What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Charleston

Being arrested for a DUI can be a frightening and confusing experience. The exact booking process and next steps following a DUI arrest in Charleston may vary depending on the circumstances. If you were involved in an accident, you may first be taken to the hospital for a medical examination. If there was no accident, you may go directly to the police station for a blood alcohol test.

Regardless of the details, you are likely feeling overwhelmed and scared about the potential jail time and heavy fines involved with a DUI charge. Let’s take a look at the process and why it’s a good idea to hire a Charleston DUI defense attorney right away.

The DUI Arrest Process in Charleston

Once the officer has pulled you over under suspicion of drunk driving in Charleston, the arrest process begins.

The Field Sobriety Tests

The officer will first conduct field sobriety tests like the walk-and-turn test or one-leg stand to check your balance and coordination. You’ll be arrested and transported to the station if they believe your abilities are impaired.

Booking and Processing

You’ll go through the booking process at the station, where the police will take your personal information, photograph, and fingerprint. They will also confiscate belongings like your keys, wallet, and phone.

You will then be allowed a phone call to contact someone to post bail or pick you up once you’ve been processed. The total time spent on booking and processing can take 3 to 6 hours.

The Breathalyzer Test

Next, you will be required to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Refusing to take the breath test will result in an automatic license suspension. If your BAC is over 0.08%, you will be formally charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

Release and Court Date

After the booking and breathalyzer test is complete, you may be released to a sober friend or family member or kept until you are no longer intoxicated. You will also receive a court date for your arraignment, usually within the next month.

do not attempt to resist an arrest for DUI

The Video Recording at the Police Station

After your DUI arrest, the police will transport you to the local police station for booking and processing. One of the first things that will happen is a video recording of you in the holding area. This video, known as the “drunk tank video,” will capture your behavior and responses during the booking process.

The police will ask basic questions on camera, such as your name, address, and date of birth, to confirm your identity. They will also ask you to participate in simple tests to assess your sobriety level on film, such as walking straight or standing on one leg.

Meeting With a Charleston DUI Lawyer

After your arrest, one of the first steps you should take is to meet with a Charleston DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney can review the details of your case, determine the best defense strategy, and guide you through the legal process.

Tell your lawyer exactly what happened leading up to your arrest. Be honest about where you were coming from, what you were doing, how much you had to drink, and any other relevant details. Your attorney needs all the facts to build the strongest possible defense for your case.

Your lawyer will evaluate the evidence in your case and determine whether to pursue a plea deal or take the case to trial. If there are weaknesses in the prosecution’s evidence or reason to believe your rights were violated, fighting the charges in court may make sense.

Contact an Attorney to Learn More About the Next Steps After a DUI Arrest in Charleston

A skilled Charleston DUI attorney can meet with you to discuss all aspects of your arrest and next steps in detail. Your attorney can also explain the legal process going forward. They will want you to have realistic expectations while providing hope when warranted.

So after a DUI arrest in Charleston, schedule a consultation with an experienced local attorney as soon as possible. They can evaluate your case, advise you on the best course of action, and represent you in court to achieve the most favorable outcome. Contact our firm today at (843) 277-8711.