Columbia Drug DUI Lawyer

Driving while under the influence of drugs, also known as DUI or “drugged driving,” is one of the more common criminal charges that South Carolina drivers face today. DUI’s are also very serious charges, and courts routinely impose heavy fines and penalties upon conviction in these cases. South Carolina courts and judges take DUI charges very seriously due to the potential impact on the public-at-large.

A conviction for a DUI offense can result in a criminal record, as well as fines and potential jail time. Most DUI and DUI offenders feel that police officers and investigators always have the upper hand. While that can be true if you do not have an experienced DUI defense attorney, you should always keep in mind that you have certain constitutional rights that no one can take away from you.

DUI cases are very fact-specific. A knowledgeable Columbia drug DUI lawyer can discuss all of the facts and circumstances of your individual case with you and can help to safeguard all of your legal rights while your criminal case is pending.

Basis for Conviction

A person may be charged with or convicted of DUI for driving a motor vehicle within the State of South Carolina while under the influence of any of the following:

  • A drug
  • A combination of drugs
  • A combination of drugs and alcohol

As a Columbia attorney could further explain, in order to be convicted of DUI, the person’s driving abilities must be “materially and appreciably impaired,” as a direct result of drug or alcohol intoxication.

It is also important to note that all drivers in the State impliedly consent to chemical tests of their breath, blood, or urine, for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or drugs in their system.

Potential Penalties

DUI charges may be prosecuted as felonies or as misdemeanors in the State, depending upon the circumstances and the number of prior offenses, if any. The most common penalties upon conviction include the following:

  • Jail time in a state detention center
  • Mandatory participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Payment of all court costs and fines
  • License suspensions
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

Lifetime Effects of a DUI Conviction

A DUI conviction in South Carolina can have significant long-term impacts on a person’s life. In today’s competitive education, job, and housing markets, background checks are more common than ever. Schools, employers, and leasing companies regularly check criminal records before making their decisions. A person with a DUI charge or conviction will have a criminal record and is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to education, employment, and leasing decisions.

Moreover, a DUI conviction will almost certainly result in an insurance rate hike and could result in a driver’s license suspension, along with other possible fines and penalties. Given the severity of these penalties, anyone facing charges for a drug DUI should prioritize seeking the counsel of a Columbia attorney.

Contact a Columbia DUI Attorney Today

If you have been charged with driving while impaired, a Columbia DUI lawyer may be able to assist you with obtaining a dismissal or a favorable plea deal in your case. Criminal defense attorneys can sometimes challenge the validity of a traffic stop or the results of a breath test also known as a Datamaster, breathalyzer or other chemical test.

It is important to understand that in every DUI case you have legal defenses and options available to you. You should feel free to contact us at any time, via telephone or email, for a free initial consultation.

Columbia Drug DUI Lawyer