Columbia DUI Lawyers

If you are charged with driving under the influence in South Carolina, also known as a DUI, then you need an experienced DUI lawyer to present a strong defense on your behalf. At Cavanaugh & Thickens, our goal is to help you through the process of a DUI charge so that a single incident does not define and limit your future opportunities. With that in mind, we are here to help you confront DUI charges by advocating on your behalf throughout the process.

Columbia DUI Conviction Consequences

Depending on the facts, circumstances, and evidence in your case and whether you have prior convictions, the penalty for a DUI conviction can be up to seven years in prison and fines as high as $10,000. Depending on the number of prior DUI convictions, post-conviction license suspensions start at six months and can extend for life.

There may also be immediate pre-conviction license suspensions imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. You may be able to challenge the pre-conviction suspension, but you must request a hearing. Failing to issue a timely and proper objection can result in losing the right to challenge immediate pre-conviction license suspensions. We know that both temporary and permanent license restrictions can have a drastic impact on your employment and other aspects of daily life, so it is important to involve one of our Columbia DUI lawyers as soon as possible. 

DUI defense lawyer

Here’s a breakdown of the consequences per conviction and blood alcohol level (BAC) in South Carolina.

First Offense DUI Consequences:

-Consequences are directly related to your BAC levels.

BAC Under .10:

  • Potential jail time of 48 hours – 30 days
    • Community service may be given in place of jail time.
  • $400 fines (does not include court costs/assessments)

BAC .10-.15:

  • Potential jail time of 3 – 30 days
    • Community service may be given in place of jail time.
  • $500 fine (does not include court costs/assessments)
  • Up to 72 hours of community service

BAC .16+ 

  • Potential jail time of up to 90 days
    • Community service may be given in place of jail time.
  • $1,000 fine (does not include court costs/assessments)
  • Up to 30 days of community service
  • Possible 6-month driver’s license suspension
  • Required ignition interlock device

If you’ve been charged with a first offense DUI, it is important to contact an experienced DUI lawyer. The DUI lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens can help you get the best possible outcome for your case and make sure this does not define your future.

Second Offense DUI Consequences:

Penalties are more severe depending on how long it’s been since your first charge and your BAC.

Within 10 Years

  • Potential jail time of 5 days – 1 year 
  • $2,100 – $5,100 fine (does not include court costs/assessments)

BAC .10-.15

  • Potential jail time of 30 days – 2 years 
  • $2,500 – $5,500 fine (not including court costs/assessments)
  • Possible 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • Required ignition interlock device

BAC .16+

  • Potential jail time of 90 days – 3 years
  • $3,500 – $6,500 fine (not including court costs/assessments)
  • Possible 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • Required ignition interlock device

It’s critical to hire an experienced DUI lawyer if you’ve been charged with a second offense DUI, as the penalties are much more severe. Our criminal defense attorneys will work hard to make sure that you get the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us ASAP at (803) 888-2200.

Third Offense DUI Consequences: 

Penalties may double.

BAC .10-.15

  • Potential jail time of 90 days – 4 years
  • $5,500 – $7,500 fine (not including court costs/assessments)
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Required ignition interlock device for three years, four years if third offense is within five years of second DUI offense.

BAC .16+

  • Potential jail time of 6 months – 5 years
  • $7,500 – $10,000 fine (not including court costs/assessments)
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Required ignition interlock device for three years, four years if third offense is within five years of second DUI offense.

Fourth Offense DUI Consequences: 

If you’ve been charged with 4 DUIs in less than 10 years, this is considered a felony under South Carolina law. Your license can be permanently suspended, you could face up to seven years of jail time, and a required ignition interlock device for life.

Whether this is your first, second, third, or subsequent DUI offense, our team is equipped to help you through this time of uncertainty.

How Can a Columbia SC DUI Defense Attorney Help Me?

First, our defense lawyer will sit down with you to learn about your case and discuss and evaluate your options. DUI cases are very technical in nature, and due to the seriousness of the charge, there are particular requirements that law enforcement must abide by to obtain a DUI conviction. For instance, our team will carefully evaluate certain aspects of your case, including: 

  • Whether there was reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop
  • When police began filming the traffic stop
  • What officers said during the traffic stop
  • The way field sobriety tests were administered
  • Whether and how long it took police to offer a breath test, or “breathalyzer”, during the traffic stop

When someone is charged with DUI, we understand they are facing serious, life-changing consequences. For help understanding your options, contact our DUI defense attorney for a personalized review of your case.

South Carolina DUI Lawyer

We know how overwhelming this can be. Our experienced team can walk you through the process to help achieve the best possible outcome. Find comfort in the client focused, results driven approach from the DUI lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens.

If you have been arrested, please call us immediately to set an appointment at (803) 888-2200. We need to begin defending your rights and discussing your options with you as soon as possible.

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