Myrtle Beach DUI Lawyer

Being charged with a DUI can be frightening, and overturning a DUI charge can be difficult to do alone. However, if you enlist the help of a seasoned attorney experienced in handling DUI cases, your chances of obtaining a favorable verdict could increase drastically.

When you are charged with a DUI offense, the potential consequences go well beyond criminal punishment. On the criminal side, you face fines and potential incarceration. A conviction can also impact employment opportunities, increase auto insurance rates, affect custody decisions, lead to loss of your license, and ruin your reputation. You do not have to face these charges alone. A Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer at our firm could help you develop a strategy on how to fight your charges effectively. Reach out to our criminal attorneys to discuss your defense options.

Factors Affecting a DUI Sentence

Several factors can impact the potential punishment for a DUI charge. It is essential to understand these factors when assessing the severity of an offense. In addition to the potential punishment, these factors will influence whether a defendant is eligible for pre-trial diversion.

If the defendant has prior DUI offenses, the court is more likely to take a strict approach. Of course, the more DUI offenses a person has, the greater the likelihood that addiction issues are impacting behavior. Those defendants may need intervention and addiction treatment services that are not available in the criminal justice system. They are less likely to get access to those services because the more DUI offenses a person has, the more likely they will get a lengthy sentence.

Whether a defendant cooperated with the police at the time of arrest is another factor. Cooperation does not mean agreeing to answer questions — asserting the right to remain silent cannot be used against a defendant. However, refusing to take a breathalyzer or blood tests can be used as evidence.

The higher someone’s BAC is, the greater the potential penalties. A person with a lower BAC could have misjudged how many drinks they could safely have. A person with a higher BAC should have known they were intoxicated. Of course, the higher a person’s BAC, the more impaired their judgment.

State law prohibits people from driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. However, it does not prohibit people from having a drink or two and then operating a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, estimating the amount you can safely drink depends on several factors. Weight, gender, body composition, and whether you have had anything to eat all impact BAC.

Two other factors examine the danger or potential danger to others. Having a minor child in the vehicle at the time of arrest increases potential penalties. Of course, injuring or killing anyone while driving under the influence also increases the penalties.

A DUI attorney in Myrtle Beach will examine all of those factors when formulating a defense strategy. Getting their advice is essential because simply pleading guilty can have catastrophic consequences.

Establishing Reasonable Doubt in a Drunk Driving Case

A defendant does not have an obligation to prove their innocence. The state must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To do so, they must follow specific steps outlined in the state’s DUI and DUI testing laws.

A Myrtle Beach attorney will focus on the details of a defendant’s DUI arrest and the surrounding evidence collection. The police should record every aspect of the arrest. The first issue is probable cause — unless they are running a checkpoint, the police have to have a reason to pull over the driver. Prior to collecting breath, blood, or urine samples, police must read the implied consent notice for DUI. When the police use a field sobriety test to determine intoxication, it should be on video and should follow specific protocols. Finally, they will look at whether the police gave Miranda warnings at the time of the arrest.

Failure to follow the rules can result in that evidence being inadmissible. Without that evidence, it may be impossible for the state to prove guilt.

Consult a DUI Lawyer in Myrtle Beach

Getting charged with a DUI can negatively impact the rest of your life. There is no reason to handle those charges alone. A lawyer can examine the circumstances of your arrest and your history to come up with the best defense strategy. Schedule a meeting with a Myrtle Beach DUI lawyer to find out more. We offer free case evaluations, which can help you understand your rights and potential defenses.

Myrtle Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer