Greenville, SC DUI Defense Lawyers

What Can You Expect with A DUI Charge?

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving you may not know where to turn. Many people may think having an attorney is too expensive and they should either accept their charge or can negotiate a plea on their own, especially for first-time offenders. What many do not know, however, is that attorneys’ fees are often much less than what they may assume and a fraction of the long-term financial toll a DUI can have.

While the cost may be a significant factor for many, there are many benefits of hiring an experienced attorney to help you through a DUI.

Our lawyers understand the DUI laws in South Carolina, the deadlines you must meet, and what to expect during court procedures. Instead of struggling to understand the legal process, you can count on an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process, explain what to expect along the way, and potential likely outcomes from your case.

dui law book on desk next to glasses and gavel

Another benefit of hiring a Greenville DUI lawyer is that you can rely on a legal advocate, someone with years of experience with DUI cases, to speak on your behalf. After being arrested, many DUI offenders want to tell their stories, explain to prosecutors and others why they’re innocent. The problem is that speaking on your own can inadvertently hurt your case rather than help it. At FR Law, we recommend you say as little as possible about your case to anyone before having legal representation.

A lawyer experienced in DUI law will meet with you to review all of the details of your case and then start building the best defense strategy given the information provided to help ensure you get a favorable outcome. At FR Law, we have helped many DUI offenders beat their criminal charges and we can help you, too. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our Greenville law firm today at (864) 668-1661 or click the link at the bottom of the page.

What Is the Criminal Penalty for DUI in Greenville, South Carolina?

In South Carolina, it’s unlawful to drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated to the extent that your ability to operate the vehicle is materially and appreciably impaired. If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, it’s presumed that you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have a blood alcohol level that is at least 0.05% but less than 0.08%, the prosecution can consider your blood alcohol content together with other evidence, such as a failed field sobriety test.

South Carolina DUI law prohibits anyone under 21 from driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.02%. According to South Carolina’s “zero tolerance” law, a driver under 21 who drives with a blood alcohol content above 0.02% is subject to automatic license suspension for three months or six months if there’s a previous DUI conviction or driver’s license suspension in the last five years.

If an underage driver refuses to consent to BAC testing, their driver’s license will be suspended for six months, or one year if there’s a previous drunk driving conviction or license suspension in the past five years.

Besides any administrative penalties, South Carolina DUI convictions can result in the following additional penalties:

First-Time DUI Offense

In South Carolina, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a $400 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and 6-month license revocation for DUI offense with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $500 fine, up to 30 days in jail, and 6-month driver’s license revocation for those with a BAC ranging between 0.10 and 0.16%, and with a $1,000 fine, up to 90 days in jail, and 6-month license revocation for those with a BAC above 0.16%

Second-Time DUI Offense

This is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by a $5,100 fine, up to 1 year in jail, and 1-year license revocation for repeat DUI offenders with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $5,500 fine, up to 2 years in jail, and 1-year license revocation for defendants with a BAC of 0.10-0.16%, or by $6,500 fine, up to 3 years in jail, and 1-year driver’s license revocation for defendants with a BAC above 0.16%

Third DUI Offense

Attorney Chris Fedalei
Chris Fedalei, DUI Defense Lawyer in Greenville, SC

This is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a 6,300 fine, up to 3 years in jail, and 2- or 4-year license revocation for those with a BAC under 0.10%, or by a $7,500 fine, up to 4 years in jail, and 2- to 4-year driver’s license revocation for those with a BAC ranging between 0.10-0.16%, or by a $10,000 fine, up to 5 years in jail, and 2- to 4-year license revocation period for those with a BAC above 0.16%.

Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense

This is a felony offense, punishable by lifetime license revocation and up to 5 years in jail for defendants with a BAC under 0.10%, or by permanent license revocation and up to 6 years in jail for DUI offenders with a BAC ranging between 0.10and 0.16%, or by lifetime license revocation and up to 7 years in jail for defendants with a BAC above 0.16%. Along with the above criminal penalties, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device may be required once a driver’s license suspension period lapses.