South Carolina Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Defense
We understand the stress and anxiety associated with an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). When you are represented by a Greenville DUI attorney at our law firm, you can expect straightforward answers and candid advice about the range and probability of potential outcomes in your case. Our clients benefit from careful analysis of the following issues
- Legal sufficiency of facts supporting the initial DUI stop
- Procedural and substantive issues related to field sobriety tests (FSTs) and chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing
- Sufficiency of the evidence constituting probable cause for the DUI arrest
- Incriminating statements obtained illegally
South Carolina DUI constitutes will result in a misdemeanor or felony charge based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Even a first offense DUI conviction can have a drastic impact on your future. A DUI could result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction, incarceration in county jail or state prison, substantial fines, installation of an ignition interlock device, DUI classes, driver’s license suspension, mandatory participation in counseling and probation.
What Should You Do When You Are Pulled Over After Drinking Alcohol?
The way you handle a DUI stop can have repercussions through the entire course of your Greenville, SC DUI case. Typically, the law enforcement officer will pull you over because you have committed a traffic violation, or you have driven your vehicle in some way the officer classifies as “erratic.” It is important to understand that while you are required to provide your driver’s license and registration, you generally are not required to do any of the following:
- Answer the officer’s other questions (e.g. Have you been drinking? Where are you coming from?)
- Allow the officer to engage in a search of your vehicle
- Participate in field sobriety tests (FSTs)
The most important point to gather from this information is that you should politely decline to engage in any of the listed activities. It can be intimidating to tell a police officer that you will not comply with his or her requests, but the officer is counting on the fact that the majority of motorists do not realize that they can “just say no.” The police officer is looking for evidence to justify commencing a DUI investigation, such as red, bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, or a lack of coordination. Many people think that admitting to “drinking a couple beers” or to “coming from a bar” will earn them “honesty points” with the police officer. All these sorts of admissions will do is move you closer to handcuffs and the back of a patrol car.
At some point, the police officer may ask you to perform a series of divided concentration tasks called standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). There are strict procedural requirements that must be followed when administering these tests. SFSTs also result in a false indication of intoxication a significant percentage of time even when administered and scored accurately. People may fail these tests for many reasons that have nothing to do with being intoxicated, such as physical injury, obesity, illness, lack of coordination, nervousness, and other factors. Because SFSTs accomplish little more than providing evidence that will be used to support probable cause for a DUI arrest, you should ask if the tests are accurate 100 percent of the time. When the police officer admits that they are not, you should decline to perform the SFSTs and ask if you are free to leave.
Effective Greenville DUI Defense Strategies
When you are represented by an experienced South Carolina DUI attorney from our firm, your lawyer carefully analyzes your situation to develop the most effective DUI strategy. Our goal is to seek a dismissal of charges or acquittal after trial based on careful scrutiny of the law and facts. Even when these goals are unrealistic, your Greenville drunk driving defense attorney works aggressively to negotiate for a reduced charge. Even in cases that involve a plea agreement, Aaron knows that the best plea bargains are based on effectively challenging the prosecutor’s evidence. Some of the types of defenses that your Greenville criminal defense lawyer might employ in a Greenville DUI case include but are not limited to the following
- Demonstrating the unreliability of SFSTs and alternate theories for SFST test results
- Attacking the legal basis for initially pulling over your vehicle
- Advocating suppression of statements in violation of Miranda
- Challenging breath test results based on calibration or other issues
- Asserting defenses to breath test results based on diet or medical conditions like acid reflux
- Arguing the rising blood alcohol defense based on the delay between the initial stop and BAC testing
- Challenging the police officer’s observations of physical signs of impairment
- Exposing blood testing flaws due to contamination, lab error, or poorly trained personnel
Speak to a Greenville Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you are arrested for a felony, misdemeanor, DUI, or serious traffic offense in Greenville, SC or the surrounding area, Aaron De Bruin provides aggressive defense of his clients’ rights, freedom, and driving privileges. We have someone available to speak to you 24 hours/7 days per week. Our firm will even arrange in-house financing in certain cases. Call us today at 864-372-2896 to arrange a free no obligation confidential consultation.