First Time DUI Charges In Summerville

If someone is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) for the first time, they should definitely seek help from a seasoned attorney. A knowledgeable DUI attorney could review the facts of the case and help you fight the charges. With the help of a skilled attorney, you may be able to get the charges reduce. Reach out to learn about first-time DUI charges in Summerville.

Where Are First-Time DUI Charges Heard?

For criminal charges there are two courts. General sessions, which is higher court and magistrate or municipal court, which is lower court. First offenses are held in municipal or magistrate’s court. In Summerville, there is the Dorchester County Magistrate Court, and here is where the Dorchester County Sheriff’s office or the Highway Patrol have their DUI charges heard. And Summerville Municipal Court is where Summerville Police have their DUI charges heard.

How Do Prosecutors Handle First-Time DUI Charges Usually?

For first time DUIs, the prosecutors will look at a person’s driving history, if it is a bad driving history, then there will not be a lot of leeway. However, if the person has a clean driving history, and the evidence is weak, then they will work out lower charges in an attempt to plea . However, if the person provides a high breath sample, there are a lot of driving offenses, or the driving is really bad prosecutors are very unlikely to lower the charges and would rather go to trial than lowering the charges.

How Does The Court Handle These Types of Charges?

The juries in South Carolina do not decide on punishment for first-time DUI cases. The judgesdecide on the punishment. For punishment purposes, most judges are typically not harsh on DUI first offense. They realize that people do make mistakes and it does happen. The punishment for a DUI first is up to 30 days in jail, and typically it would cost more to have somebody in jail, so courts typically will give a pretty steep fine for a DUI conviction. Additionally, there are some collateral consequences with being found guilty of a DUI.

What Are The Penalties For a First Time DUI In Summerville?

For a first time DUI in Summerville, the penalties depends on a couple of different factors. A first offense carries up to 30 days in jail. That’s the maximum amount that somebody’s facing in jail time. There is a minimum and that depends on if the person refused the breathalyzer test, or gave a breath sample, If a person refused the breathalyzer or if they give a breath sample and it was under a 0.10, then it’s a minimum of 48 hours in jail. The 48 hours can be suspended to doing community service. If a person provides a breath sample and the number that comes back is between a 0.10, and a 0.16, then it is a minimum 72 hours in jail, which also can be suspended to 72 hours of community service instead of doing the 72 hours in jail.

The maximum is anything above a 0.16. If somebody gives a breath sample and they blow up 0.16, and then they are either found guilty at trial or plead guilty to a DUI, and then they will be facing a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail with a maximum of 90 days in jail. The 30 days can be suspended to 30 days of community service instead of the 30 days in jail. There is also a minimum fine for a refusal or up to 0.10 it is a $400 fine, for a 0.10 to a 0.15 it is a $500 fine, and for above a 0.16 it is a $1000 fine.

Diversion Programs Or Probationary Options For First-Time Offenders

There are alcohol program that sometimes the officer or prosecutor will allow a defendant to go through instead of facing the DUI. One type of diversion program that is used in a DUI case is called a MADD Panel, which is the Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They provide classes where individuals can go and learn about the dangers of drinking and driving. This type of diversionary program could help the defendant in a DUI case.

There are not too many diversion programs specifically that will allow a DUI. However, there are some things that the attorney can fight for such as going through a substance abuse class, having a drug and alcohol assessment done that can be persuasive in resolving the case with either the officer or a prosecutor.

Discuss First Time DUI Charges in Summerville With an Attorney

You should not handle first time DUI charges in Summerville alone. It is best to seek counsel from an experienced legal professional. A lawyer could review the evidence and help you avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. Schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer today to discuss your legal options.

First Time DUI Charges In Summerville