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If you’re arrested on a drunken driving charge, the consequences can reach far beyond the court case. For commercial drivers or anyone who sometimes gets behind the wheel of a company vehicle, a DUI conviction can mean loss of a job. For everyone else, it can mean skyrocketing auto insurance rates. And at minimum in South Carolina, a first conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol carries a license suspension, fine and a sentence, with the penalties increasing depending on both the blood-alcohol content and the number of previous convictions.
For those reasons and more, if you’re charged with DUI or DUAC in South Carolina it’s best to turn to an experienced attorney such as the veteran lawyers at Morton & Gettys.
Our DUI attorneys both are former prosecutors, one with 30 years’ experience. They’ve worked in the court system, and they’ve worked to build DUI cases. As defense attorneys, they’ve handled hundreds of DUI, felony DUI and related cases in York, Lancaster and Chester counties. That experience is a huge benefit for clients, who also enjoy the advantage of having two DUI attorneys work on their case for one single fee.
South Carolina’s two-part system for drunk driving charges
Like many states, South Carolina has a two-part system for charges involving drinking and driving. There is an administrative proceeding, handled through the Department of Motor Vehicles. That procedure can result in a license suspension. There’s also the criminal proceeding that determines if there will be jail time, an additional license suspension or a fine. That part is handled through the court system.
The penalties for a Driving Under the Influence conviction are severe. A person convicted of a first offense DUI faces the following potential penalties:
- Fines: There also is the possibility of jail.
- Driver’s License Suspension: a six-month driver’s license suspension
- Counseling: Required participation in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program Counseling classes (ADSAP).
- Insurance: Requirement of high-risk, SR-22 Insurance
- License Fees: Reinstatement fees
In addition to these penalties, a conviction for DUI stays with that person for life, potentially causing difficulties in seeking employment or moving up at a current job. A person convicted of a DUI second offense, DUI third offense, or felony DUI can face increased penalties and jail time.
Help from an experienced Rock Hill DUI Lawyer
As tempting as it is to try to handle a DUI charge without an attorney, to just go ahead and plead guilty and move past an embarrassing mistake, that’s not a good choice. The system is too complicated and the stakes too high to take that risk.
The DUI lawyers at Morton & Gettys can help make sure all aspects of any drunken driving case are addressed. They work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for all clients, so that those accused of DWI can put the unfortunate incident behind them as quickly as possible.