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Why is an arrest not a conviction?

The reason that we say this is because when you have been arrested for a crime you are INNOCENT until proven guilty and that protection is afforded to you by the Constitution of the United States of America. That’s a very important distinction because in many other cultures you are guilty in the beginning. They accuse you of a particular crime and then it’s incumbent upon you to be able to say, “I didn’t do this particular thing and here are the reasons why.”

In America, you are completely innocent until proven guilty and it is the prosecution’s burden to prove you guilty of a crime, not your burden to prove yourself innocent. In fact, just because you are arrested, it does not necessarily mean that you are ultimately going to be convicted of that crime after you have been to court and been given due process of law. Since 1996, we’ve represented thousands of clients in their court cases. We take the time to investigate each case fully and find options that work for our client in order to get their case reduced, dismissed or taken to trial. In cases where we feel the client has been treated unfairly by the law, we take those cases to trial to ensure that justice is on their side. Remember, you have the right to an attorney and the right to a fair trial.

I get questions all of the time about DUI and the first thing that people want to know is what they are facing and what are their options.  The laws regarding DUI changed in February, 2009. Under the current law, the real cost of a DUI can be between $12,000 – $20,000 once you include all of the fines, fees, court costs, mandatory classes and insurance. The State of South Carolina currently imposes the following basic penalties and fines for a person who is convicted of a DUI:

DUI- 1st Offense:

  • A fine of $400 – $1,000 plus court costs
  • 48 hours – 90 days in jail
  • Loss of your driver’s license for 6 months to 1 year
  • ADSAP ( Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program) class program fees
  • Proof of SR-22 (high risk driver’s insurance), required for a minimum of 3 years
  • Possible loss of Your Job and Educational Benefits
  • Permanent Criminal Record for the Rest of Your Life

DUI- 2nd Offense:

  • A fine of $2100 – $6,500 plus court costs
  • 5 days – 3 years in jail
  • Loss of your driver’s license for up to 1 year
  • ADSAP (Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program) class program fees
  • Proof of SR-22 (high risk driver’s insurance), required for a minimum of 3 years
  • Vehicle Immobilization Required
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in your Vehicle for 2 years (Required)
  • Possible Loss of Your Job and Educational Benefits
  • Permanent Criminal Record for the Rest of Your Life

DUI- 3rd Offense:

  • A fine of $3,800 – $6,000 plus court costs
  • 60 days – 5 years in jail
  • Loss of your driver’s license for between 2 years to 4 years
  • ADSAP (Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program) class program fees
  • Proof of SR-22 (high risk driver’s insurance), required for a minimum of 3 years
  • Loss of Your Vehicle
  • Vehicle immobilization Required
  • Ignition Interlock Device Installed in your car for 3 years (Required)
  • Possible loss of Your Job and Educational Benefits
  • Permanent Criminal Record for the Rest of Your Life

GET HELP NOW

The laws in York County and the Rock Hill, SC area include many local procedures which may be different than other South Carolina jurisdictions including, where you go to court, which judges are assigned to your case, and which prosecutors and/or officers may prosecute your case. Please give us a call at 864-8100-DUI for specific information on how the laws are administered in York County and the Rock Hill, SC area.

The court fines and fees listed above do not include court assessments, DMV fees, higher insurance premiums or the fees for classes such as ADSAP (Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program). The permanent criminal record from a DUI means that if you are a student, you could potentially lose your scholarships, grants and loans and not be able to afford to continue in college. If you are in the military, you could lose your rank, have a reduction in pay, lose your security clearances or be cycled out of the military. If you are a professional, such as a doctor, a lawyer, nurse, insurance agent or financial advisor, you could even lose your professional license and thus lose your livelihood! Additionally, many employers will not hire or may fail to promote a person with a DUI on their permanent criminal record. A DUI conviction is not a speeding ticket that goes on your driving record only, it is a serious charge and a criminal conviction that goes on your driving record and gives you a permanent criminal record for life!

Disclaimer: “The client is responsible for fines, fees and expenses in addition to the lawyer’s fee. In personal injury cases, the fee will be a percentage of the recovery and that percentage will be computed before deducting the expenses in the case.” Freddy Woods, Esq.

If you are facing a criminal charge for a DUI, call us now for a free phone consultation at 864-810-0384 so that we may answer your questions and tell you how we can help you.

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We proudly serve all South Carolina Counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg, and York