Can DUI charges be dismissed in South Carolina?

man with hands on head in handcuffs

If you’ve been arrested for driving while under the influence (DUI), you may think all hope is lost. However, with the help of a qualified Chesterfield County DUI Lawyer, you can aggressively fight to have your DUI charges dismissed. With significant criminal penalties on the line, it’s crucial to take your charges seriously. Please continue reading to learn when DUI charges could be dismissed in South Carolina. 

What are the penalties for DUI in South Carolina?

If you’re found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater, you will likely face DUI charges. However, it’s imperative to note that even having one or two drinks and then getting behind the wheel with a BAC between 0.05% and 0.08% could also result in receiving a DUI in South Carolina. If this is a first-offense DUI with a BAC of 0.16% or higher, you will face the following penalties:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • A six-month driver’s license revocation
  • Up to 90 days of incarceration

Regardless of whether it’s your first, second, third, or subsequent offense, the greater your BAC, the more severe the consequences you will face. If you’re under the legal drinking age of 21, you will also face harsher consequences.

When can you get your charges dismissed?

As you can see, the penalties for DUI in South Carolina can negatively impact all aspects of your life. Therefore, it’s crucial to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can help fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Sometimes, the prosecutor or judge dismisses DUI charges after initiating court proceedings. This could happen if the prosecutor’s evidence does not prove a criminal defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the police lacked probable cause for conducting a traffic stop or for making you submit to a BAC test, the collected evidence would be deemed inadmissible. If you believe the police lacked probable cause, you should inform your attorney, who can file a motion to suppress that evidence as it was illegally obtained. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence to render a guilty verdict, you could have your charges dismissed.

Moreover, a breathalyzer test may give an improper reading. Law enforcement officers must follow specific procedures when administering BAC tests, such as breathalyzers, as the most minor mistakes can result in an inaccurate reading. If they failed to follow the required guidelines, it could potentially result in the prosecutor having insufficient evidence, resulting in your DUI charges being dropped.

These are just some of many situations where it could be possible to get your DUI charges dismissed to avoid harsh criminal penalties and a criminal record. To maximize your chances of achieving the best possible conclusion for your case, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a determined lawyer from the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to help protect you from an uncertain future.