Can Your Charleston DUI Lawyer Get the Charges Against You Dropped?

If you’re arrested for DUI, trying to get the charges dropped may be your best hope of avoiding serious penalties.  The odds of a self-represented defendant convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges are slim. However, it may be possible if you hire a Charleston DUI lawyer.

Here, we’ll discuss some of the strategies your lawyer can use to challenge the evidence against you and potentially get your DUI charges dismissed. If you want to fight your DUI arrest, contact our office today.

How Serious Are the Penalties for DUI in Charleston?

If you’re convicted of DUI in South Carolina, you’ll be facing jail time, fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license. Here is a breakdown based on the level of offense:

  • 1st Offense
    • 48 hours to 90 days in jail
    • $400 – $1,000 in fines
    • 6-month suspension
    • Mandatory enrollment in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • 2nd Offense
    • 5 days to 3 years in jail
    • $2,100 to $6,500 in fines
    • 2-year suspension
    • Mandatory enrollment in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • 3rd Offense
    • 60 days to 5 years in jail
    • $3,800 to $10,000 in fines
    • 3-year suspension
    • Mandatory enrollment in Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program

In some cases, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device. You have to pay for both the device and its installation.

What’s the Process for Getting DUI Charges Reduced or Dismissed?

A defendant almost never has a chance to meet with the prosecutor. However, the prosecutor and their assistants will communicate with a lawyer. A lawyer also knows what evidence is needed to persuade a prosecutor to drop the charges.

Before your Charleston DUI lawyer reaches out to the prosecutor, they’ll gather whatever evidence they can find to poke holes in the state’s case. The prosecutor will not give in easily. It takes a seasoned attorney to convince them to drop charges.

If the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the case or reduce the charges, they’ll have to get the judge to approve it. The judge will consider the following factors:

  • The type and severity of the charges against you
  • Your blood alcohol level
  • Whether you have any prior DUI convictions
  • Whether you caused a drunk driving accident
  • Whether there was property damage or injuries involved.

If the judge approves dismissing the charges, there will be a short hearing during which the prosecutor and your DUI attorney will put the dismissal on the record.

A judge must approve dismissing DUI charges.

What Strategies Can Your Charleston DUI Attorney Use to Get the Charges Dropped?

There’s no magic formula for getting a client’s DUI charges dropped. Your lawyer will have to look at the facts of your case and see what approach will work best. They’ll also look at the prosecution’s evidence to see if they can poke holes in it.

Some of the strategies or approaches your lawyer may take include:

  • Your lawyer may ask the court to dismiss the case if your constitutional rights were violated.
  • Your Charleston DUI attorney will look at the prosecutor’s conviction rate. If they rarely dismiss a defendant’s DUI charges, they’ll have to find some way to show that your case is somehow unique.
  • Your lawyer will approach the prosecutor early in the case. The longer the state has to build a case against you, the harder it’ll be to get the charges dropped.
  • One strategy that may work is volunteering to attend an Alcohol and Drug Safety program. Or your lawyer can promise that you’ll attend AA meetings.

Can You Get a Reduced Plea if You Have a Prior DUI Arrest?

It’ll be a lot harder to get your charges dismissed or even reduced if you have prior DUIs. When the prosecutor sees this, they’re going to assume that you have no respect for the law. They’ll also think that you’re a danger to society.

The only way your Charleston DUI attorney can convince the prosecutor to drop the charges is to show that it’s been years since your last conviction. They can also point out that you haven’t had any recent traffic tickets or accidents.

Contact Our Charleston DUI Lawyers Immediately After Your Arrest

It’s not easy to get your DUI charges dropped. Your Charleston DUI attorney will have to convince the prosecutor that their case isn’t strong enough to convict. That’s why we suggest you call our office right away. It’ll take some time to gather the evidence needed to get your charges reduced or dismissed outright.

What you should do is contact our office today at (843) 277-8711 and schedule your initial consultation.