Most people have a fear of being pulled over while driving. Even if you are sure you are following every traffic law, driving safely, and your car is in working order, you fear it is still possible for a police officer to find a reason to pull you over. Once a cop stops you, they are able to check for signs of driving under the influence, among other things. Unfortunately, some of these signs can be red eyes, mumbling, and stuttering, all of which could be caused by issues other than intoxication. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, you know how nerve wracking this process can be. Especially if you were arrested when you were not actually under the influence, it is possible to fight back against charges made against you by police officers.
Drivers across the country are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) every day, often under wrongful circumstances. The attorneys at Truslow & Truslow understand the need to keep the roads in Columbia and across South Carolina safe, but we also want to protect the rights of drivers. An arrest for drunk driving can impact all aspects of your life, often because people arrested for driving drunk often do not receive the benefit of the doubt. Our Columbia DUI attorneys want to help you through your charges so you can return to your regular life without scrutiny or judgment.
In their efforts to stop drunk driving, police officers and prosecutors are likely to pursue harsh punishments against anyone arrested for an alcohol-related crime. As overwhelming and even frightening as these potential punishments may feel, it is possible to fight the charges brought against you. Remember, just because you are arrested does not mean you will be convicted. A qualified DUI attorney will be able to build a defense around your case and could potentially get your charges reduced or dropped completely. At Truslow & Truslow, our lawyers have successfully defended clients in the following areas:
You may assume there is no way an attorney could help you out of your situation, but having a defense is the best way to fight the charges you are facing. We have the necessary experience and resources to shield you from the worst consequences of your arrest.
There is no doubt that drunk driving is a serious issue in our country. However, when a driver is arrested for DUI or DWI, they often face an immediate and painful backlash from friends, family, and the public. Some people even lose their jobs when they are arrested because their employer automatically assumes guilt. Here are some of the most important statistics on drunk driving at a national level from 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
These statistics indicate that the people affected most by drunk driving are younger people, motorcyclists, and drivers with a prior DWI conviction. Young drivers and motorcyclists are already at a higher risk of a collision while driving, regardless of their impairment level. People who have faced prior convictions for driving under the influence are more likely to face serious charges and jail time if they are convicted. For all of those who are most at-risk for a drunk driving arrest, an attorney is necessary if you are charged with an alcohol-related crime. A drunk driving conviction can have a huge impact on your future, but hiring a knowledgeable DUI attorney could help lessen the charges.
There are several ways to defend against a driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated charge. An attorney can help you determine which defense will be best for your case and represent you in court. Listed below are some of the most common defenses for protecting you against DUI charges.
When a police officer is attempting to charge you with a DUI or DWI, they are likely to perform one or many tests to determine your level of intoxication. One of the most popular methods used is a Breathalyzer test. A Breathalyzer is a machine that indicates your blood alcohol concentration, but these devices are known to be faulty and present misleading information. If the sole evidence used to force your conviction is a Breathalyzer exam, we may be able to challenge the evidence.
Another way police will try to prove you were under the influence at the time of arrest is by citing your appearance and behavior. For example, if the officer performed a field sobriety test but you did not walk in a straight line, your eyes were bloodshot, and you were slurring your words, these observations can be used against you. One way to fight these accusations is to present an alternative reason for your actions. Perhaps you were sick and could not sleep, hence the bloodshot eyes and stumbling, and your allergy medication made you less aware of your speech patterns. Refuting the testimony of police officers is a common tactic when building a DUI defense.
In order to arrest you for an alcohol-related crime, police must have had a legitimate reason to pull you over. Valid reasons for stopping a car include erratic driving, ignoring a traffic law, and a broken taillight. If the police stopped you without a valid reason, it is possible that they were in the wrong even if you were under the influence. It is illegal for police to stop you without probable cause, so if you feel as if the arresting officer stopped you because of your race, ethnicity, gender, or for no reason, we can use that as part of your defense.
Facing DWI and DUI charges is no small issue. The people who walk through our doors are typically nervous, stressed, and downright afraid that they will face harsh penalties for making a mistake. Many of our clients have no previous criminal record and want to move on from their charges as painlessly as possible, but they do not know where to begin. We have provided the answers to some common questions to get you started on your case.
The penalties you can face following a DUI arrest are far-reaching and include administrative and criminal penalties. For a first offense, it is possible to face a 6-month license suspension, a $400 fine, and a month in jail. These punishments only get worse if you have a prior DUI, refused a chemical test, or had a BAC of 0.15% or higher. Depending on the will of the court, you could lose your license indefinitely, spend years in jail, and pay thousands of dollars. To learn more about the penalties associated with drunk driving in South Carolina, visit their DMV website.
The penalties listed above are just the beginning when it comes to drunk driving. A conviction can be harmful to your relationships, place a financial strain on your family, and even cause you to lose your job. A criminal defense attorney is your best option for getting your charges reduced or dropped completely. Whether this is your first arrest or you have a criminal record, a criminal defense attorney has the knowledge and experience to save you from the severe consequences of a DUI conviction. One mistake does not need to ruin your future forever, and a DUI attorney can help you move past your charges and into a more stable situation.
Our attorneys are both South Carolina natives who have lifelong commitment and dedication to the state. Just like you, we are interested in protecting the great people in our community. We realize that everyone makes mistakes, but we want and will fight for a fair sentencing process so that only just processes and practices go to helping our community. A criminal defense is a fundamental right, and we are committed to providing community members with the best representation possible.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, now is the time to act. You have not been convicted yet, and there is still time to defend yourself against these accusations. One arrest does not need to ruin your life forever, and a DUI defense attorney can fight to ensure that is not the case. For DUI or DWI representation in South Carolina, contact Truslow & Truslow by calling (803) 256-6276.
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