What Happens After a DUI Arrest In South Carolina
A DUI conviction in South Carolina is a serious offense, and the General Assembly has enacted stiff penalties to punish South Carolina drivers who elect to get behind the wheel under the influence. Additionally, unknown to most, many of the consequences of a DUI arrest start prior to a conviction. Their ignorance of the law is due to no fault of their own. South Carolina laws are written in a way that make it confusing to those who do not have a law degree. However, we’ll give a brief overview in plain English of what happens after a DUI arrest in South Carolina.
Following the Arrest Your License may be Suspended
Following an arrest, the officer or state trooper who pulled you over will likely administer a breath test or blood test. If you refuse to participate in this test, your license will be suspended for six (6) months pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 56-5-2951. Additionally, if you take the test and your blood alcohol concentration (which is called “BAC” for short) is over .15% your license will be suspended. If your license is suspended you will be forced to enroll in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (called “ADSAP”) in order to regain your license.
However, you can challenge your license suspension by requesting an “implied consent” hearing with the Administrative Law Court’s Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings (OMVH) within in thirty (30) days from receiving your notice of suspension. At Bailey Law Firm, we always challenge our client’s license suspensions by filing for an administrative hearing with the OMVH. If you are able to establish that the implied consent test was administered improperly, your licenses will be reinstated. If not, you suspension will be upheld. Additionally, while you are waiting on your administrative hearing, you can apply for a temporary license with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). This allows you to drive temporarily pending your implied consent hearing.
Your Traffic Ticket and Court Date
After the arrest you will be issued a traffic ticket. Below we’ve included a Uniform South Carolina Traffic Ticket which will look identical to the one issued after a DUI arrest.
This traffic ticket contains important information about your DUI arrest. It contains the officer’s name that issued the citation, the offense/statute, the court date, court location and time of arrest amongst other things.
Be sure to keep your traffic citation in a safe place so that you can give your attorney a copy if and when you retain one. The court dated mentioned on the citation is your actual bench trial date. It is a common practice at Bailey Law Firm to always get the court date listed on your initial citation pushed to a later date where we can challenge the citation during a jury trial. Never go to court without a lawyer. By doing so you’re risking the chance of being convicted without even putting up a fight.
Unless there are exceptional circumstances, individuals who are arrested for DUI in South Carolina are typically eligible for bail/bond. However, there are certain stipulations that must be followed after being released on bond. The main one is that pending the trial or dismissal of the case, you are not permitted to leave the State without permission of the court. Additionally, the bail proceeding form will state the first court appearance’s date, time and location. It is imperative that you appear at the court listed on the bail proceeding form. If you do not appear it will be considered a violation of your bond.
An Arrest Will Show on Your Criminal Record
Unfortunately, although a DUI arrest does not mean that you will actually be convicted for DUI, the arrest will show up on your criminal record during background checks. After a DUI arrest, you are booked and finger printed and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and they keep your information on file. As a result, the arrest will show on your criminal record.
A DUI arrest will not immediately result your insurance premiums rising. When most people are arrested for DUI they are not only concerned with going to jail, but the affect the arrest can have on their car insurance premiums. However, a DUI conviction or guilty plea is what causes your insurance premiums to go up, not an arrest. In South Carolina, you will be required to get SR-22 car insurance if you are convicted of a DUI. SR-22 insurance is very expensive in comparison to ordinary car insurance rates. This is yet another reason why it is imperative to get a South Carolina DUI lawyer to prevent a DUI conviction and all its residual effects.
Let us Help You
Obtaining video footage of your field sobriety test and arrest, getting a temporary license pending your implied consent hearing, challenging the implied consent procedure performed at the OMVH hearing, and getting your DUI charges thrown out or dropped are just a few of the things that we can do for you. At Bailey Law Firm, we have affordable fees and offer payment plans to individuals arrested for DUI.
If you or a loved one was recently arrested for DUI in South Carolina, contact Bailey Law Firm today, and I will start working on the case immediately. I personally work on all of our DUI cases from start to finish to ensure that my clients receive a top-notch DUI defense.