seek experienced counsel. 

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Going With A Private Attorney or Public Defender 

During the past few decades, DUI laws have become extremely complex. That is why for the person arrested for a DUI, the choice of an attorney can be vital to a successful defense. 

Defendants may wonder whether or not to choose a public defender. In most cases, public defenders are overworked and spread very thinly. They lack the necessary resources and time to fully investigate your case. Very often, they are assigned a large number of cases, representing indigent clients whom the court appoints. 

The public defender will not handle the DMV part of your case. Besides your court case, the Department of Motor Vehicles is one of the most important problems in your criminal DUI case. An experienced private defense attorney will be able to question the officer and obtain data that will help in the DUI and DMV case. Also, with a private attorney, you get to choose who represents you. A public defender is assigned to your case and in almost all cases you will have no choice but to stay with that same lawyer. 

Also, you may not qualify financially for a public defender appointed by the court. If you, or your family, earn more than a certain amount of money, or if you own a house or have other assets, you most likely do not qualify for the services of the public defender. This will leave you with the only option of hiring a private lawyer. 

Is Representing Yourself An Option? 

They are very few instances in which a defendant represents him or herself with satisfaction in the end. DUI cases are technical and complicated and remember that you are at risk of serving jail time. If you represent yourself without success, you can have the results of a major criminal ruling on your record, which will impact your employment and financial future. 

An experienced DUI lawyer will meet with you and any witnesses, if any, review police reports, and question any evidence. Remember, the prosecutor has handled hundreds of DUI cases, and defendants have no experience defending a case. It’s always a better option to hire an attorney. 

You have a lot at stake in a DUI case. You can lose your driving rights, your employer can fire you because you have a criminal record, and you will have to live with the stigma of a criminal record. A well-trained and educated DUI attorney is your best choice.

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