West Columbia DUI Lawyer

Getting caught driving while under the influence (DUI) is a nightmare that haunts many drivers. A DUI conviction could mean monetary fines, loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and jail time.

Police and prosecutors sometimes assume a driver is guilty if there is any consumption of alcohol, even though the Defendant might not actually have been impaired. A person who failed a field sobriety test or whose blood alcohol concentration came back at more than the legal limit of 0.08 might assume that conviction on DUI charges is automatic. They might believe it is easier just to plead guilty. However, nothing could be further than the truth. This is a myth.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, it is a good idea to call a criminal defense lawyer while you are still in jail, so that you have them with you while speaking to the police. If you were not brought to jail or have already been released, an experienced West Columbia DUI attorney could be invaluable in supporting you through the ordeal and presenting your best defense.

Exposing Police Error in DUI Charges

Frequently, a defense lawyer’s scrutiny of police procedures in DUI arrests reveals that the police did not perform their investigation correctly and violated the driver’s rights. If an accused can show that law enforcement violated their rights, a prosecutor may drop a case or reduce the charge. Even if the prosecution proceeds, a judge could possibly order dismissal of the charges.

Each case is different, but a defense attorney might seek the following information:

  • Why did the police stop the driver’s vehicle?
  • Is a dashcam recording of the encounter between the driver and the police available?
  • Did the police read the driver the implied consent form before a blood, urine, or breath test?
  • Was the field sobriety test properly administered?
  • Did the officer read the driver the Miranda rights?

Depending on the answers to these questions, there might be problems with the way the police conducted their investigation and arrest. Blood alcohol tests and field sobriety tests also vary in their accuracy, so when an officer relied on such tests to justify an arrest, it is worthwhile to challenge the results.

Prosecutors Must Prove All Elements of Case

In most West Columbia DUI cases, the prosecutor must show that the accused was driving, that they were under the influence of intoxicants, and that the intoxicants materially impaired the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle. If there is inadequate proof of any of these elements, the prosecutor cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

South Carolina Code §56-5-2965 establishes the crime of felony DUI. A driver might be charged with felony DUI if they were driving under the influence and their actions caused death or great bodily injury. In felony DUI cases, the prosecutor must prove, in addition to the above elements, that the person failed to adhere to the law while driving and that failure led to the GBI or death.

Each element of a charge presents an opportunity for a savvy attorney to introduce evidence that weakens the prosecution’s presentation of a case. The more serious the charges and potential consequences, the more important it is for an accused to mount a robust defense.

Seek Help From a West Columbia DUI Attorney Today

A DUI conviction could have a dramatic impact on your freedom, future employment prospects, any professional licenses you hold, your driver’s license, and your personal relationships. With these potentially dire outcomes, do not leave any aspect of your defense to chance.

Instead, partner with an assertive West Columbia DUI lawyer who will investigate every theory that might support your case and present the evidence to a prosecutor. You could see your charges reduced or even dropped. Call today for a consultation.